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Bill Clinton
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > #42 (US) WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON (PRESIDENT) 1993 - 2001

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
This is the White House biography for William Jefferson Clinton.

"During the administration of William Jefferson Clinton, the U.S. enjoyed more peace and economic well being than at any time in its history. He was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term.

He could point to the lowest unemployment rate in modern times, the lowest inflation in 30 years, the highest home ownership in the country's history, dropping crime rates in many places, and reduced welfare rolls.

He proposed the first balanced budget in decades and achieved a budget surplus. As part of a plan to celebrate the millennium in 2000, Clinton called for a great national initiative to end racial discrimination.

After the failure in his second year of a huge program of health care reform, Clinton shifted emphasis, declaring "the era of big government is over." He sought legislation to upgrade education, to protect jobs of parents who must care for sick children, to restrict handgun sales, and to strengthen environmental rules.

President Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas, three months after his father died in a traffic accident. When he was four years old, his mother wed Roger Clinton, of Hot Springs, Arkansas. In high school, he took the family name.

He excelled as a student and as a saxophone player and once considered becoming a professional musician. As a delegate to Boys Nation while in high school, he met President John Kennedy in the White House Rose Garden. The encounter led him to enter a life of public service.

Clinton was graduated from Georgetown University and in 1968 won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He received a law degree from Yale University in 1973, and entered politics in Arkansas.

He was defeated in his campaign for Congress in Arkansas's Third District in 1974. The next year he married Hillary Rodham, a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School. In 1980, Chelsea, their only child, was born.

Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, and won the governorship in 1978. After losing a bid for a second term, he regained the office four years later, and served until he defeated incumbent George Bush and third party candidate Ross Perot in the 1992 presidential race.

Clinton and his running mate, Tennessee's Senator Albert Gore Jr., then 44, represented a new generation in American political leadership. For the first time in 12 years both the White House and Congress were held by the same party. But that political edge was brief; the Republicans won both houses of Congress in 1994.

In 1998, as a result of issues surrounding personal indiscretions with a young woman White House intern, Clinton was the second U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He was tried in the Senate and found not guilty of the charges brought against him. He apologized to the nation for his actions and continued to have unprecedented popular approval ratings for his job as president.

In the world, he successfully dispatched peace keeping forces to war-torn Bosnia and bombed Iraq when Saddam Hussein stopped United Nations inspections for evidence of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. He became a global proponent for an expanded NATO, more open international trade, and a worldwide campaign against drug trafficking. He drew huge crowds when he traveled through South America, Europe, Russia, Africa, and China, advocating U.S. style freedom."


Source - White House biography

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presi...


message 2: by Alisa (last edited Apr 18, 2010 01:45PM) (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments His autobiography ~
My Life by Bill Clintonby Bill Clinton

The review as cited on goodreads:
"President Bill Clinton's My Life is the candid portrait of a global leader who decided early in life to devote his intellectual and political gifts, and his extraordinary capacity for hard work, to serving the public." "It shows us the progress of an American, who, through his own energies and efforts, made the journey from Hope, Arkansas, to the White House." "We see his career shaped by his resolute determination to improve the life of his fellow citizens, an unfaltering commitment to civil rights, and an understanding of the practicalities of political life." "President Clinton's book is also a detailed, nuanced account of a presidency - encompassing not only the high points and crises but the way the presidency actually works: the day-to-day bombardment of problems, personalities, conflicts, setbacks, achievements." "It is a treasury of moments caught alive, among them: the ten-year-old boy watching the national political conventions on his family's new (and first) television set; the young candidate looking for votes in the Arkansas hills and the local seer who tells him, "Anybody who would campaign at a beer joint in Joiner at midnight on Saturday night deserves to carry one box...You'll win here. But it'll be the only damn place you win in this county." (He was right on both counts.); the roller-coaster ride of the 1992 campaign; the extraordinarily frank exchanges with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole; the delicate manipulation needed to convince Rabin and Arafat to shake hands for the camera while keeping Arafat from kissing Rabin; the cost, both public and private, of the scandal that threatened the presidency." Here is the life of a great national and international figure, revealed with all his talents and contradictions, told openly, directly, in his own completely recognizable voice.


message 3: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Great, Alisa. If I move my chair to the right, I can see it on the bookshelf, so Clinton is smiling down on me ;-). (The spine has his face on it.)

