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William J. Clinton

President, William J. Clinton Foundation, United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti (since May 2009)

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Why He Matters

Clinton, a Democrat and the 42nd President of the United States, presided over the longest peacetime economic expansion in American historyonly to have a series of personal scandals, including an affair with a White House intern, lead to his impeachment by the House of Representatives, the first such proceedings against a president since Andrew Johnson 131 years earlier.

Clinton was first elected in 1992, beating incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush largely by capitalizing on public anxiety over an economic recession and record budget deficits, a strategy encapsulated in Clinton's campaign slogan "It's the economy, stupid."Clinton was reelected in 1996, the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: 42nd President of the United States (1993-2001); Governor of Arkansas (1979-1981, 1983-1992); Arkansas Attorney General (1977-1979)
  • Birthday: Aug. 19, 1946
  • Hometown: Hope, Ark.
  • Alma Mater: Georgetown University, bachelor's degree, Phi Beta Kappa,1968; Oxford University, Rhodes Scholar, (1968-1970); Yale University, law degree, 1973.
  • Spouse: Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Religion: Southern Baptist
  • Office: Correspondence Director Office of the Honorable William J. Clinton 55 West 125th Street New York, New York 10027
  • Web site
 

Path to Power

William Jefferson Blythe III was born in Hope, Ark., three months after his father died in a traffic accident, but in high school adopted the name of his mother's second husband, Roger Clinton,an alcoholic who abused the family and who Clinton once had to stop from beating his mother.

He married Hillary Rodham, whom he met at law school, in 1975.

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The Issues

Clinton was often criticized as too conservativeand too willing to compromise by those in his own party.But his centrist views, voracious appetite for policy minutiae and outsized ambition to accomplish great things created a perpetual flood of legislation targeting virtually anything from school uniformsto universal health care.

His 1993 push for government-led health care failed, but Clinton did remake the welfare system,balanced the federal budget and turned annual deficits into a massive surplus.He passed the largest crime bill in U.S. history, the Family and Medical Leave Actand the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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The Network

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton's wife and one of his closest advisers, went on become a senator from New York and then secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Al Gore, Clinton's vice president, won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election but lost the electoral vote to President George W. Bush. Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on the environment.

