The Clinton Presidency

The last study question for your final exam asks you to react to the generalization that, while Bill Clintion may not be a great statesman, he is certainly a great politician.  You may approach this question is several different ways.

If you like, you may argue that Bill Clinton is a great statesman.  Some people do think so.  Al Gore has called him, "the greatest president in American history," and there those who agree.  Certainly Clinton himself thinks he has a record to be proud of.  If you take this view, you may want to look at the "official" (authorized by Clinton) White House homepage.  You'll find there an  issue by issue list of Clinton accomplishments.

Another way to deal with this question is to argue that Clinton is not at all a good statesman and to concentrate on ways in which the Clinton presidency has hurt the country and the world.  The Web has more anti-Clinton information than anyone could surf through in a lifetime.  One short-cut is to go to the  Free Republic web site.  The mostly-conservative contributors to Free Republic post articles from all the major news sources on every foreign and domestic issue you can think of.  If you go to the "Forum" section and search for something like "Clinton Legacy," you'll end up with plenty of solid information about Clinton.  Be careful to note the source of the posted articles, though.  Most are from reputable sources (U.S. News, L.A. Times, Washington Times, etc.), but there are "vanity" posts as well.

My lecture focuses on the political strategies Clinton has used to maintain his popularity and stay in office.  However, you may want to argue that something other than Clinton skill has made this possible.  You might if you like focus on the mistakes of Clinton's opponents rather than his own skill, or argue that Clinton had the good fortune to be the best of bad alternatives.  You might also take the approach that it is pro-Clinton bias in the press that has helped Clinton stay in office.

Other approaches are possible and welcome.  I'm puzzled by the Clinton phenomenon and ready to give a high mark to anyone who comes up with a plausible explanation for his ability to win and hold on to office.

A few additional Clinton-related links and articles:

 PBS series on Waco
 Imagine it: another Clinton scandal
 Lies about Gas Gouging
 Danforth Report on Waco