Good Example Of Essay On Bill Clinton Presidency: Appreciative Enquiry
William Jefferson Clinton, renowned worldwide as Bill Clinton, became the 42nd President of the United States of America from 1993 to 2001. Clinton is highly acclaimed as the third-youngest ever President elected for the office, at the age of 46. In addition, he was also successful in being reelected to a 2nd term as United States President (as a Democrat) next to Franklin Roosevelt. The young President belonging to Hope, Arkansas defied his opponents by decently enduring an assortment of private scandals and revolving the greatest economic shortfall in the history of America into a surplus. In addition, he made the use of American force in the most effective ways for stopping the brutal hostilities for "ethnic cleansing" in Kosovo and Bosnia (McCollum 2005). Moreover, Clinton is widely acknowledged as the most triumphant American President who presided over the maximum level of economic affluence in the country since the 1960s. Clinton was also successful in enduring unremitting and inexorable personal attacks from the Republican Party’s right-wing, the victory of Republicans against Congress for the first time in four decades, and an embarrassing but fruitless prosecution trial by the Senate of the United States. It is worth-mentioning that Clinton demonstrated his character as a "New Democrat". Many acknowledge him by the name of "Comeback Kid" (Jefferson 2000). Only some Presidents of the United States of America have both heaved more queries concerning their presidency’s standing and at the same time led the country over a longer era of unrelenting economic affluence. Without a doubt, Bill Clinton stands out as one of those American Presidents (Hamilton 2012).
Bill Clinton (1946–) was initially given the name William Jefferson Blythe 4th at the time of his birth. However, he pursued his stepfather’s surname as his father had died even before his birth. In 1968, he attained his graduation degree from Georgetown University. He also attended the Oxford University during 1968-1970 as a Rhodes scholar. Later, he was successful in being a student at the Yale University whereby he acquired a law degree. After returning to his home state in 1974, Clinton pursued the law profession as well as a law professor. It was in the same year that Clinton turned out to be a failed Democratic contender for the United States House of Representatives. However, he continued his efforts and later became successful in becoming Arkansas's attorney general in 1976. After two years, he was also triumphant in winning the governorship of Arkansas governorship. This position made him the youngest governor in the history of American nation. He won the mentioned governorship at the age of 31 with an exceptional sixty-three percent vote (Corrigan 2008). He experienced several ups and downs during the same period as he was defeated in 1980 reelection. However, Clinton regained his lost position as Arkansas governor in 1982. In general, people considered him a modest and sensible Democrat. For the same reason, he was given the headship of the Democratic Leadership Council (centrist) from 1990-1991. Next year, Clinton was victorious in the presidential nomination among the Democrats. However, this success was again not an easy one to achieve as his private life and character were again rapidly questioned in the primary campaign.
Presidential Life and Achievements
It is rather commendable that consistent criticism did not let the young politician dejected and crestfallen. Instead, he went on to win the election after harvesting forty-three percent of the national vote ultimately overwhelming H. Ross Perot (independent candidate) and George H. W. Bush (Republican incumbent). The victory in this election made him the first American president who was born after World War II. In addition, he also became first President of America to serve the office in the post–cold war era.
During his first year as President, Clinton was successful in the “passage of a national service program and of tax increases and spending cuts to reduce the federal deficit” (“Clinton, Bill” 2012). He also put forwarded key amendments changes in the health-care system of the United States by abolishing restrictions on research in medical field. His propositions ultimately offered health-insurance coverage to a large number of American citizens. Unfortunately, Clinton was not able to surmount the general opposition concerning amendments in the health-care system of the country. As a consequence, his policy was trounced over by the widespread rejection and criticism ultimately making his plan a failure. It is rather inopportune that the mentioned unsuccessfulness of his proposed plans made it impossible for him to bring major changes. It is worth-mentioning that Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton’s wife since 1975, contributed effectively as a first lady in Clinton’s first term. She played an effectively prominent role in revamping the country’s health-care system along with her husband.
Clinton also achieved significant milestones in the same year. He proved himself an efficient leader by helping a record forty-three states to take considerable steps towards welfare reform. In addition, he signed The Family & Medical Leave Act as the first legislative piece into law. The passage of this law made it possible for innumerable workers in the country to take as much as twelve-week unpaid leave. In this way, people were given the opportunity to look after an infant or any ill family member without putting their job at risk. It must be noted that this bill had been vetoed by the previous administration twice (Feiner, Kuiper, Ott, Sap & Tzannatos 1995). Clinton also launched the initiative “Reinventing Government” so that the government could work better using limited resources as a deliberate measure. The President appointed Vice-President Al Gore to head this initiative. This measure decreased federal spending as well as characterized the lowest civilian employment level in the federal government (Brown 2008).
