Bill Clinton
42nd President of the United States (1993%E2%80%932001)
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation. Clinton has been described as a New Democrat. Many of his policies have been attributed to a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance.
Biography
Bill Clinton's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Bill Clinton from around the web
Watch These Politicians Morph Into Their 'SNL' Characters
Huffington Post - 2 days
These days, it’s not clear if “Saturday Night Live” is art imitating life, or life imitating art. Whatever, one thing’s for sure: The show is getting way too good at political impressions. For proof, watch past and present American politicians as they literally morph into their “SNL” characters in graphics created by CompanyReview.com below. From Tina Fey’s uncanny Sarah Palin, Melissa McCarthy’s spot-on Sean Spicer, and Kate McKinnon as literally anyone, we can understand how international newspapers can confuse real-life politicians with their “SNL” actors. It’s almost like they’re the same people. Below, watch the lines blur between the White House and Studio 8H. Press Secretary Sean Spicer To Melissa McCarthy View post on imgur.com President Donald Trump To Alec Baldwin View post on imgur.com Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway To Kate McKinnon View post on imgur.com Attorney General Jeff Sessions To Kate M ...
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Bill And Hillary Clinton Honor Maya Angelou: ‘We Are All In Her Debt’
Huffington Post - 2 days
President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were in Harlem, New York on Thursday to honor the legendary Dr. Maya Angelou days before the release of a new documentary on the late poet’s life and legacy. The Clintons spoke onstage at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which was recently designated a national historic museum, at an event celebrating release of the documentary, “American Masters ― Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.” The film, which debuts on PBS on Tuesday, delivers a remarkable inside look at who Angelou was as well as her impact and influence prior to and long after her May 2014 passing.  Watch their remarks below:  The Clintons have been friends of Angelou’s for decades and are featured in the documentary. They were recognized at the event on Thursday by Colin Johnson, Angelou’s grandson, who praised the Clintons for their support and love for her over the years. Johnson also presented the Clintons with a p ...
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Why I Watch Fox News Every Night
Huffington Post - 3 days
While watching President Trump’s lively news conference this afternoon, I unleashed a string of Facebook comments, something I usually do not do, but I couldn’t believe what I was watching. My first blast, just during this press conference: Donald Trump: ‘I got 306 electoral votes, the most since Ronald Reagan.’ (He must have forgotten Barack Obama in 2012, Barack Obama in 2008, Bill Clinton in 1996 and George H. W. Bush in 1988.) Donald Trump: ‘The leaks are real, but the stories are fake.’ I am so irritated, I have decided if the president ever stops by my apartment and expects to be invited to dinner, he can forget it. Even if he brings a casserole. I couldn’t believe people took what I wrote so seriously. I would never turn down a good casserole. I would give the president a generous tip for delivering the meal and send him on his way. Still frustrated as I watched our president behave in a manner in which I have never seen a president behave in my six decade ...
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The TPP is dead: Time to transform the food system
Huffington Post - 4 days
Donald Trump just killed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The United States was to be the largest partner in a treaty that attempted to bring 40% of the world's economy into one trading region. The decision is huge. The silence is deafening. During the presidential campaign it began to dawn on politicians and mainstream media that the era of free trade ushered in by Bill Clinton with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993, is despised by working people. Gee. It only took them a quarter-century to figure it out. The alternative, bilateral approach signaled by the Trump administration is actually nothing new--and will not likely bring back manufacturing jobs (unless American workers are willing to work for Chinese wages). The United States has been pursuing bilateral trade agreements ever since the World Trade Organization got stuck in the mud in Cancun, Mexico in 2003. That was when South Korean farm leader Kun Hai Lee, immolated himself on the fence separat ...
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Is Trump Really Facing Historic Opposition To His Cabinet Nominees?
Huffington Post - 6 days
President Donald Trump tweeted "It is a disgrace that my full Cabinet is still not in place, the longest such delay in the history of our country." But is that really the case? To determine this, I compare votes opposing cabinet nominees to what President Obama and other recent chief executives faced, as well as how long it took each president to get their cabinet in place. When I was a college student, I got a chance to attend a lecture by, and later meet, Judge Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan's nominee for the Supreme Court who was defeated for confirmation in the late 1980s. It got me thinking about presidents and whether their nominees are confirmed by the Senate. Anthony Zurcher with the BBC looks at just this issue. First, on the subject of "no" votes, Obama's cabinet nominees faced more than 400 "No" votes. By comparison Trump has faced only about 100 "No" votes for his nominees. He's still got some more cabinet officers to go before the Senate, but his most controversial ...
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Rugby-Australia fumes after All Blacks security man charged in 'spygate'
Yahoo News - 12 days
The revelation that police had charged a security consultant hired by the All Blacks in the 'spygate' saga was viewed dimly in Australia on Wednesday, with local media queuing up to demand New Zealand apologise over the affair. Australian police said on Tuesday they had arrested and charged a 51-year-old man with public mischief after an investigation into the discovery of a listening device at the All Blacks' hotel in Sydney ahead of a match against the Wallabies last year. State media later identified the man as Adrian Gard, who had consulted for the All Blacks for a decade as well as arranging security for former U.S. President Bill Clinton and other celebrities.
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Wall Street Is Even More Craven Than We Thought
Huffington Post - 14 days
WASHINGTON ― Democrats used to see Jamie Dimon as one of the good guys on Wall Street. Once hailed as a “progressive” by The New Republic, the JPMorgan Chase CEO counted himself friends with two different chiefs of staff to President Barack Obama and traveled to the first black White House no less than 16 times. In 2009, The New York Times described him as “Obama’s favorite banker.” He has publicly supported same-sex marriage and the legalization of undocumented immigrants. Dimon gave hundreds of thousands to Democratic Party candidates, the party itself, and even the Center for American Progress, a think tank advancing the ideas of Bill Clinton and Obama. But there was Dimon on Friday, sitting at a table surrounded by other wealthy corporate executives, being praised by President Donald Trump ― a man who publicly supports war crimes and is already flirting with a constitutional crisis as he implements a campaign promise to impose “a complete and total shutdown of Muslims enter ...
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Friday Talking Points -- Media Missing A Big Point On Trump's Muslim Ban
Huffington Post - 16 days
Before we launch in to this week's screed, we're going to shamelessly begin with a plug. Yesterday, we published a first-person account of what it was like to protest during Donald Trump's Inauguration weekend. There are some excellent photos of the demonstrations and an inspiring narrative by University of Maryland student Teresa Johnson. We urge everyone to check it out! Moving right along, we're going to ignore (for a moment) all the shiny distractions that have vomited forth from the White House this week, and instead attempt to draw attention to an aspect of Donald Trump's Muslim ban that few in the media seem to be noticing. [We should add an editorial aside here: Yes, our editorial policy from now on will be to use Donald Trump's own language in the term "Muslim ban." Sean Spicer can insist until he's blue in the face that it's not a Muslim ban, but Trump promised to ban Muslims on the campaign trail, so who are we to argue with the term? Also, to do so would be to su ...