This is supposed to be good. I started it but had to step away. It is good so far:

The Clinton Tapes  Wrestling History with the President  by Taylor Branch Taylor Branch


message 4: by Jerry (last edited May 21, 2010 03:33PM) (new)

Jerry Landry I just finished reading The Survivor  Bill Clinton in the White House by John F. Harris by John F. Harris and recommend it as an in-depth view of the Clinton White House. I share its mixture of criticism and admiration of the administration and applaud Harris for his primary endeavor of providing us with a day-to-day understanding of the administration.


message 5: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments Jerry, looks interesting, thanks for the add and the note.


message 6: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Thanks Jerry, it does look interesting.


message 7: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
I notice we are missing the other autobiography:

Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton Hillary Rodham ClintonHillary Rodham Clinton


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Yes, is that the other half or the better half...although I like old Bill.


message 9: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments Hmmmm, I wonder what she is going to do for an encore.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Not sure; it depends on how things shake out.


message 11: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Not sure, either. She could step down in 2012, make some more money, and think about 2016...


message 12: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
This book looks interesting:

High Hopes  Clinton Presidency and the Politics of Ambition by Stanley Allen Renshonby Stanley Allen Renshon
Library Journal review:
Renshon (political science, CUNY) presents a reasoned psychological interpretation of President Clinton's development, character, and leadership. Much to his credit, he recognizes political psychology as only one approach to predicting presidential performance. Clinton's character does not inspire confidence, he notes. Surprisingly, his ambition, integrity, interpersonal relations, and background make him similar to Richard Nixon rather than to Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt, the presidents to whom he likes to be compared. Renshon is not optimistic that Clinton's character can change if he is reelected and argues that the House Republicans remain the best check on the president's mercurial behavior. David Maraniss's First in His Class (LJ 3/1/95) and John Brummett's Highwire (LJ 9/15/94) are two excellent narratives that Renshon relies on heavily. This controversial study will appeal mostly to students of the presidency and political psychology.

Here are the two books the review mentions:

First In His Class   A Biography Of Bill Clinton by David Maraniss David MaranissDavid Maraniss

Highwire  From the Backwoods to the Beltway - The Education of Bill Clinton by John Brummett by John Brummett


message 13: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Overall, I like Bob Woodward's books. Here are two covering the Clinton years:

The Choice  How Bill Clinton Won by Bob Woodward Bob WoodwardBob Woodward

The Agenda  Inside the Clinton White House by Bob Woodward Bob WoodwardBob Woodward


message 14: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Oct 04, 2010 12:44PM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Yesterday, October 3, the Battle of Mogadishu was fought in Somalia. In the aftermath of this battle, Clinton decided to end the U.S. presence there. Many critics jumped on him for lacking in foreign affairs experience.

Hyland has a chapter on this and is pretty critical of Clinton's foreign policy:

Clinton's World  Remaking American Foreign Policy by William G. Hyland by William G. Hyland


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Interesting.


message 16: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
It is and plenty of people attacked him for not seeking a response after American lives were lost.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 04, 2010 01:15PM) (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Yes, he must have had his reasons..he is very thoughtful (sometimes it may have meant more of a loss of life with little return) Somalia is such a hornets nest. It seems such a shame when they were trying to feed the Somalians.


message 18: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Yeah, and you wonder if this event planted a seed for the a bigger selling campaign on Bosnia, then George W. Bush playing up the message during the 2000 campaign that the U.S. should not undertake humanitarian missions that are not in our interests.


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
More than likely...humanitarian efforts do unfortunately for many raise the risk of escalating into war. No good deed goes unpunished".


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 05, 2010 08:03PM) (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
On the day of Clinton's inauguration in 1993 (doesn't that seem so very long ago) - Maya Angelou was asked to write a poem for that day to be read at the inauguration ceremonies which she did. This was that wonderful poem. It was called On the Pulse of Morning.

Inaugural Poem

Maya Angelou
20 January 1993

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon,
The dinosaur, who left dried tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

2

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.

3

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spilling words

4

Armed for slaughter.
The Rock cries out to us today, you may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face.

5

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song. It says,
Come, rest here by my side.

6

Each of you, a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,
Clad in peace, and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the rock were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.
The River sang and sings on.

