Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xiv

On Thursday, November 10, 2005, some three hundred scholars, journalists, elected officials, commentators, and former Clinton administration officials assembled at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, for the university’s eleventh presidential conference, entitled “William Jefferson Clinton...

read more

Introduction: Reclaiming the “Vital Center” in American Politics through the Clinton Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-12

The William Jefferson Clinton presidency shaped both American politics and the office of the chief executive in significant and enduring ways. In the eight years that Clinton served as president, from 1993 to 2001, the United States experienced a booming economy that included a budget...

Part I: Evaluating the Clinton Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-14

read more

How to Evaluate a President

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 15-30

I want to talk about why I ran for president, what I tried to do, where we succeeded and where we failed, and the questions I think you should ask yourself not simply about my administration and the period in which we governed, but any presidency in any period in American history...

read more

Breaking into a Conservative Era

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 31-34

Significant questions of historical context, historical contingency, and historical reputation bear on how we understand presidents. In terms of President Clinton’s place in history, it’s important always to understand that he was a progressive president, breaking with a conservative era. He used supple, flexible...

read more

Clinton the Survivor

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-37

Of all the names that Bill Clinton was ever called, the one he probably hated most was the one Arkansas editorialist Paul Greenberg tattooed on him a quarter-century ago: “Slick Willie.” This was also to my mind one of the most unfair names he was ever called. It was one of the great myths about...

read more

Bill Clinton’s Early Days

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 38-42

I’m in the odd position of being the biographer for the conference on the presidency of Bill Clinton, whose biography ended on October 3, 1991, the day he announced for the presidency. I don’t believe in fatalism. I certainly don’t believe that lives are preordained. I do believe, as Sidney said, that events...

read more

Clinton, Congress, and the Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 43-45

When history looks back at President Clinton, I think several things will stand out. His impeachment by the House, of course, the first elected president to be impeached, will stand out. People will continue to argue about whether that was justified or not. Secondly, I think the prosperity of the 1990s and...

read more

A President Not Yet Ready to Be History

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 46-50

As we all go off from this conference to our own private reflections on this man and this time in our history, I’d like to make four points that I hope we can remember as we compose our thoughts. First, history is volatile, and presidential reputation is especially volatile, particularly in this case. I don’t know...

Part II: Organizing the Clinton Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-52

read more

The Role of Chief of Staff

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 53-57

The role of chief of staff is a relatively new role in the White House. There were few presidents in our over two-hundred-year history of the presidency who had a chief of staff. Most had personal secretaries. Take Meriwether Lewis, personal secretary to Thomas Jefferson. There were friends, close cabinet members who...

read more

Clinton as Fearless Leader

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 58-61

I first met Bill Clinton in 1970 during a campaign for the US Senate in the state of Connecticut for a guy named Joe Duffy, who went on to become the head of the US Information Agency and president of American University. Bill Clinton was in law school, and I was still in college. While I followed his career...

read more

Finding the Vital Center: The Clinton White House

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 62-85

During the hard‑fought primaries of the 1992 election, Democrats chose a moderate candidate from Arkansas, Governor Bill Clinton, to carry their banner against incumbent president George H. W. Bush. Clinton secured the Democratic nomination by a frequently repeated promise that he was...

read more

Reshaping the Model: Clinton, Gore, and the New Vice Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 86-104

The passage of time has somewhat dimmed the important legacy of the vice presidency of Al Gore. Gore’s tenure ended amid extraordinary circumstances of tragic proportions. The Lewinsky affair and the subsequent impeachment and trial of President Clinton transformed much of Gore’s second term. Similarly...