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Donald Trump And Paul Ryan Are Taking On Walmart And The Koch Brothers
Huffington Post - 16 days
Time to get right with your God, America, because the end times must be upon us: Paul Ryan is taking on the Koch brothers.  In June, House Republicans sketched a “blueprint” for tax reform that would replace taxes on corporate profits with a new system of “border adjustments.” Companies would pay taxes for shipping stuff into the United States, while goods sold across the border would be exempted. The idea, if the GOP could pull it off, would eliminate a host of strategies private equity firms and hedge fund managers deploy to game the tax code. It would also reduce the total amount of revenue the government brings in, allowing Grover Norquist and other anti-tax hard-liners to tout it as a tax cut. It could be seen as a boost to manufacturing, but retailers are panicked about rising costs of imported products. The Trump administration hasn’t quite figured out how it feels about this idea. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last month, President Donald Trump criticized ...
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10 Throwback Photos Of Hillary Clinton You’ve Probably Never Seen
Huffington Post - 17 days
Robert McNeely began his career as a political photojournalist in 1972, following the presidential race between Richard Nixon and George McGovern. Over two decades later, in 1993, Hillary Clinton asked McNeely to be the official White House photographer during former President Bill Clinton’s administration.  For the next six years, McNeely photographed the Clintons on the campaign trail, attending state dinners, and in official White House meetings. In addition to photographing the administration, McNeely also beautifully captured the more intimate moments between a husband, wife and daughter.  Recently, McNeely published his own book titled The Making of Hillary Clinton: The White House Years showcasing some of these never-before-seen photos of the Clintons, focusing on Hillary Clinton herself. “The woman who left the White House in the early days of 2001 was very different from the one who was swept in on a tide of hope with her husband in 1992. The tough, savvy, and polis ...
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Will Trump be Prosecuted for War Crimes?
Huffington Post - 21 days
Consequences for President Donald Trump's rhetoric differ substantively from those of Candidate Trump as such may affect his personal culpability over potential crimes under international law and now that he is Commander in Chief. Incitement may be enough to create criminal culpability. However, being in the chain of command, at the very top of it, President Trump assumes responsibility for not only setting the criteria for US military and operatives to act consistent with US and international law but also to prosecute those who in their official actions may violate, particularly if the crimes may take on the character of systematic violations. Trump has already confirmed his preference for torture after assuming the Presidency and he has expressed his intention to kill innocent family members of terror suspects while candidate. In order for any conviction to occur there would have to be a court identified willing to entertain investigation and prosecution as well as sufficient evid ...
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60 Years in Journalism: 40-Something Presidents Who Wowed the Electorate
Huffington Post - 26 days
I first saw Barack Obama in political action when I was assigned to cover the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary in the winter of 2008. Obama lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton, but when I arrived at a high school gymnasium late that evening expecting to observe some concessionary gloom, what Obama gave the crowd instead was a rousing campaign speech, looking to the primaries that still lay ahead. It was a demonstration of the 47-year-old Senator's skill in organizing two successful presidential campaigns, with himself as the spark plug. As they campaigned against each other, Senators Clinton and Obama returned to Washington for significant business on Capitol Hill. I covered a joint hearing on Iraq of the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees with General David Petraeus. Clinton, a member of Armed Services, used her allotted minutes for a tirade against the General for his unwarranted optimism about the war; her Senate vote to give President Bush an Iraq green ligh ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bill Clinton
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 69
    In February 2016, CNN reported that documents show the Clintons combined to receive more than $153 million in paid speeches from 2001 until spring 2015.
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  • 2015
    Age 68
    In May 2015, The Hill reported that Bill and Hillary Clinton have made more than $25 million in speaking fees since the start of 2014, and that Hillary Clinton also made $5 million or more from her book, Hard Choices, during the same time period.
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  • 2014
    Age 67
    In June 2014, ABC News and The Washington Post reported that Bill Clinton has made more than $100 million giving paid speeches since leaving public office, and in 2008, the New York Times reported that the Clintons' income tax returns show they have made $109 million in the 8 years from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2007, including almost $92 million from his speaking and book-writing.
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    In July 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that at the end of 2012, the Clintons were worth between $5 million and $25.5 million, and that in 2012 (the last year they were required to disclose the information) the Clintons made between $16 and $17 million, mostly from speaking fees earned by the former president.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton earned more than $104 million from paid speeches between 2001 and 2012.
    In 2014, 18% of respondents in a Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll of American voters regarded Clinton as the best president since World War II, making him the third most popular among postwar presidents, behind John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. The same poll showed that just 3% of American voters regarded Clinton as the worst president since World War II. A 2015 poll by The Washington Post asked 162 scholars of the American Political Science Association to rank all the U.S. presidents in order of greatness.
    More Details Hide Details According to their findings, Clinton ranked eighth overall, with a rating of 70 percent.
  • 2013
    Age 66
    U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Clinton the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 20, 2013.
    More Details Hide Details Bill Clinton is one of the narrators on a 2003 recording of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, on Pentatone, together with Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren. Official Organizations Interviews, speeches, and statements Media coverage Other
  • 2012
    Age 65
    His prominent role in campaigning for President Obama during the 2012 presidential election and his widely publicized speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where he officially nominated Obama and criticized Republican nominee Mitt Romney and Republican policies in detail, earned him the nickname "Explainer-in-Chief".
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  • 2011
    Age 64
    In a July 2, 2011, editorial The New York Times opined, "The Defense of Marriage Act was enacted in 1996 as an election-year wedge issue, signed by President Bill Clinton in one of his worst policy moments."
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    In 2011, President Michel Martelly of Haiti awarded Clinton with the National Order of Honour and Merit to the rank of Grand Cross "for his various initiatives in Haiti and especially his high contribution to the reconstruction of the country after the earthquake of January 12, 2010".
    More Details Hide Details Clinton declared at the ceremony that "in the United States of America, I really don't believe former American presidents need awards anymore, but I am very honored by this one, I love Haiti, and I believe in its promise".
  • 2010
    Age 63
    On February 11, 2010, he was rushed to NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital in New York City after complaining of chest pains, and had two coronary stents implanted in his heart.