7

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African, the Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheik,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

8

They hear the first and last of every Tree
Speak to humankind today. Come to me, here beside the River.
Plant yourself beside the River.

9

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name, you,
Pawnee, Apache, Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of
Other seekers -- desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Arab, the Swede, the German, the Eskimo, the Scot,
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought,
Sold, stolen, arriving on the nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am that Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.
I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours -- your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

10

Lift up your eyes upon
This day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.

11

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands,
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For a new beginning.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

12

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out and upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.

13

Here, on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister's eyes, and into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope --
Good morning.

Here is the video:

Maya Angelou 1993 Bill Clinton Inauguration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDtw62...


message 21: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments This is wonderful. Thank you so much for thinking of this, and posting it here.


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
You are welcome..a wonderful poem and an unbelievable life for Maya Angelou too. I think the University of Virginia transcript was more in line with the rendition on inauguration day so I updated it.

Terrific poetry and apt.


message 23: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
thanks Bentley, it is a beautiful poem.


message 24: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 06, 2010 06:34AM) (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
You are welcome. She did a brilliant job and Clinton by the look on his face was enjoying it. I have to say that he was and is quite the natural. Not sure if you got a chance to look at the video.


message 25: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
He probably was soaking it all in and really happy to be there. He loved being president and campaigning. It is interesting that recent polls put Clinton pretty high nowadays. Do we see another Grover Cleveland ;-)??


message 26: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
I actually would see a similarity if in fact Clinton had not already had two terms. Yes, he did...and he has always been popular. If Hillary had been as popular she would have been president. She was popular with certain niches but not like Bill.


message 27: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 07, 2010 10:28AM) (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Bryan, I actually think his autobiography to be a good choice but it is long.

Bryan, if that one wins, we may have to have a four month read or even a five month read. I think 1056 pages may be tough to handle in three months. But we could try. I guess the valiant would keep up and the strong could continue long after we are finished if the threads are kept open. I hate to go longer than three months because frankly many times folks lose interest. But that to me is the most exhaustive one we have listed and probably the most complete.

Clinton being a rather recent president means that it is more difficult to get balanced and comprehensive views which history helps in developing.


message 28: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Folks, we need more nominations of books for Clinton, preferably ones that cover his life and/or both terms.

NOMINATIONS FOR THIS CUT WILL BE OUT IN A POLL ON SUNDAY.


message 29: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)


message 30: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Wow, good for you.


message 31: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "Bryan, I actually think his autobiography to be a good choice but it is long.

Bryan, if that one wins, we may have to have a four month read or even a five month read. I think 1056 pages may be t..."


Yeah, I think we would have to stretch this one out if this one wins.


message 32: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
I think so too.


message 33: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
A new book to come out:

A Complicated Man  The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him by Michael Takiff by Michael Takiff

Product description from Amazon:
Though Bill Clinton has been out of office since 2001, public fascination with him continues unabated. Many books about Clinton have been published in recent years, but shockingly, no single-volume biography covers the full scope of Clinton’s life from the cradle to the present day, not even Clinton’s own account, My Life. More troubling still, books on Clinton have tended to be highly polarized, casting the former president in an overly positive or negative light.

In this, the first complete oral history of Clinton’s life, historian Michael Takiff presents the first truly balanced book on one of our nation’s most controversial and fascinating presidents. Through more than 150 chronologically arranged interviews with key figures including Bob Dole, James Carville, and Tom Brokaw, among many others, A Complicated Man goes far beyond the well-worn party-line territory to capture the larger-than-life essence of Clinton the man. With the tremendous attention given to the Lewinsky scandal, it is easy to overlook the president’s humble upbringing, as well as his many achievements at home and abroad: the longest economic boom in American history, a balanced budget, successful intervention in the Balkans, and a series of landmark, if controversial, free-trade agreements. Through the candid recollections of Takiff’s many subjects, A Complicated Man leaves no area unexplored, revealing the most complete and unexpected portrait of our forty-second president published to date.


message 34: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments That looks like a good one, Bryan. When we get around to deciding what to read on him this will be a compelling choice.


message 35: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
I agree


message 36: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Clinton's Secretary of State-William Christopher-died over the weekend.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/o...


message 37: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
I always liked Warren Christopher and thought he was very effective. A great loss.


message 38: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Yeah, and he worked on the Iran hostage negotiations for Carter, too, and the Gore 2000 election. He really seemed to be a fair man.


message 39: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Yes, I think so too. Balanced.


message 40: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments Came across this one today, focusing on his economic policies.

