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Bill Clinton

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William Jefferson Clinton

When searching for "Bill Clinton" on the internet, the screen overflows with sites containing subjects such as "sex scandal", "Monica Lewinsky", "His Dark Side", and plenty of twisted joke web pages. Obviously, the people of America think of the lowest point in his presidency instead of focusing on the higher or more important moments. And while it's practically impossible to write this report without referring to his scandalous side, it will also spotlight how excellent he was as a president and target interesting facts about his life as a normal American.

On August 19, 1946, William Jefferson Blythe IV began his life in Hope, Arkansas. His mother was still mourning over the loss of her beloved husband who died only three months earlier in a tragic car accident. Four years later, in hopes of a better life, Virginia remarried to Roger Clinton. But as a raging alcoholic, Roger became violent with Bill and his mother. At age 14, young William had enough of the abuse. He finally stood up to his stepfather and the cruelty ceased. After gaining the respect of his father figure, Bill decided to take the last name of Clinton.

Clinton's high school years were just as all teenagers desire. He was a popular guy with lots of friends and even then: a drive for success. Bill's devotion to playing saxophone led him to consider a life as a professional musician. But after the opportunity to meet president JFK at the White House Rose Garden during his senior year, Bill's previous musician dreams did a 180.

If it hasn't already been assumed, Clinton decided this early in life that he would dedicate himself to a life of campaign and politics. He also knew that if he wanted to succeed, he must go about it the correct way. Bill graduated with honors from Yale in 1973 and received his degree in law. The next step was getting into the field of politics in Arkansas.

For those of you who have ever tried to enter the political race, it is obvious as to what Clinton was in for. He was devastated after being defeated in 1974 for Congress Campaign for Arkansas' 3rd district. But the powers of devastation were no match for Clinton's persistence. Merely three years later, Bill Clinton was elated to be elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976. This gave him just the confidence boost he needed. In '78, Clinton was sitting high as governor of Arkansas. At 32 years old, Clinton became the nation's youngest governor. He failed to be re-elected for a second term, but buckled down to become governor once more four years later. He easily went on to win re-election three more times.

In the midst of all this political excitement, Bill was falling deeply in love. He had met a lovely lady while going to school in Yale. By the time 1975 rolled around, he was sure Hillary Rodham was whom he wished to spend the rest of his life with. They were engaged and married shortly after his decision. Hillary even established her own very successful law practice in Little Rock. Five years afterward marriage, Hillary became pregnant and they were blessed with their only daughter, Chelsea.

By this time in his life, Bill was growing impatient with being just a governor. No way, that was not good enough for him. Clinton had bigger and badder things on his mind, and he was raring to go. The same dream he had since high school was going to become a reality. Bill Clinton announced his intention to seek the 1992 Democratic presidential nomination. All the time he was governor, new ideas, goals, and campaigning tactics had been burning into his mind, just waiting for this moment. Clinton didn't waste a minute to start gaining popularity.

The skills Clinton possessed as a campaigner were outstanding. He had the ability to sharply define issues in his favor. As most everyone does, Bill had the tendency to give in to public opinion instead of trying to shape it. For example, during his campaign in 1992, he revealed that he wore boxers, not briefs. Although completely irrelevant, these remarks are possibly what made him an appealing, down-to-earth president.

Shortly following, Bill Clinton was inaugurated as President of the United States in January 1993, after defeating George Bush senior. At 46, he was the youngest US president since John F Kennedy. He won the presidency with 43% of the popular vote and an electoral college landslide. Right there is some hard-core dedication.

And that dedication was destined to last. Right of the bat, Bill was overcome by this sobering fact: he had inherited the largest federal budget deficit...ever! He took that debt and turned it flat around. He gained back a magnificent $230 billion. Even before Clinton became president, he had many goals he would love to see accomplished. Now given the chance to make that become reality, he wanted to work at balancing the budget. He knew it was a long-term goal, but he realized there must be an increase in taxes and major spending cuts.

Not only was the debt a huge problem, he was also stuck with the lowest unemployment rate in over 40 years, the most rapid growth in real wages for more than 20 years, and the biggest drop in welfare rolls ever seen. Clinton worked his tail off to patch up each one of those issues to the best of his capabilities. Whoever said being president was an easy job?

Another one of Clinton's top priorities was a new health reform. He was met with stiff opposition and critics complained that his proposal would be too expensive. They thought it would lead to government interference in the health care system. What Clinton thought would be one of his best accomplishments was shut down so soon.

All presidents have a particular accomplishment during their time in office that stands out. For Bill, his most enduring legacy will most likely be the economic boom. Shortly after his inauguration, the reforms began. The economy expanded by a massive 50% and the United States was carrying a gross national of $10,000bn. Now it must be recognized that $10,000bn is one quarter of the entire world's economic output. As mentioned earlier, those low unemployment rates dropped to a 40 year low of 4% because the economy had created around 15 million job opportunities. The stock market was also growing at 100mph. It created thousands of millionaires among middle class stockholders.

So now you're thinking, "Wow that's great... He really was an awesome president." Hold your horses right there. Just because the economy is booming does not mean there aren't some glitches in this system. All of these beautiful changes were swell, but the growth wasn't evenly distributed.



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