    More Details Hide Details After this experience, Clinton adopted the plant-based whole foods (vegan) diet recommended by doctors Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn. The Clintons accrued several million dollars in legal bills during his presidency; they were paid off four years after he left office. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have received millions of dollars in book authorship fees.
    In 2010, Clinton announced support of, and delivered the keynote address for, the inauguration of NTR, Ireland's first environmental foundation.
    More Details Hide Details At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Clinton gave a widely praised speech nominating Barack Obama. In September 2004, Clinton received a quadruple bypass surgery. In March 2005, he underwent surgery for a partially collapsed lung.
    In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Clinton and George W. Bush would coordinate efforts to raise funds for Haiti's recovery.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton continues to visit Haiti to witness the inauguration of refugee villages, and to raise funds for victims of the earthquake.
  • 2009
    Age 62
    Since then, Clinton has been assigned a number of other diplomatic missions. He was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti in 2009.
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    In 2009, Clinton travelled to North Korea on behalf of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea.
    More Details Hide Details Euna Lee and Laura Ling had been imprisoned for illegally entering the country from China. Jimmy Carter had made a similar visit in 1994. After Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Kim issued a pardon.
    Clinton came out for gay marriage in July 2009 and urged the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA in 2013. He was later honored by GLAAD for his prior pro-gay stances and his reversal on DOMA. The 1996 United States campaign finance controversy was an alleged effort by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to influence the domestic policies of the United States, before and during the Clinton administration, and involved the fundraising practices of the administration itself.
    More Details Hide Details The Chinese government denied all accusations.
    Clinton is married to Hillary Clinton, who served as United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, who was a Senator from New York from 2001 to 2009, and who is the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 2016.
    More Details Hide Details Both Clintons earned law degrees from Yale Law School, where they met and began dating. As Governor of Arkansas, Clinton overhauled the state's education system, and served as chairman of the National Governors Association.
  • 2008
    Age 61
    Fears were allayed August 27, 2008, when Clinton enthusiastically endorsed Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, saying that all his experience as president assures him that Obama is "ready to lead".
    More Details Hide Details After Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was over, Bill Clinton continued to raise funds to help pay off her campaign debt.
    During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Clinton vigorously advocated on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton.
    More Details Hide Details Through speaking engagements and fundraisers, he was able to raise $10 million toward her campaign. Some worried that as an ex-president, he was too active on the trail, too negative to Clinton rival Barack Obama, and alienating his supporters at home and abroad. Many were especially critical of him following his remarks in the South Carolina primary, which Obama won. Later in the 2008 primaries, there was some infighting between Bill and Hillary's staffs, especially in Pennsylvania. Considering Bill's remarks, many thought that he could not rally Hillary supporters behind Obama after Obama won the primary. Such remarks lead to apprehension that the party would be split to the detriment of Obama's election.
    Clinton has remained active in politics by campaigning for Democratic candidates, including his wife's campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 and 2016, and Barack Obama's presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
    More Details Hide Details In 2009, Clinton was named the United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti, and after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Clinton teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Since leaving office, Clinton has been rated highly in public opinion polls of U.S. Presidents.
  • 2007
    Age 60
    Gallup polls in 2007 and 2011 showed that Clinton was regarded by 13% of Americans as the greatest president in U.S. history.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2006
    Age 59
    Clinton's foundation joined with the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group in 2006 to improve cooperation among those cities, and he met with foreign leaders to promote this initiative.
    More Details Hide Details The foundation has received donations from a number of governments all over the world, including Asia and the Middle East. In 2008, Foundation director Inder Singh announced deals to reduce the price of anti-malaria drugs by 30 percent in developing nations. Clinton also spoke in favor of California Proposition 87 on alternative energy, which was voted down.
  • 2005
    Age 58
    In 2005, Clinton announced through his foundation an agreement with manufacturers to stop selling sugared drinks in schools.
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    The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), begun by the Clinton Foundation in 2005, attempts to address world problems such as global public health, poverty alleviation and religious and ethnic conflict.
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    After Hurricane Katrina, Clinton joined with fellow former President George H. W. Bush to establish the Bush-Clinton Tsunami Fund in January 2005, and the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund in October of that year. As part of the tsunami effort, these two ex-presidents appeared in a Super Bowl XXXIX pre-game show, and traveled to the affected areas. They also spoke together at the funeral of Boris Yeltsin in 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Based on his philanthropic worldview, Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address issues of global importance. This foundation includes the Clinton Foundation HIV and AIDS Initiative (CHAI), which strives to combat that disease, and has worked with the Australian government toward that end.
  • 2004
    Age 57
    In the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Clinton to head a relief effort.
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    Clinton released a best-selling autobiography, My Life in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details In 2007, he released Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, which also became a The New York Times Best Seller and garnered positive reviews.
    The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Arkansas was dedicated in 2004.
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  • 2002
    Age 55
    In 2002, Clinton warned that pre-emptive military action against Iraq would have unwelcome consequences, and later claimed to have opposed the Iraq War from the start (though some dispute this).
    More Details Hide Details In 2005, Clinton criticized the Bush administration for its handling of emissions control, while speaking at the United Nations Climate Change conference in Montreal.
  • 2001
    Age 54
    The Clinton Presidential Center was opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in his honor on December 5, 2001.
    More Details Hide Details He has been honored in various other ways, in countries that include the Czech Republic, Papua New Guinea, Germany, and Kosovo. The Republic of Kosovo, in gratitude for his help during the Kosovo War, renamed a major street in the capital city of Pristina as Bill Clinton Boulevard and added a monumental Clinton statue.
    In 2001, the U.N.-supervised Supreme Court of Kosovo ruled that genocide did not take place, but recognized "a systematic campaign of terror, including murders, rapes, arsons and severe maltreatments".
    More Details Hide Details The term "ethnic cleansing" was used as an alternative to "genocide" to denote not just ethnically motivated murder but also displacement, though critics charge there is no difference. Slobodan Milošević, the president of Yugoslavia at the time of the atrocities, was eventually brought to trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague on charges of crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. Milošević died in 2006, before the completion of the trial.
    Clinton controversially issued 141 pardons and 36 commutations on his last day in office on January 20, 2001.
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    On January 19, 2001, Clinton's law license was suspended for five years after he acknowledged to an Arkansas circuit court that he had engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice in the Jones case.
