HILTON HEAD, S.C., (Reuters) - U.S. President Bill Clinton was up early on Friday, the final day of his New Year‘s holiday break, after ringing in 1999 with a fresh note of optimism that made no mention of his pending Senate impeachment trial. Clinton was out on a golf course by 8 a.m. EST trying to squeeze in a round before sitting before a television set to watch the University of Arkansas football team play the University of Michigan in the Citrus Bowl. The president arranged to return to Washington later in the day. Clinton welcomed in the New Year on Thursday night by taking questions from participants at the annual Renaissance Weekend retreat. Despite having been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives last month, he said his faith in government and the American people remained stronger than ever. During two closed question-and-answer sessions, including one with about 125 young people, the president talked about a wide range of topics. The one issue he did not discuss was the Monica Lewinsky sex-and-cover-up scandal, which got Clinton impeached by the House on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The questions put to Clinton ranged from the economy to African Americans on the Supreme Court to Social Security. His answers, as reported by Weiss, were largely culled from old political speeches. He cited as policy goals for 1999 improving schools, ensuring a healthy global economy and overhauling the Social Security system, although he gave no specifics. Clinton projected his presidential legacy as one of preparing America for the 21st Century, Weiss said. Not on his schedule, but certain to demand his time and attention, are preparations for the Senate impeachment trial, expected to begin within a week or so. It does not appear that the Senate will muster the needed two-thirds vote to convict the president and remove him from office. But Senate Democrats and Republicans are talking about censuring the president, which would put another stain on his legacy.