Cover

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Half title, Frontispiece, Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

Elaine Kamarck

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pp. vii-x

In the fall of 1996, I was on a campaign bus trip with President Bill Clinton and my boss, Vice President Al Gore. The enormous motorcade consisted of buses for the candidates, buses for the staff, buses for the press, and buses for the secret service. It also contained police motorcycles, ambulances, and fire trucks, making it seem like the row of vehicles went on for miles. ...

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Preface

Michael Nelson, Barbara A. Perry, Russell L. Riley

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pp. xi-xiv

So impressed was former president Bill Clinton with the University of Virginia Miller Center’s oral history of his presidency that in remarks at the tenth anniversary of his presidential library in Little Rock, he told the assembled administration alumni that if they had not done an interview for the project yet, they needed to do so. ...

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Bill Clinton’s Road to the White House

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pp. xv-xx

Anyone interested in the possibilities for upward mobility in American society would do well to consult the story of Bill Blythe. Blythe, a vagabond Texan, was one of nine children raised by two transplanted Mississippians trying to forge a Depression-era existence from a small dirt farm sixty miles north of Dallas. ...

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Introduction: History and Bill Clinton

Russell L. Riley

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pp. 1-22

No American president has courted Clio, the muse of history, more assiduously than the 42nd, Bill Clinton. In part, President Clinton’s fascination with his forebears in the White House was the continuation of a lifelong passion for history, the product of a relentless and prehensile intellect. ...

Part I: Politics

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1. Redividing Government: National Elections in the Clinton Years and Beyond

Michael Nelson

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pp. 25-45

Republicans emerged from the 1988 election as confident of their supremacy in presidential politics as Democrats were of their dominance of Congress.1 Republican vice president George Bush’s 40-state, 426-electoral vote triumph over the Democratic nominee, Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, was the GOP’s third victory in a row and its fifth in the last six elections, all but one of them by a landslide. ...

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2. Triangulation: Position and Leadership in Clinton’s Domestic Policy

Bruce F. Nesmith, Paul J. Quirk

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pp. 46-76

In March, 2015, a relatively obscure potential candidate for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, sought to identify front runner Hillary Clinton with a political strategy for which her husband, President Bill Clinton, had been known. O’Malley declared that “triangulation is not a strategy that will move America forward.” ...

Part II: Domestic and Economic Policy

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3. Compromise and Confrontation: Clinton’s Evolving Relationship with Congress

Sean M. Theriault, Patrick T. Hickey, Megan Moeller

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pp. 79-103

In the days after the November 2014 midterm elections, some argued that the Clinton presidency furnished the best playbook for Barack Obama in confronting Republican majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate. According to the pundits, Obama needed to bargain, compromise, and problem solve with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the same way that Clinton had worked with Speaker Newt Gingrich and Majority Leaders Bob Dole and Trent Lott. ...

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4. Root Canal Politics: Economic Policy Making in the New Administration

Brendan J. Doherty

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pp. 104-122

Bill Clinton became president in January 1993 after a campaign in which he promised to restore strength to the faltering economy. Faced with a budget situation that was far more dire than had been anticipated, Clinton and his team had to make difficult decisions about which of his campaign commitments to pursue. ...

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5. The Broken Places: The Clinton Impeachment and American Politics

Andrew Rudalevige

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pp. 123-151

“As required by Section 595(c) of Title 28 of the United States Code, the Office of the Independent Counsel hereby submits substantial and credible information that President William Jefferson Clinton committed acts that may constitute grounds for an impeachment.”1 ...

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6. Clinton and Welfare Reform: An Oral History

Michael Nelson

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pp. 152-173

A frequent assertion about the presidency of Bill Clinton, one that has congealed into conventional wisdom, is that he signed landmark welfare reform legislation—formally the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996—for short-term and crassly political reasons.1 ...

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7. Hillary Rodham Clinton: Recasting the Role of First Lady

Barbara A. Perry

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pp. 174-190

“Don’t do it, Hillary! Don’t let them talk you into it! Don’t do it!” Hearing Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s distinctive voice shouting at her, Hillary Clinton thought, “Now there is the voice of reason and experience.” She was “sure that there were countless times when Jackie said, ‘No, I just won’t do that.’ ” So Mrs. Clinton responded to the former first lady, “You know, you’re right!”1 ...

Part III: Foreign Policy

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8. The Reluctant Grand Strategist at War: Diplomacy and Force in Bosnia and Kosovo

Spencer D. Bakich

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pp. 193-213

The end of the cold war signaled no “holiday from history” for the United States.1 The period from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 was of tremendous historical importance, particularly in Europe, where core issues pertaining to U.S.-Russian relations and the continent’s security architecture came to a head. ...

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9. Peacemaker’s Progress: Bill Clinton, Northern Ireland, and the Middle East

Robert A. Strong

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pp. 214-233

Scripture tells us that peacemakers are blessed and will be called the children of God. It is good that God is looking out for them, because here on earth peacemakers encounter more than their share of misfortune. Anwar Sadat and Yitzhak Rabin were both assassinated by members of their own faith because of the leadership they provided to peace negotiations in the Middle East. ...

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Conclusion: Clinton’s Legacy for Politics and Government

Sidney M. Milkis

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pp. 234-266

The chapters of this volume shed valuable light on the complicated character and political times of America’s forty-second president. Examining Bill Clinton’s campaigns, his domestic and foreign policy record, and the challenges posed by the political environment of the 1990s, the authors make clear that both his successes and his failures were highly consequential. ...

Appendix 1: Interviewees for the William J. Clinton Presidential History Project

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pp. 267-270

Appendix 2: Interviewers for the William J. Clinton Presidential History Project

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pp. 271-274

Notes

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pp. 275-312

List of Contributors

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pp. 313-314

Index

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pp. 315-324