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  • 2000
    Age 53
    Following another attempt in December 2000 at Bolling Air Force Base, in which the President offered the Clinton Parameters, the situation broke down completely after the end of the Taba Summit and with the start of the Second Intifada.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton appointed two justices to the Supreme Court: Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993 and Stephen Breyer in 1994. Along with his two Supreme Court appointments, Clinton appointed 66 judges to the United States courts of appeals and 305 judges to the United States district courts. His 373 judicial appointments are the second most in American history behind those of Ronald Reagan. Clinton also experienced a number of judicial appointment controversies, as 69 nominees to federal judgeships did not receive a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee. In all, 84 percent of his nominees were confirmed.
    Clinton's November 2000 visit to Vietnam was the first by a U.S. president since the end of the Vietnam War.
    More Details Hide Details On October 10, 2000, Clinton signed into law the U.S.–China Relations Act of 2000, which granted permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) trade status to People's Republic of China. The president asserted that free trade would gradually open China to democratic reform. Clinton also oversaw a boom of the U.S. economy. Under Clinton, the United States had a projected federal budget surplus for the first time since 1969. After initial successes such as the Oslo Accords of the early 1990s, which also led to the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in 1994 and the Wye River Memorandum in October 1998, Clinton attempted an effort to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He brought Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat together at Camp David for the Camp David Summit in July 2000, which lasted 14 days. Following the failures of the peace talks, Clinton stated Arafat "missed the opportunity" to facilitate a "just and lasting peace". In his autobiography, Clinton blames Arafat for the collapse of the summit.
  • 1999
    Age 52
    American and British aircraft in the Iraq no-fly zones attacked hostile Iraqi air defenses 166 times in 1999 and 78 times in 2000.
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    Later in his presidency, in 1999, Clinton criticized the way the policy was implemented, saying he did not think any serious person could say it was not "out of whack". The policy remained controversial, and was finally repealed in 2011, removing open sexual preference as a reason for dismissal from the armed forces.
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    Clinton was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in 1999, and served his complete term of office.
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  • 1998
    Age 51
    In another 1998 event, Elizabeth Gracen recanted a six-year-old denial and stated she had a one-night stand with Clinton in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Gracen later apologized to Hillary Clinton. Throughout the year, however, Gracen eluded a subpoena from Kenneth Starr to testify her claim in court. Bill Clinton continues to be active in public life, giving speeches, fundraising, and founding charitable organizations. Clinton has spoken in prime time at every Democratic National Convention since 1988. Robert Reich has suggested that Clinton is in a state of "permanent election", due to the impeachment proceedings during his presidency and his continuing support in the campaigns of his wife Hillary Clinton.
    Also in 1998, Juanita Broaddrick alleged that Clinton had raped her in the spring of 1978, although she stated she did not remember the exact date.
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    In 1998, Kathleen Willey alleged that Clinton groped her in a hallway in 1993.
    More Details Hide Details An independent counsel determined Willey gave "false information" to the FBI, inconsistent with sworn testimony related to the Jones allegation. On March 19, 1998, Julie Hiatt Steele, a friend of Willey, released an affidavit, accusing the former White House aide of asking her to lie to corroborate Ms. Willey's account of being sexually groped by President Clinton in the Oval Office. An attempt by Kenneth Starr to prosecute Steele for making false statements and obstructing justice ended in a mistrial and Starr declined to seek a retrial after Steele sought an investigation against the former Independent Counsel for prosecutorial misconduct. Linda Tripp's grand jury testimony also differed from Willey's claims regarding inappropriate sexual advances.
    Seeking to weaken Hussein's grip on power, Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 into law on October 31, 1998, which instituted a policy of "regime change" against Iraq, though it explicitly stated it did not provide for direct intervention on the part of American military forces.
    More Details Hide Details The administration then launched a four-day bombing campaign named Operation Desert Fox, lasting from December 16 to 19, 1998. At the end of this operation Clinton announced that "So long as Saddam remains in power, he will remain a threat to his people, his region, and the world. With our allies, we must pursue a strategy to contain him and to constrain his weapons of mass destruction program, while working toward the day Iraq has a government willing to live at peace with its people and with its neighbors."
    In Clinton's 1998 State of the Union Address, he warned Congress that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was building an arsenal of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons:
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    In 1998, lawyers for Paula Jones released court documents contending a pattern of sexual harassment by Clinton when he was governor of Arkansas.
    More Details Hide Details Robert S. Bennett, Clinton's main lawyer for the case, called the filing "a pack of lies" and "an organized campaign to smear the President of the United States" funded by Clinton's political enemies. Clinton later agreed to an out-of-court settlement, paying $850,000. Bennett said that the President made the settlement only so he could end the lawsuit for good and move on with his life. During the deposition for the Jones lawsuit, which was held at the White House, Clinton denied having sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky a denial that became the basis for an impeachment charge of perjury.
    But Jones appealed Webber Wright's ruling, and her suit gained traction following Clinton's admission to having an affair with Monica Lewinsky in August 1998.
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    Clinton drew strong support from the African American community and made improving race relations a major theme of his presidency. In 1998, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison called Clinton "the first Black president", saying, "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas".
    More Details Hide Details Noting that Clinton's sex life was scrutinized more than his career accomplishments, Morrison compared this to the stereotyping and double standards that blacks typically endure. Shortly after he took office, conservative newspaper owner Richard Mellon Scaife organized a fundraising campaign to smear Clinton's image in the media. Leading the Arkansas Project, Scaife and other associates sought to find sources in Clinton's home state of Arkansas who would be willing to dish out negative allegations against the President. In 1994, Paula Jones brought a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton, claiming he made unwanted advances in 1991, which he denied. In April 1998, the case was initially dismissed by Judge Susan Webber Wright as lacking legal merit.
    After his impeachment proceedings in 1998 and 1999, Clinton's rating reached its highest point.
    More Details Hide Details According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, Clinton left office with an approval rating of 68 percent, which matched those of Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt as the highest ratings for departing presidents in the modern era. Clinton's average Gallup poll approval rating for his last quarter in office was 61%, the highest final quarter rating any president has received for fifty years. Forty-seven percent of the respondents identified themselves as being Clinton supporters. As he was leaving office, a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll revealed that 45 percent of Americans said they would miss him; 55 percent thought he "would have something worthwhile to contribute and should remain active in public life"; 68 percent thought he would be remembered more for his "involvement in personal scandal" than for "his accomplishments"; and 58 percent answered "No" to the question "Do you generally think Bill Clinton is honest and trustworthy?" The same percentage said he would be remembered as either "outstanding" or "above average" as a president, while 22 percent said he would be remembered as "below average" or "poor". ABC News characterized public consensus on Clinton as, "You can't trust him, he's got weak morals and ethics and he's done a heck of a good job."
