President Bill Clinton
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After being governor of Arkansas for the past ten years of his life, he began to become impatient. Clinton had bigger things on his agenda, and he was eager to get started. Clinton was ready to make his high school dream a reality. Clinton announced his intention to seek the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination. In his campaigns outline, a booklet titled A plan for Americas Future, Clinton boldly declared that the future of the nation is in serious jeopardy and that he has suggestions, answers, and solutions to the problems which we face. Clinton had a plan to jump-start our economy in the short-term and a new long-term strategy to turn our countries economy around and restore the American Dream for all.
While Clinton was governor, he was constantly coming up with new ideas, goals, and campaign tactics, just waiting for this moment to put them to use. Clinton didn’t waste a minute to start gaining popularity. Clinton possessed excellent campaigning skills. He had the ability to sharply identify issues in his favor. As most everyone does, Clinton had the tendency to give in to public opinion instead of trying to shape it.
Shortly there after, Clinton was inaugurated as President of the United States in January 1993, after defeating George Bush senior. At 46, he was the youngest U.S. president since John F Kennedy was elected. He won the presidency with 43% of the popular vote and an Electoral College landslide. It goes to show that all of Clinton’s hard work and dedication paid off.
One of the first things that Clinton was faced was dealing with the economic state of the country. Clinton inherited the largest federal budget deficit ever. He then took that debt and turned it right around. Clinton was able to gain back $230 billion. One of Clinton’s biggest goals while being President was to balance the budget. He worked long and hard at it and he also realized that it was going to be a long-term goal. Clinton realized that in order to get the nation back on track, taxes were going to have to be increased and there would have to be many spending cuts in order to achieve the goal at hand.
Another one of Clinton’s top priorities was a new health reform. He was criticized that his proposal would be too expensive. Critics believed that his proposal would lead to government interference in the healthcare system.
Clinton soon found out that what he thought would be one of his best presidential accomplishments was turn down.
Although there were a lot of positive things happening, not everything was well. Under Clinton the U.S. had the highest rate of inequality of any industrialized country. In many people’s eyes, Clinton was unwilling to do much to combat the inequality figures. Some of the policies he embraced were designed to reallocate money to working families. But others, such as welfare reform, meant that even less government support was likely for poor people at the bottom of the income distribution.
In the beginning of Clinton’s first term, he was experiencing difficulties regarding foreign policy. Issues concerning Bosnia, Somalia, the former Soviet Union, Haiti, Cuba, North Korea, and Iraq seemed difficult. His lack of experience involving foreign affairs showed when he appeared powerless when it came to establish a reliable U.S. position on foreign politics.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton went up for re-election campaigning against Republican Senator Robert Dole and Independent Ross Perot. After everything was said and done, Clinton eventually came out victorious while receiving 49% of the popular vote. Clinton’s first major task on his agenda of his second term was to reach an agreement with congress on how to achieve a balanced budget. His other goals were still the same as his last term.
In 1994, the Clinton’s seemed to be in some type of scandal. It had to do with an investment that happened in 1978. Bill and Hillary partnered up with a couple of their good friends James and Susan McDougal, who owned a savings and loans company, invested in 220 acres of riverfront land in Arkansas. They were planning to sell the acres individually but plans didn’t turn out as well as they all planned. The expenses grew too much and the partnership ended in 1992. It was believe that the Clinton family lost an estimated $40,000.
The government was suspicious in why the company went bankrupt and to ease their minds, they appointed Kenneth W. Starr to head the investigation. As it turned out, the McDougal’s were investing in imaginary people to give loans to. After all the loan documents were done, the McDougal’s would keep the loan money and use it on their real estate development projects.
The trials were held in 1996, and the McDougal’s were found guilty of committing fraud and sentenced to do prison time. There was proof discovered regarding the fraudulent loans, but there was nothing that proved the Clintons involvement. The mysterious vanishing and rediscovery of billing records showed the degree of Hillary Clinton's legal work which she did for McDougal's savings and loan. Missing and under subpoena for two years, the documents turned up in January 1996 in the Clintons' private quarters at the White House. President Clinton testified on videotape about one of the loans but was not accused of wrongdoing. The Clintons came through allegation after allegation with their credibility shaken but not destroyed.
As it turned out, Clinton survived the Whitewater scandal, but now it was time for him to face the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Monica worked as a White House intern in the summer of 1995. While she was interning there, Bill and Monica allegedly had an affair that lasted about a year. In 1996, Monica was transferred to the Defense Department. While Monica was working there, she became really good friends with Linda Tripp, whom she opened up to about the affair with Clinton. Monica had confessed to Tripp that in late 1995, she had an ongoing sexual relationship with President Clinton. Tripp recorded Monica’s story and later gave it to special investigator Kenneth Star. Before it was all over, Clinton had lied to the grand jury about the affair he had with the intern. Clinton found himself at his Senate impeachment trial on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Fortunately for Clinton, it takes a 2/3 vote of the Senate to impeach, and only around half were in favor of it. Clinton was acquitted on the charges but was ordered to pay over $90,000 for giving false testimony by the U.S. District Court Judge. Controversy followed Clinton throughout his presidency and even after he was out of office. His last minute pardon of fugitive Marc Rich was not welcomed by many. Till this day, Clinton remains in demand as a speaker and Democratic fundraiser. In 2001, Clinton opened his office in Harlem in New York City.
People will always remember Bill Clinton, for what reason, however, might be different. Some might remember him as a wonderful president who helped our country pull through the millennium unscathed. Others might remember him for being involved with numerous scandals. Which ever it is, he will always be known as this country 42nd President.