Clintonomics  How Bill Clinton Reengineered the Reagan Revolution by Jack Godwin by Jack Godwin
With a presidency marked by rancorous, sometimes crippling bipartisanship that twice brought Congress to a standstill, Bill Clinton elicited strong feelings in friends and foes alike. But often overlooked amid the heightened emotions was the fact that Clinton’s ideas and policies uniquely bridged the chasm between left and right to form a new worldview supporting fiscal responsibility, global connectivity, and ethnic diversity.

Clintonomics is the first book to go beyond the colorful biographical details to thoughtfully and meticulously analyze the powerful blend of liberal/conservative thinking that defined Clinton’s presidency—and preserve his legacy. By merging the best ideas from both the left and the right, Clinton was able to accomplish what his Republican predecessors had not: balancing the budget, reducing federal bureaucracy, reforming the economy, and positioning the country to compete in a global economy, while avoiding the cynical “government is the problem” attitude of the conservative movement. He even achieved pet GOP goals, such as reforming welfare and reducing government regulation, while still actively ensuring a level playing field and empowering all citizens to fulfill their potential.

Packed with original research and steeped in a rich historical perspective, this insightful book explores how Clinton’s presidency marked the return of fiscal discipline and the end of big government, and thus served as a logical corollary to the Reagan Revolution. It traces the evolution of Clinton’s political thinking and governing philosophy from his years as governor of Arkansas to his eight-year tenure as U.S. President, including chapters that:

• Set the stage by outlining the ideas of the major political economists of the past centuries, from Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” to Friedrich Hayek’s ideas on limited government to John Kenneth Galbraith’s writings on the social balance.

• Review the legacy of the Reagan years, with its emphasis on lower taxes, reduced spend­ing for social services, minimal government regulation of the economy, and major increases in military spending—all of which built a false prosperity on a mountain of debt.

• Examine Clinton’s “Third-Way” principles, including pro-growth economic policy that fosters close ties to the private sector; a balanced budget with a smaller, less bureaucratic federal government; and reduction of economic inequality through investments in education and technology.

• Look at specific ways that Clinton set out to solve looming challenges, including healthcare, immigration, welfare, trade, and education—challenges that continue to demand our attention and national will to resolve.

Clinton transcended the simplistic idea that liberals want to expand government and conservatives want to starve it to death. His “Third Way” is a political hybrid of right/left thinking that embraced the complexities and opportunities of a globalized, interlocked world. Clintonomics serves as a blueprint of potentially success­ful strategies for the twenty-first century, and a model for future administrations to study and emulate.


message 41: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Awesome!


message 42: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (last edited Mar 25, 2011 10:55AM) (new)


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Wow we are really going to have a line up for this next poll.


message 44: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Indeed


message 45: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
I will be visiting Little Rock during mid May (coming up soon) and will spend a day at the Clinton Presidential library. Will keep you posted.


message 46: by Bryan, Assisting Moderator - Presidential Series (new)

Bryan Craig | 11091 comments Mod
Bentley wrote: "I will be visiting Little Rock during mid May (coming up soon) and will spend a day at the Clinton Presidential library. Will keep you posted."

How exciting; I look forward to your report. It is very timely with the new book reading in June, too.


message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
It just happens to fall that way; clearly not intentional...just happen to be in the area so thought I would take advantage of the opportunity.


message 48: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments Bentley wrote: "It just happens to fall that way; clearly not intentional...just happen to be in the area so thought I would take advantage of the opportunity."

Cool! Looking forward to your trip report. Great that you will have a good chunk of time there.


message 49: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 26301 comments Mod
Yes, I will. I will be in the South in general...but will be heading North from New Orleans. I figured that I could see the Clinton library while in the vicinity. Hope it all works out.


message 50: by Alisa (new)

Alisa (MsTaz) | 5321 comments Good luck! Will have you the opportunity to visit any of the multitude of historical sites/museums etc in and around New Orleans? So much to see in that part of the country.


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