    In August 1998, Clinton ordered cruise missile strikes on terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan, targeting the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, which was suspected of assisting bin Laden in making chemical weapons, and bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.
    More Details Hide Details To stop the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Albanians by anti-guerilla military units in the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's province of Kosovo, Clinton authorized the use of U.S. Armed Forces in a NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999, named Operation Allied Force. General Wesley Clark was Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and oversaw the mission. With United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, the bombing campaign ended on June 10, 1999. The resolution placed Kosovo under UN administration and authorized a peacekeeping force to be deployed to the region. NATO announced that its forces had suffered zero combat deaths, and two deaths from an Apache helicopter crash. Opinions in the popular press criticized pre-war genocide statements by the Clinton administration as greatly exaggerated.
    After the 1998 elections, the House impeached Clinton, alleging perjury and obstruction of justice related to the Lewinsky scandal.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton was only the second U.S. President to be impeached, after Andrew Johnson. Impeachment proceedings were based on allegations that Clinton had illegally lied about and covered up his relationship with 22-year-old White House (and later Department of Defense) employee Monica Lewinsky. After the Starr Report was submitted to the House providing what it termed "substantial and credible information that President Clinton Committed Acts that May Constitute Grounds for an Impeachment", the House began impeachment hearings against Clinton before the mid-term elections. To hold impeachment proceedings, the Republican leadership called a lame-duck session in December 1998. While the House Judiciary Committee hearings ended in a straight party-line vote, there was lively debate on the House floor. The two charges passed in the House (largely with Republican support, but with a handful of Democratic votes as well) were for perjury and obstruction of justice. The perjury charge arose from Clinton's testimony before a grand jury that had been convened to investigate perjury he may have committed in his sworn deposition during Paula Jones's sexual harassment lawsuit. The obstruction charge was based on his actions to conceal his relationship with Lewinsky before and after that deposition.
    The Congressional Budget Office reported budget surpluses of $69 billion in 1998, $126 billion in 1999, and $236 billion in 2000, during the last three years of Clinton's presidency.
    More Details Hide Details The U.S. treasury reported a debt of $5.413 trillion in 1997, and a debt of $5.656 trillion in 1999. At the end of his presidency, Clinton moved to New York and helped his wife win election to the U.S. Senate there. In the first primary contest, the Iowa Caucus, Clinton finished a distant third to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. During the campaign for the New Hampshire primary, reports of an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers surfaced. As Clinton fell far behind former Massachusetts Senator Paul Tsongas in the New Hampshire polls, following Super Bowl XXVI, Clinton and his wife Hillary went on 60 Minutes to rebuff the charges. Their television appearance was a calculated risk, but Clinton regained several delegates. He finished second to Tsongas in the New Hampshire primary, but after trailing badly in the polls and coming within single digits of winning, the media viewed it as a victory. News outlets labeled him "The Comeback Kid" for earning a firm second-place finish.
    The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus between the years 1998 and 2000, the last three years of Clinton's presidency.
    More Details Hide Details In foreign policy, Clinton ordered U.S. military intervention in the Bosnia and Kosovo wars, signed the Iraq Liberation Act in opposition to Saddam Hussein, and participated in the 2000 Camp David Summit to advance the Israeli–Palestinian peace process. Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. President since World War II. Since then, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to address international causes, such as the prevention of AIDS and global warming. In 2004, Clinton published his autobiography My Life.
  • 1997
    Age 50
    Among the judges appointed by Clinton to the courts of appeals was Sonia Sotomayor, who was nominated by Clinton in 1997 to the Second Circuit and confirmed in 1998, following a delay of more than a year caused by Republican opposition.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton was the first president in history to appoint more women and minority judges than white male judges to the federal courts. In his eight years in office, 11.6% of Clinton's court of appeals nominees and 17.4% of his district court nominees were black; 32.8% of his court of appeals nominees and 28.5% of his district court nominees were women. Clinton appointed the first African American judges to the Fourth Circuit (Roger Gregory) and the Seventh Circuit (Ann Claire Williams). Clinton also appointed the nation's first openly gay or lesbian federal judge when he named Deborah Batts to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Batts was confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote in 1994. Clinton's job approval rating fluctuated in the 40s and 50s throughout his first term. In his second term, his rating consistently ranged from the high-50s to the high-60s.
    In October 1997, he announced he was getting hearing aids, due to hearing loss attributed to his age, and his time spent as a musician in his youth.
    More Details Hide Details In 1999 Clinton signed into law the Financial Services Modernization Act also known as the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, which repealed the part of the Glass–Steagall Act that had prohibited a bank from offering a full range of investment, commercial banking, and insurance services since its enactment in 1933.
    He negotiated the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 by the Republican Congress.
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    Senators Ted Kennedy—a Democrat—and Orrin Hatch—a Republican—teamed up with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff in 1997, and succeeded in passing legislation forming the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the largest (successful) health care reform in the years of the Clinton Presidency.
    More Details Hide Details That year, Hillary Clinton shepherded through Congress the Adoption and Safe Families Act and two years later she succeeded in helping pass the Foster Care Independence Act.
    In the January 1997 State of the Union address, Clinton proposed a new initiative to provide health coverage to up to five million children.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1996
    Age 49
    In response to a 1996 State Department warning about bin Laden and the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa by al-Qaeda (which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans), Clinton ordered several military missions to capture or kill bin Laden, both of which were unsuccessful.
    More Details Hide Details
    In the 1996 presidential election, Clinton was re-elected, receiving 49.2 percent of the popular vote over Republican Bob Dole (40.7 percent of the popular vote) and Reform candidate Ross Perot (8.4 percent of the popular vote), becoming the first Democratic incumbent since Lyndon Johnson to be elected to a second term and the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected President more than once.
    More Details Hide Details The Republicans lost three seats in the House and gained two in the Senate, but retained control of both houses of the 105th United States Congress. Clinton received 379, or over 70 percent of the Electoral College votes, with Dole receiving 159 electoral votes.
    Ken Gormley, author of The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, reveals in his book that President Clinton narrowly escaped possible assassination in the Philippines in November 1996.