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Additional Resources

  1. "Clinton Tried Marijuana as a Student, He Says," The New York Times, March 30, 1992.
  2. Torry, Jack, "Senate approves Clinton's anti-terrorism package," The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 8, 1995.
  3. "Statue hails Bill Clinton's role in war against Serbia," Agence France-Presse, Nov. 1, 2009.
  4. Froomkin, Dan, "Welfare's Changing Face," The Washington Post, July 23, 1998.
  5. Kettle, Martin, "Clinton budget builds on US boom," The Guardian, Feb. 8, 2000.
  6. Elving, Ron, "Whose Recession is Over? Not Obama's," National Public Radio, Oct. 30, 2009.
  7. Official White House Biography of William J. Clinton,
  8. Nolan, Clare, "Family Incomes Rise, Poverty Lowest In 20 Years," Stateline.org, Sept. 26, 2000.
  9. Perlez, Jane, "Clinton President a Broad New Plan for Mideast Peace," The New York Times, Dec. 26, 2000.
  10. Walsh, Ed, "Clinton Touts His Economic Record," The Washington Post, Jan. 9, 1999.
  11. "Bill Clinton's Draft Letter," ABC's Nightline, February 12, 1992 l
  12. "Hillary Rodham Clinton, Encyclopedia of Arkansas.
  13. Feaver, Peter D., "The Clinton Mind-Set," The Washington Post, March 24, 2004.
  14. Shapiro, Walter; Painton, Priscilla, "Baby-boomer Bill Clinton: A Generation Takes Power," Time, Nov. 16, 1992.
  15. Woodward, Bob, "Findings Link Clinton Allies to Chinese Intelligence," The Washington Post, Feb. 10, 1998. h
  16. Wallace, Kelly, "President Clinton announces another record budget surplus," CNN, Sept. 27, 2000.
  17. "1996: Little Ideas, Big Dividends," Kennesaw State University, Georgia. l
  18. "Bill Clinton's Draft Letter," ABC's Nightline, February 12, 1992
  19. Douglas, William, "Senate confirms Clinton as secretary of state by 94-2," McClatchy Newspapers, Jan. 21, 2009.
  20. Elving, Ron, "Whose Recession is Over? Not Obama's," National Public Radio, Oct. 30, 2009.
  21. Cook, Greg, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Statistics for 2009," Digital News Report, March 12, 2009.
  22. Griswold, Daniel, "Who Gets Credit for America's Great Economy?" The Cato Institute, Aug. 17, 2000.
  23. "Shutting down government," Las Vegas Sun, Aug. 13, 2008.
  24. Staats, Craig, "Clinton, Dole Spar In Town Hall Debate," CNN, Oct. 16, 1996.
  25. "Clinton Foundation raised more than $124M in 2007," Associated Press/USA Today, Nov. 18, 2008.
  26. Seelye, Katharine Q., "Dole Asks for Cooperation on Terrorism Bill," The New York Times, June 3, 1995.
  27. McIntire, Mike, "Clintons Made $109 Million in Last 8 Years," The New York Times, April 5, 2008.
  28. "The Clinton Crisis: Whitewater," Salon.
  29. Morin, Richard, "Approval of Congress Drops in Poll," The Washington Post, Oct. 12, 1998.
  30. Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. http://www.ncjrs.gov/txtfiles/billfs.txt
  31. Baker, Peter; Dewar, Helen, "The Senate Acquits President Clinton," The Washington Post, Feb. 13, 1999.
  32. Ehret, Christian, "Federal judge dismisses Hillary Clinton 'Filegate' suit," The Jurist, July 17, 2009.
  33. Official White House Biography of William J. Clinton
  34. "Yemen Frees USS Cole Bomb Plotter," Associated Press/CBS News, Oct. 26, 2007.
  35. Marshall, Andrew, "US bombs terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan," The Independent, Aug. 21, 1998.
  36. Rosenthal, Andrew, "White House; Bush Says Raising Taxes Was Biggest Blunder of His Presidency," The New York Times, March 4, 1992.
  37. Kraus, Clifford, "High Cost for Clinton on Somalia Vote," The New York Times, Oct. 16, 1993.
  38. Brownstein, Ronald, "Minorities' Home Ownership Booms Under Clinton but Still Lags Whites'," The Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1999.
  39. "Bill Clinton, New Democrat," Democratic Leadership Counsel Blueprint Magazine, July 25, 2004.
  40. Friedman, Thomas L., "Hillary Clinton To Head Panel On Health Care," The New York Times, Jan. 26, 1993.
  41. "House impeaches Clinton, President will face Senate trial on perjury, obstruction of justice charges," CNN, Dec. 19, 1998.
  42. "Lincoln Bedroom Guests Gave $5.4 Million," CNN, Feb. 26, 1997.
  43. Gray, Jerry, "Senate Votes to Aid Tracing of Explosives," The New York Times, June 6, 1995.
  44. The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum.
  45. "Bill Clinton Presidential Job Approval," Gallup.
  46. "Clinton Signs Iran-Libya Sanctions Act of 1996," Global Security, Aug. 5, 1996.
  47. Mitchell, Alison, "Clinton Will Advise Schools on Uniforms," The New York Times, Feb. 25, 1996.
  48. "Presidential Impeachment Proceedings," The History Place.
  49. "'The era of big government is over,'" CNN, Jan. 27, 1996.