Part III: Constitutional Powers of the Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 105-106

read more

Bill Clinton, the Constitution,and the War Power

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 107-122

President Bill Clinton’s aggrandizement of the war power imitated the pattern of usurpation that characterized and, in important ways, defined the terms of several of his predecessors, and it rendered the War Clause, as some of us had concluded, a “dead letter.”1 That measured judgment stands. Nevertheless, the...

read more

Bill Clinton and Unilateral Executive Power

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-139

In the waning weeks of his administration, President Bill Clinton took a number of actions that excited many who agreed with his policies, angered his conservative critics, and even shocked many of his supporters. He issued orders that declared large tracts of western lands off limits to development and made...

read more

Clinton, the Constitution, and Presidential Power: His Legacy for the Office of the President

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 140-160

Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the scope of the federal government, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the office of the presidency, scholars have traced the nearly continuous growth of presidential power from the mid-twentieth century forward. That growth occurred, in part, because...

Part IV: Impeachment

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 161-162

read more

Impeachment and the Independent Counsel: Collision in the Capitol

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 163-175

Robert Fiske, who served as Whitewater independent counsel for seven months in 1994 before being replaced by Ken Starr, created a stir on Capitol Hill shortly after arriving in Washington. The case he inherited, by definition, was controversial: He had been assigned to investigate allegations linking President...

read more

The Clinton Impeachment: Politics and Public Law

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 176-189

Clinton’s impeachment involved an irresponsible incumbent outfoxing an irresponsible Congress. For all its high drama the episode was nothing more than the limiting case of the scorched-earth politics of the 1990s. It resembled one of those World War I battles that consumed a generation and settled nothing...

read more

Assessing the Impeachment of President Clinton from a Post-9/11 Perspective

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 190-220

The atmosphere surrounding the impeachment of President Clinton was more a circus than a serious effort to remove the president from office. The reason for that is simple: very few people—either in the Congress or in the country—really wanted to remove him or thought the impeachment effort would actually result...

read more

Bill Clinton and the Character Factor in Perspective

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 221-232

In the 1990s the term “character factor” was often used by politicians and the media to criticize Bill Clinton and indicate his personal failings. Whatever else is involved in a person’s character, telling the truth or lying is one of the important indicators of character. Lying under oath was the ostensible reason...

read more

The View from Capitol Hill

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-235

I think the Founding Fathers realized that lying, among other things, is one of the faults that many human beings have. The framers did not hold that up by itself to be a condition of impeachment. Impeachment was confined to very, very severe issues: treason and bribery or comparable crimes. That was one of...

read more

The View from the White House

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 236-238

I would like to reaffirm and state three words key to understanding why President Clinton was right to fight impeachment. One, the word is illegitimacy— versus legitimacy. The act of impeaching Bill Clinton was an illegitimate constitutional act, period. It was illegitimate how he got into the room with...

Part V: The Presidency in the System of Checks and Balances

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 239-240

read more

Economic Policymaking and Political Learning: Legislative Leadership and the Rhetorical Presidency

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 241-261

Bill Clinton entered the presidency with ambitious goals, at the head of a party whose wish list of new policies had lengthened steadily over twelve years of Republican rule and following an election in which fewer than four voters in ten backed the incumbent president. The moment was suffused with optimism...

read more

Retail Politics and the White House Office of Legislative Affairs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 262-264

One of the things that changed in the Congress over the years is that after the 1974 election, the so-called Watergate Landslide, there was intense pressure to reform how committees and subcommittees were shared in the Congress. The Democrats were in control then, and they decided to share the subcommittees...

read more

Confirmation Politics: Clinton, Congress, and the Appointment of Federal Judges

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 265-277

Bill Clinton’s goals for the appointment of federal judges during his administration can be summarized as a commitment to quality, diversity, moderation, and consensus. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Clinton answered detailed questions about legal issues for the...

read more

President Clinton’s Supreme Court Appointments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 278-294

Bill Clinton came to the presidency with a firm view of the Supreme Court’s role. He spent a formative time of his life as a student at Yale Law School, teaching constitutional law at the University of Arkansas Law School, and as attorney general of Arkansas, successively. This immersion in legal, especially constitutional...

About the Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 295-300

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 301-312

Further Reading

pdf iconDownload PDF