    More Details Hide Details During his visit to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Manila, while he was on his way to meet with a senior member of the Philippine government, Clinton was saved from danger minutes before his motorcade was scheduled to drive over a bridge charged with a timed improvised explosive device (IED). According to officials, the IED was large enough to "blow up the entire presidential motorcade". Details of the plot were revealed to Gormley by Lewis C. Merletti, former member of the Presidential Protection Detail and Director of the Secret Service. Intelligence officers intercepted a radio transmission indicating that there was a wedding cake under a bridge. This alerted Merletti and others as Clinton's motorcade was scheduled to drive over a major bridge in downtown Manila. Once more, the word "wedding" was the code name used by a terrorist group for a past assassination attempt. Merletti wanted to reroute the motorcade, but the alternate route would add forty-five minutes to the drive time. Clinton was very angry, as he was already late for the meeting, but following the advice of the secret service possibly saved his life. Two other bombs had been discovered in Manila earlier in the week so the threat level that day was high. Security personnel at the Manila International Airport uncovered several grenades and a timing device in a travel bag. Officials also discovered a bomb near a major U.S. naval base.
    As part of a 1996 initiative to curb illegal immigration, Clinton signed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) on September 30, 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Appointed by Clinton, the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform recommended reducing legal immigration from about 800,000 people a year to about 550,000.
    And Clinton also pushed for passing hate crimes laws for gays and for the private sector Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which, buoyed by his lobbying, failed to pass the Senate by a single vote in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Advocacy for these issues, paired with the politically unpopular nature of the gay rights movement at the time, led to enthusiastic support for Clinton's election and reelection by the Human Rights Campaign.
    On September 21, 1996, Clinton signed into law the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as the legal union of one man and one woman, allowing individual states to refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
    More Details Hide Details Paul Yandura, speaking for the White House gay and lesbian liaison office, said that Clinton's signing of DOMA "was a political decision that they made at the time of a re-election". In defense of his actions, Clinton has said that DOMA was an attempt to "head off an attempt to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to the states", a possibility he described as highly likely in the context of a "very reactionary Congress". Administration spokesman Richard Socarides said, "the alternatives we knew were going to be far worse, and it was time to move on and get the president re-elected." Clinton himself stated that DOMA was something "which the Republicans put on the ballot to try to get the base vote for President Bush up, I think it's obvious that something had to be done to try to keep the Republican Congress from presenting that". Others were more critical. The veteran gay rights and gay marriage activist Evan Wolfson has called these claims "historic revisionism".
    On July 17, 1996, Clinton issued Executive Order 13011 – Federal Information Technology, ordering the heads of all federal agencies to utilize information technology fully to make the information of the agency easily accessible to the public." After two years of Democratic Party control, the Democrats lost control of Congress in the mid-term elections in 1994, for the first time in forty years. The White House FBI files controversy of June 1996 arose concerning improper access by the White House to FBI security-clearance documents.
    More Details Hide Details Craig Livingstone, head of the White House Office of Personnel Security, improperly requested, and received from the FBI, background report files without asking permission of the subject individuals; many of these were employees of former Republican administrations. In March 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray determined that there was no credible evidence of any crime. Ray's report further stated, "there was no substantial and credible evidence that any senior White House official was involved" in seeking the files.
    Two years later, in 1996, Clinton became the first Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt to be elected to a second term.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton passed welfare reform and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, providing health coverage for millions of children. In 1998, Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury before a grand jury and obstruction of justice during a lawsuit against him, both related to a scandal involving White House (and later Department of Defense) employee Monica Lewinsky.
  • 1995
    Age 48
    In 1995, U.S. and NATO aircraft attacked Bosnian Serb targets to halt attacks on U.N. safe zones and to pressure them into a peace accord.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton deployed U.S. peacekeepers to Bosnia in late 1995, to uphold the subsequent Dayton Agreement. In February 1996, the Clinton administration agreed to pay Iran US$131.8 million in settlement to discontinue a case brought by Iran in 1989 against the U.S. in the International Court of Justice after the shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 by the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser. Capturing Osama bin Laden had been an objective of the U.S. government during the presidency of Bill Clinton (and continued to be until bin Laden's death in 2011). Despite claims by Mansoor Ijaz and Sudanese officials that the Sudanese government had offered to arrest and extradite bin Laden and that U.S. authorities rejected each offer the 9/11 Commission Report stated that "we have not found any reliable evidence to support the Sudanese claim".
  • 1994
    Age 47
    The Clinton administration also launched the first official White House website, whitehouse.gov, on October 21, 1994.
    More Details Hide Details It was followed by three more versions, resulting in the final edition launched in 2000. The White House website was part of a wider movement of the Clinton administration toward web-based communication. According to Robert Longley, "Clinton and Gore were responsible for pressing almost all federal agencies, the U.S. court system and the U.S. military onto the Internet, thus opening up America's government to more of America's citizens than ever before.
    During Clinton's re-election campaign he said, "My 1994 crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins, murderers of federal law enforcement officers, and nearly 60 additional categories of violent felons."
    More Details Hide Details It also included a subsection of assault weapons ban for a ten-year period.
    The Omnibus Crime Bill, which Clinton signed into law in September 1994, made many changes to U.S. crime and law enforcement legislation including the expansion of the death penalty to include crimes not resulting in death, such as running a large-scale drug enterprise.
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    On January 1, 1994, Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout his first year in office, Clinton consistently supported ratification of the treaty by the U.S. Senate. Clinton and most of his allies in the Democratic Leadership Committee strongly supported free trade measures; there remained, however, strong disagreement within the party. Opposition came chiefly from anti-trade Republicans, protectionist Democrats and supporters of Ross Perot. The bill passed the house with 234 votes against 200 opposed (132 Republicans and 102 Democrats voting in favor; 156 Democrats, 43 Republicans, and 1 independent against). The treaty was then ratified by the Senate and signed into law by the President.
  • 1993
    Age 46
    Clinton signed the Brady Bill into law on November 30, 1993, which mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States, and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases, until the NICS system was implemented in 1998.
    More Details Hide Details He also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, a subsidy for low-income workers. In December that year, allegations by Arkansas state troopers Larry Patterson and Roger Perry were first reported by David Brock in the American Spectator. Later known as Troopergate, the allegations by these men were that they arranged sexual liaisons for Bill Clinton back when he was governor of Arkansas. The story mentioned a woman named Paula, a reference to Paula Jones. Brock later apologized to Clinton, saying the article was politically motivated "bad journalism" and that "the troopers were greedy and had slimy motives". That month, Clinton implemented a Department of Defense directive known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", which allowed gay men and women to serve in the armed services provided they kept their sexuality a secret, and forbade the military from inquiring about an individual's sexual orientation. The policy was developed as a compromise after Clinton's proposal to allow gays to serve openly in the military met staunch opposition from prominent Congressional Republicans and Democrats, including Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Sam Nunn (D-GA). According to David Mixner, Clinton's support for the compromise led to a heated dispute with Vice President Al Gore, who felt that "the President should lift the ban... even though executive order was sure to be overridden by the Congress". Some gay-rights advocates criticized Clinton for not going far enough and accused him of making his campaign promise to get votes and contributions.
