- Term Papers and Free Essays

Bill Clinton

Essay by   •  November 3, 2010  •  1,216 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,682 Views

Essay Preview: Bill Clinton

Report this essay
Page 1 of 5

Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe IV on August 19, 1946, in the small town of Hope, Arkansas. He was named after his father, William Jefferson Blythe III who had been killed in a car accident just three months before his son was born. After his mother remarried, the future president took the last name of his stepfather, Roger Clinton. Bill Clinton attended pubic schools in Hot Springs, Arkansas, after moving there from Hope, Arkansas. Bill Clinton as a child went to St. John's Catholic School and Ramble Elementary School. While at Hot Springs High School, Clinton was an excellent student and a talented saxophonist.

After a fateful meeting with President John F. Kennedy, while still in high school, he made up his mind to enter politics. The meeting came about in 1963, when he was a delegate to the American Legion Boys' Nation, a youth program in which students learn about government. Clinton was part of a group that was invited to the White House to meet the president. Kennedy, who only months later was to be assassinated, shook hands with the young Clinton and made a lasting impression on him.

Bill Clinton won student elections at high school and later at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Clinton attended Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar from 1968-1970 and graduated from Yale Law School in 1973. After graduating from Yale Law School, Clinton briefly taught law at the University of Arkansas. In 1974, Clinton ran for the United States House of Representatives and lost, but was later elected state attorney general. The next year Clinton married Hillary Rodham a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School. In 1980 they had their only child Chelsea Clinton. In 1978, Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas for five terms. After losing his bid for reelection in 1980 to Frank D. Wright he won back the governorship in 1982, and won again in 1984 and 1986. Clinton came back to win four terms, positioning himself for a shot at the Democratic nomination for President in 1992.

Clinton stumbled badly in his first term when his complex health care reform initiative, was vigorously rejected by Congress. By 1944, Republicans had launched an aggressive attack on Clinton that delivered Republican majorities in both houses of Congress for the first time since 1955. Clinton fought back by capitalizing on Republican blunders and the nearly fanatical attacks unleashed on him by hid conservative opponents. When Clinton refused to sign a highly controversial budget passed by the Repubican-controlled Congress, he looked strong and resolute. Congress then generated a shut down of the federal government to pressure Clinton to back down, but Clinton remained firm, and the opposition caved in. Most Americans blamed Congress for the gridlock rather than the President, and Clinton was decisively reelected in 1996.

Clinton suffered two major setbacks during his administration. The first was his failure to obtain health care reform. The second, and much more damaging to his place in history, was his impeachment by the House of Representatives on charges of having lied under oath and having obstructed justice in the attempted cover-up of his affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Clinton was one of only two Presidents in

American history to be impeached, and was acquitted by a vote of the United States

Senate on February 12, 1999. The impeachment issue grew out of an

independent counsel's "Whitewater" investigation of Clinton's financial dealings in

Arkansas, peaking just prior to the midterm elections in1998. The American people

evidently cared less about the President's marital affairs of his long-ago financial dealings than about his success in reducing deficits and obtaining economic prosperity reactions of the Republican Congress to be excessive. The Republicans lost seats in the House, and the Senate thereafter failed to convict Clinton on the impeachment charges. Nor was the independent counsel able to link either the President or the First Lady to criminal activities in the Whitewater investigation. While in office, Clinton was sued by Paula Jones, an Arkansas state employee who claimed Clinton had sexually harassed her in 1991. The lawsuit went on from 1994 to 1998 and was settled when Clinton agreed to pay Jones $850,000.

In both runs for the Presidency of the USA, Clinton never received a majority of the

popular vote, though he ended his Presidential career with a 65% approval rating, the

highest end-of-term approval rating of any President in the post-Eisenhower era. While

in office Clinton was known for appointing minorities and women to high-level positions.

Warren Christopher and later Madeleine Albright served as his



Download as:   txt (7.4 Kb)   pdf (97.3 Kb)   docx (11.8 Kb)  
Continue for 4 more pages »
Only available on