Clinton sent the forces of United States to Haiti in 1994 after a negotiation concerning the restoration of the presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. On the other hand, he also took out the country’s forces from Somali territory in the same year. In addition, Clinton made significant endeavors in the promotion of peace talks and conferences in the Middle East. As a consequence of these measures, important agreements were made. In particular, negotiations paved way for a peace agreement in the former Yugoslavia in late 1995. In the same year, Clinton’s efforts resulted in the restoration of United States-Vietnam diplomatic relations. It is important to note that Clinton had taken an intense interest during his two terms as President in the preservation of the environment. In 2000, he passed the orders to put aside about one million hectares land in national monuments or backwoods (Soden 1999). This measure helped him to protect more land in the lower forty-eight states higher than any other American president.
It is interesting to note that Clinton had been successful by 1996 to characterize the agenda of Republicans as an extremist one although he himself adopted most of it. Republicans were compelled to find the middle ground on several issues such as welfare reform with the aim of guaranteeing a channel to bring any changes. It was a fortunate thing for Clinton as Republicans started to pass bills that frequently appeared to be a part of the program of the President. It is worth-mentioning that at his term’s end, Clinton signed the welfare bill that brought revolution in the existing system ensuring that recipients are provided numerous subsidies while they work for aiding their transition. It was another achievement of Clinton that he was renominated by the Democrats in 1996, in an unopposed manner. His handy winning in November 1996 reelection was facilitated by the benefits acquired from a prospering economy. He was successful to obtain forty-nine percent of the casted votes against Ross Perot (Reform party candidate) and Bob Dole (Republican candidate). Thus, winning the reelection made Clinton the first Democratic president who won two terms as President since Franklin Roosevelt (Levy 2002).
It was in 1997 that the Republicans and President Clinton came to an agreement concerning the combination of tax cuts and spending reductions for the production of the first balanced and impartial federal budget in the last thirty years. It seemed that the president had by now “mastered the art of employing incremental, rather than large-scale, governmental action to effect change, leaving the Republicans, with their announced mandate for fundamental change, to appear visionary and extreme” (“Clinton, Bill” 2012). It was a time when the President enjoyed extensive and extreme popularity as he took the center as well as led a prosperous economy with booming stock markets and low unemployment levels. Regardless of the persistent criticism on his personal and political life, Clinton proved to be an excellent leader that presided over a gigantic national course in affluence, innovation, and modernization.
Nevertheless, he was swallowed up by the continuing investigations that questioned his past actions and also involved him in the Lewinsky scandal in 1998 beginning. It would not be incorrect to state that the resistance between Clinton and his accusers (mainly Republicans) quivered the American politics for the rest of the year. As a consequence, Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998 and became the first American President (elected) who faced impeachment next to Andrew Johnson. It was crystal clear, on the other hand, that a majority of American people considered the accusation drive as an extraneous element for national affairs. Despite the fact that people were fascinated by the entire prosecution concerning the scandal, they were more concerned about the overall governance of Clinton administration and demonstrated their appreciation for the good work it had done. On February 12, 1999 Clinton was acquitted after the Senate tried two impeachment counts. The next year witnessed normalization of United States domestic politics to some extent. However, it was crystal clear that the Clinton’s presidency had started to being overshadowed by the prevalent 2000 presidential election campaign.
As far as Clinton’s foreign policies are concerned, he experienced numerous successes and impediments associated with them during the late 1990s. Clinton had given excessive importance to make Middle East a peaceful region since the first day of his presidency. He continued to work for a peaceful Middle East till the last days of his second term. Moreover, the competent administration of Clinton facilitated Palestine and Israel cultivate balanced relations. Although several accords were made in 1997 & 1999; there was no further advancement in 2000 due to failed negotiations (Hyland 1999). In the late 1990s, American government and United Nations faced tough resistance from Saddam Hussein (Iraq’s tyrannical ruler) against weapon inspections. As a consequence, Clinton’s administration had to decide to attack the Arab country in 1998. However, the continuation of attacks throughout the next year did not even resolve the weapons inspections issue. In 1999, constant endeavors for the achievement of a negotiated resolution in Kosovo collapsed. As a consequence, Clinton’s administration had to decide for a 78-day NATO air war led by the United States itself. This critical decision compelled the former Yugoslavia to give up provincial control after the migration of millions of people and killings of thousands (Dunbabin 2014).