    In November 1993, David Hale, the source of criminal allegations against Bill Clinton in the Whitewater controversy, alleged that Clinton, while governor of Arkansas, pressured him to provide an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the partner of the Clintons in the Whitewater land deal.
    More Details Hide Details A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation did result in convictions against the McDougals for their role in the Whitewater project, but the Clintons themselves were never charged, and Clinton maintains innocence in the affair.
    Clinton made a major speech to Congress regarding a health care reform plan on September 22, 1993, aimed at achieving universal coverage through a national health care plan.
    More Details Hide Details This was one of the most prominent items on Clinton's legislative agenda, and resulted from a task force headed by Hillary Clinton. Though at first well received in political circles, it was eventually doomed by well-organized opposition from conservatives, the American Medical Association, and the health insurance industry. However, John F. Harris, a biographer of Clinton's, states the program failed because of a lack of coordination within the White House. Despite the Democratic majority in Congress, the effort to create a national health care system ultimately died when compromise legislation by George J. Mitchell failed to gain a majority of support in August 1994. It was the first major legislative defeat of Clinton's administration.
    Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 in August of that year, which passed Congress without a Republican vote.
    More Details Hide Details It cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90 percent of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2 percent of taxpayers. Additionally, through the implementation of spending restraints, it mandated the budget be balanced over a number of years.
    On May 19, 1993, Clinton fired seven employees of the White House Travel Office, causing the White House travel office controversy even though the Travel Office staff served at the pleasure of the president and could be dismissed without cause.
    More Details Hide Details The White House responded to the controversy by claiming the firings were done because of financial improprieties that had been revealed by a brief FBI investigation. Critics contended the firings had been done to allow friends of the Clintons to take over the travel business and that the involvement of the FBI was unwarranted.
    On February 15, 1993, Clinton made his first address to the nation, announcing his plan to raise taxes to cap the budget deficit.
    More Details Hide Details Two days later, in a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress, Clinton unveiled his economic plan. The plan focused on reducing the deficit rather than on cutting taxes for the middle class, which had been high on his campaign agenda. Clinton's advisers pressured him to raise taxes on the theory that a smaller federal budget deficit would reduce bond interest rates.
    Two days after taking office, on January 22, 1993—the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, Clinton reversed restrictions on domestic and international family planning programs that had been imposed by Reagan and Bush.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton said that abortion should be kept "safe, legal, and rare"—a slogan that had been suggested by University of California, San Diego political scientist Samuel L. Popkin and first used by Clinton in December 1991, while campaigning. During the eight years of the Clinton administration, the U.S. abortion rate declined by about 18.4 percent.
    Shortly after taking office, Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 on February 5, which required large employers to allow employees to take unpaid leave for pregnancy or a serious medical condition.
    More Details Hide Details This action had bipartisan support, and proved quite popular with the public.
    Clinton was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States on January 20, 1993.
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  • 1992
    Age 45
    Clinton was selected as Time "Man of the Year" in 1992, and again in 1998, along with Ken Starr.
    More Details Hide Details From a poll conducted of the American people in December 1999, Clinton was among eighteen included in Gallup's List of Widely Admired People of the 20th century. He was honored with a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children, a J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, a TED Prize (named for the confluence of technology, entertainment and design), and was named as an Honorary GLAAD Media Award recipient for his work as an advocate for the LGBT community.
    In 1992, Gennifer Flowers stated that she had a relationship with Clinton that began in 1980.
    More Details Hide Details Flowers at first denied that she had an affair with Clinton, but later changed her story. After Clinton at first denied having a relationship with Flowers on 60 Minutes, he later admitted that he had a sexual encounter with Flowers.
    Clinton won the 1992 presidential election (43. percent of the vote) against Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush (37.4 percent of the vote) and billionaire populist Ross Perot, who ran as an independent (18.9 percent of the vote) on a platform focusing on domestic issues; a significant part of Clinton's success was Bush's steep decline in public approval.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton's election ended twelve years of Republican rule of the White House and twenty of the previous twenty-four years. The election gave Democrats full control of the United States Congress, the first time one party controlled both the executive and legislative branches since Democrats held the 96th United States Congress during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.
    Colonel Eugene Holmes, the Army officer who had been involved with Clinton's ROTC application, suspected that Clinton attempted to manipulate the situation to avoid the draft and avoid serving in uniform. He issued a notarized statement during the 1992 presidential campaign:
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    Clinton was elected President in 1992, defeating incumbent George H. W. Bush.
    More Details Hide Details At age 46, Clinton was the third-youngest president, and the first from the Baby Boomer generation. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history, and signed into law the North American Free Trade Agreement. After failing to pass national health care reform, the Democratic House was ousted when the Republican Party won control of the Congress in 1994, for the first time in 40 years.
  • 1990
    Age 43
    Presenting himself as a moderate and a member of the New Democrat wing of the Democratic Party, he headed the moderate Democratic Leadership Council in 1990 and 1991.
    More Details Hide Details During his presidency, Clinton advocated for a wide variety of legislation and programs, much of which was enacted into law or was implemented by the executive branch. His policies, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement and welfare reform, have been attributed to a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance. On budgetary matters his policy of fiscal conservatism helped to reduce deficits. Clinton presided over the longest period of peacetime economic expansion in American history.
  • 1988
    Age 41
    He gave the nationally televised opening night address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, but his speech, which was 33 minutes long and twice as long as it was expected to be, was criticized for being too long and poorly delivered.
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    Later, as president, Clinton was the first President to pardon a death-row inmate since the federal death penalty was reintroduced in 1988.
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  • 1987
    Age 40
    In 1987, there was media speculation Clinton would enter the race after then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo declined to run and Democratic front-runner Gary Hart withdrew owing to revelations of marital infidelity.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton decided to remain as Arkansas governor (following consideration for the potential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton for governor, initially favored—but ultimately vetoed—by the First Lady). For the nomination, Clinton endorsed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1985
    Age 38
    Clinton delivered the Democratic response to President Reagan's 1985 State of the Union Address and served as Chair of the National Governors Association from 1986 to 1987, bringing him to an audience beyond Arkansas.
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  • 1984
    Age 37
    Formally organized as the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the New Democrats argued that in light of President Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in 1984, the Democratic Party needed to adopt a more centrist political stance in order to succeed at the national level.
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  • 1983
    Age 36
    The reforms passed in September 1983 after Clinton called a special legislative session—the longest in Arkansas history.