  50. Sandalow, Marc, "Clinton Era Marked by Scandal, Prosperity,1st Baby Boomer in White House changed notions of presidency," The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2001.
  51. Thomas, Evan; Isikoff, Michael, "The Goldberg-Tripp-Jones Axis," Newsweek, Nov 9, 1998.
  52. Clymer, Adam, "Hillary Clinton Says Administration Was Misunderstood on Health Care," The New York Times, Oct. 3, 1994.
  53. Ayres, B. Drummond Jr., "Candidate's Record; Despite Improvements, the Schools In Arkansas Are Still Among Worst," The New York Times, April 1, 1992.
  54. Miniter, Richard, "An Unheeded Warning, When al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, Bill Clinton shrugged," Opinion Journal/The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 30, 2003.
  55. Friedman, Thomas L., "Clinton's Gay Policy: Cave-In or Milestone?" The New York Times, July 25, 1993.
  56. Pear, Robert, "Economic Advisers Caution President on Medical Costs," The New York Times, May 22, 1993. h
  57. Froomkin, Dan, "Case Closed," The Washington Post, Dec. 3, 1998.
  58. Sandalow, Marc, "Clinton Era Marked by Scandal, Prosperity,1st Baby Boomer in White House changed notions of presidency," The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2001.
  59. "Clinton: Serbs must be stopped now, U.S. on verge of attack; divided Senate to unify on Kosovo mission," CNN March 23, 1999.
  60. Clymer, Adam, "Lawmakers Revolt on Lifting Gay Ban in Military Service," The New York Times, Jan. 27, 1993.
  61. Official White House Biography of William J. Clinton
  62. Shapiro, Walter; Painton, Priscilla, "Baby-boomer Bill Clinton: A Generation Takes Power," Time, Nov. 16, 1992.
  63. Kelly, Michael, "The Making of a First Family: a Blueprint," The New York Times, Nov. 14, 1992.
  64. Schmidt, Susan, "Starr Probe Reaffirms Foster Killed Himself," The Washington Post, Oct. 11, 1997.
  65. "Bill Clinton's Draft Letter," ABC's Nightline, February 12, 1992
  66. Baker, Peter; Dewar, Helen, "The Senate Acquits President Clinton," The Washington Post, Feb. 13, 1999.
  67. "Bill Clinton on Budget & Economy," On the Issues.
  68. Wallace, Kelly, "President Clinton announces another record budget surplus," CNN, Sept. 27, 2000.
  69. York, Byron, "Hillary's False Testimony," National Review, July 13, 2003.
  70. Schorn, Daniel, "Ex-FBI Chief On Clinton's Scandals," CBS "60 Minutes," Oct. 6, 2005
  71. Friedman, Thomas L., "Clinton's Gay Policy: Cave-In or Milestone?" The New York Times, July 25, 1993.
  72. "William Jefferson Clinton," The Miller Center/University of Virginia.
  73. "Announcing the strike," The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS, Aug. 20, 1998.
  74. Dowd, Maureen, "Sifting Strategies: What Went Wrong, and Right; Bush: As the Loss Sinks In, Some Begin Pointing Fingers," The New York Times, Nov. 5, 1992.
  75. "1996: Little Ideas, Big Dividends," Kennesaw State University, Georgia. l
  76. "Clinton Signs NAFTA," The Miller Center for Public Affairs, University of Virginia.
  77. Pear, Robert, "Clinton Offering Health Plan with Guarantee of Coverage and Curb on Private Spending," The New York Times, Sept. 11, 1993.
  78. Sachs, Susan, "Johnson's Trial: 2 Bitter Months for a Still-Torn Nation," The New York Times, Jan. 7, 1999.
  79. William J. Clinton Foundation
  80. Pear, Robert, "White House Shuns Bigger A.M.A. Voice in Health Changes," The New York Times, March 5, 1993.
  81. Froomkin, Dan, "Welfare's Changing Face," The Washington Post, July 23, 1998.
  82. Greene, Bob, "The Moment? You'll know it when it comes," Jewish World Review, May 15, 2001. /bob/greene051501.asp
  83. Dowd, Maureen, "Sifting Strategies: What Went Wrong, and Right; Bush: As the Loss Sinks In, Some Begin Pointing Fingers," The New York Times, Nov. 5, 1992.
  84. "Bill Clinton, New Democrat," Democratic Leadership Counsel Blueprint Magazine, July 25, 2004.
  85. LaFraniere, Sharon, "Clinton Told of Cash Raised From Coffees," The Washington Post, March 23, 1997.
  86. Pear, Robert, "Judge Puts Limits on Secret Sessions for Health," The New York Times, March 11, 1993.
  87. "Bill Clinton on Homeland Security," On The Issues.
  88. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
  89. Sandalow, Marc, "Clinton Era Marked by Scandal, Prosperity,1st Baby Boomer in White House changed notions of presidency," The San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 14, 2001.
  90. Dowd, Maureen, "Sifting Strategies: What Went Wrong, and Right; Bush: As the Loss Sinks In, Some Begin Pointing Fingers," The New York Times, Nov. 5, 1992.
  91. Biography of William J. Clinton
  92. McIntyre, Jamie; Collings, Anthony, "Saudis allege Iran behind bombing, No punishment expected for Air Force officials," CNN, Dec. 12, 1996.