During Clinton’s second term of presidency, the world witnessed a distinct attempt by his administration concerning the employment of international trade agreements. This endeavor was meant for encouraging and fostering political changes throughout the world. The major countries with which the United States signed trade agreements were China, Indonesia, Korea, Russia, and Vietnam. In particular, US-China trade relations were normally established with the efforts of Clinton in 2000. Nevertheless, the hopes of the President regarding trade and subsequent democratization and improvement of human rights policies in other countries could not be realized by stakeholders. On the other hand, global trade thrived distinctively.
It would not be incorrect to state that Clinton obtained tremendous benefits from a strong economic system during his entire presidential term. He was remarkably successful in leading the United States of America during an extraordinary phase of economic growth and development. Although his critics usually highlight this success as a work of skill and luck, there is no doubt in the fact that the country made a steady progress under Clinton. In fact, his advocates characterize national affluence the prominent feature of Clinton’s administrations. When Clinton left the office, he made sure to revive and strengthen the national Democratic Party. In fact, he was the one who guided his Party toward positions that were more centrist. In addition, it was Clinton who fully emphasized on monetary responsibility. By doing so, the President was able to completely champion the middle class and at the same time reversed countless negative stereotypes among the American people about the liberal standpoint of the Democratic Party (Skowronek 1993).
There is not a single major program or accomplishment that evidently marks Clinton's presidency. If the truth is told, many of his genuine achievements were primarily incremental. In fact, a number of setbacks actually overshadowed Clinton’s several accomplishments. However, there is arguably no doubt in the fact that Clinton possessed an exceptional trait of relating to the ordinary American people. He used his intellect and wittiness as well as his skillfulness of media manipulation for maintaining an extraordinary popularity level along with a high endorsement ranking. On the other hand, the fate was not always on his side and Lewinsky scandal became a permanent mar on his presidency. Even though the mentioned sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky was not a unique issue neither for Clinton nor for the office (as several authoritative figures were also involved in similar cases previously), it crystal clearly blighted Clinton’s political career and achievements as a politician (Hagood 1998). As Clinton left the politically-sacred office, he was faced by heaps of legal bills and constant threats involving legal actions.
A close inspection of Clinton’s presidency reveals the fact that the American people and the media judged him on the basis of his character instead of what he did for the country and its evident prosperity. This hypocritical judgment can be proved by the fact that morality of the President was not an issue during Kennedy’s presidency although he was allegedly involved in mob dealings and drug abuse. The major difference exhibited during Clinton’s presidency was the ‘character of the president’ popularized as a major debate during that time. In fact, the American people and the media mercilessly “scrutinized his womanizing, use of drugs, and his avoidance of military service in Vietnam” (Mark 2012) making character a key issue for future historians.
In contrast to these assessments, I believe that Clinton proved himself as an extremely efficient, prolific, and effective American president. It is commendable that he learnt certain important lessons from his 1980 defeat for Arkansas governorship. In particular, he was able to discover the true meaning and importance of positioning himself in an ideological manner. This lesson helped him to enter the White House as the country’s president in the later years. In the similar fashion, Clinton demonstrated his competence in the 1992 presidency bid and proved himself one of the most fearsome campaigners in the history of American nation. He did so by showing “enormous resilience to withstand the generally excessive attacks on his character, displayed an immense and commendable knowledge of the issues, and was adroit in reshaping the Democratic Party so as to make it more appealing to the American people” (Mark 2012). In particular, his effective domestic and foreign policies facilitated the country to experience a thriving period of exceptional economic growth and development. Thus, Clinton’s eight years as the President of the United States of America were a hallmark in the American history as he accomplished a number of achievements that no other American presidents were able to do achieve so far (Hyland 1999). Even as an ex-President, Clinton has been able to achieve more popularity than ever due to his voluntary work for relief throughout the world (Blake 2012).
Blake, A. (2012). Is Bill Clinton one of the best presidents in history?. 6 September 2012. The Fix [online]. [Accessed 28 February 2015]. Available from: <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/09/06/is-bill-clinton-one-of-the-best-presidents-in-history/>.
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Levy, P. B. (2002). Encyclopedia of the Clinton Presidency. 1st. ed. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.
Mark, W. (2012). The Presidency of Bill Clinton: The Legacy of a New Domestic and Foreign Policy. 1st ed. London: I.B. Tauris.
McCollum, S. (2005). Bill Clinton: America's 42nd President. 1st. ed. New York: Children's Press.
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Soden, D. L. (1999). The Environmental Presidency. 1st. ed. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press.
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