    More Details Hide Details Many have considered this the greatest achievement of the Clinton governorship. He defeated four Republican candidates for governor: Lowe (1978), White (1982 and 1986), Jonesboro businessmen Woody Freeman (1984), and Sheffield Nelson of Little Rock (1990). The Clintons' personal and business affairs in the 1980s included transactions that became the basis of the Whitewater controversy investigation that later dogged his presidential administration. After extensive investigation over several years, no indictments were made against the Clintons related to the years in Arkansas. According to some sources, Clinton was in his early years a death penalty opponent who switched positions. During Clinton's term, Arkansas performed its first executions since 1964 (the death penalty had been re-enacted on March 23, 1973). As Governor, he oversaw four executions: one by electric chair and three by lethal injection.
  • 1982
    Age 35
    Clinton joined friend Bruce Lindsey's Little Rock law firm of Wright, Lindsey and Jennings. In 1982, he was again elected governor and kept the office for ten years; beginning with the 1986 election, Arkansas had changed its gubernatorial term of office from two to four years.
    More Details Hide Details During his term he helped transform Arkansas's economy and improved the state's educational system. For senior citizens, he removed the sales tax from medications and increased the home property-tax exemption. He became a leading figure among the New Democrats, a group of Democrats who advocated welfare reform, smaller government, and other policies not supported by liberals.
  • 1980
    Age 33
    Monroe Schwarzlose of Kingsland in Cleveland County, polled 31 percent of the vote against Clinton in the Democratic gubernatorial primary of 1980.
    More Details Hide Details Some suggested Schwarzlose's unexpected voter turnout foreshadowed Clinton's defeat in the general election that year by Republican challenger Frank D. White. As Clinton once joked, he was the youngest ex-governor in the nation's history.
    However, his term included an unpopular motor vehicle tax and citizens' anger over the escape of Cuban refugees (from the Mariel boatlift) detained in Fort Chaffee in 1980.
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  • 1978
    Age 31
    Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978, having defeated the Republican candidate Lynn Lowe, a farmer from Texarkana.
    More Details Hide Details He became the youngest governor in the country at 32. Due to his youthful appearance, Clinton was often called the "Boy Governor". He worked on educational reform and Arkansas's roads, with wife Hillary leading a successful committee on urban health care reform.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1976
    Age 29
    In 1976 Clinton ran for Arkansas Attorney General.
    More Details Hide Details With only minor opposition in the primary and no opposition at all in the general election, Clinton was elected.
  • 1972
    Age 25
    Hammerschmidt, who had received 77 percent of the vote in 1972, defeated Clinton by only a 52 percent to 48 percent margin.
    More Details Hide Details
    Clinton did eventually move to Texas with Rodham to take a job leading George McGovern's effort there in 1972.
    More Details Hide Details He spent considerable time in Dallas, at the campaign's local headquarters on Lemmon Avenue, where he had an office. Clinton worked with future two-term mayor of Dallas, Ron Kirk, future governor of Texas, Ann Richards, and then unknown television director (and future filmmaker) Steven Spielberg. After graduating from Yale Law School, Clinton returned to Arkansas and became a law professor at the University of Arkansas. In 1974 he ran for the House of Representatives. Running in a conservative district against incumbent Republican John Paul Hammerschmidt, Clinton's campaign was bolstered by the anti-Republican and anti-incumbent mood resulting from the Watergate scandal.
    After only about a month, Clinton postponed his plans to be a coordinator for the George McGovern campaign for the 1972 United States presidential election in order to move in with her in California. They married on October 11, 1975, and their only child, Chelsea, was born on February 27, 1980.
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  • 1971
    Age 24
    In the Yale Law Library in 1971 he met fellow law student Hillary Rodham, who was a year ahead of him.
    More Details Hide Details They began dating and soon were inseparable.
  • 1968
    Age 21
    Clinton received Vietnam War draft deferments during 1968 and 1969 while he was in England.
    More Details Hide Details Planning to attend law school in the U.S, and aware that he might lose his draft deferment, he tried unsuccessfully to obtain positions in the National Guard or Air Force, and then made arrangements to join the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of Arkansas. He subsequently decided not to join the ROTC, saying in a letter to the officer in charge of the program he had planned to join that he opposed the war, but did not think it was honorable to use ROTC, National Guard, or Reserve service to avoid serving in Vietnam. He further stated that because he opposed the war, he would not volunteer to serve in uniform, but would subject himself to the draft, and would serve if selected only as a way "to maintain my political viability within the system". Clinton registered for the draft and received a high number (311), meaning that those whose birthdays had been drawn as numbers 1 to 310 would have to be drafted before him, making it unlikely that he would be drafted. (In fact, the highest number drafted was 195.)
  • TEENAGE
  • 1964
    Age 17
    From 1964 to 1967, he was an intern and then a clerk in the office of Arkansas Senator J.
    More Details Hide Details William Fulbright. While in college, he became a brother of co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Clinton was also a member of the Order of DeMolay, a youth group affiliated with Freemasonry, but he never became a Freemason. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity. Upon graduation, he won a Rhodes Scholarship to University College, Oxford where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, though because he had switched programs and had left early for Yale University, he did not receive a degree there. He developed an interest in rugby union, playing at Oxford and later for the Little Rock Rugby club in Arkansas. While at Oxford he also participated in Vietnam War protests and organized an October 1969 Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam event.
    In 1964 and 1965, Clinton won elections for class president.
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  • 1963
    Age 16
    The other was watching Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 I Have a Dream speech on TV, which impressed him enough that he later memorized it.
    More Details Hide Details With the aid of scholarships, Clinton attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.) degree in 1968.
    Clinton has named two influential moments in his life that contributed to his decision to become a public figure, both occurring in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details One was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1950
    Age 3
    In 1950, Bill's mother returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton Sr., who owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with his brother and Earl T. Ricks.
    More Details Hide Details The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950. Although he immediately assumed use of his stepfather's surname, it was not until Clinton turned fifteen that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton says he remembers his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who regularly abused his mother and half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr., to the point where he intervened multiple times with the threat of violence to protect them. In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John's Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, and Hot Springs High School—where he was an active student leader, avid reader, and musician. Clinton was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band's saxophone section. He briefly considered dedicating his life to music, but as he noted in his autobiography My Life:
  • 1946
    Born
    Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas.
    More Details Hide Details Clinton's father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr. (1910–1946), was a traveling salesman who died in an automobile accident three months before Clinton was born. His mother, Virginia Dell (Cassidy; 1923–1994), traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after he was born. She left Clinton in Hope with her parents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store. At a time when the Southern United States was segregated racially, Clinton's grandparents sold goods on credit to people of all races.
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