- NAME: Bill Clinton
- OCCUPATION: U.S. President, U.S. Governor
- BIRTH DATE: August 19, 1946 (Age: 66)
- EDUCATION: Georgetown University, University of Oxford, Yale University Law School, Hot Springs High School, Arkansas Boys State
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Hope, Arkansas
- AKA: Bill Clinton
- Full Name: William Jefferson Clinton
- AKA: William Clinton
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States, and the second to be impeached. He oversaw the country's longest peacetime economic expansion.
A short biography of Bill Clinton's rise to political power, his marriage to Hillary Clinton, his impeachment due to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and his involvement in recreating the Democratic Party's image.
Bill Clinton talks about MLK's influence on America and how his non-violent principles advanced the Civil Rights Movement.
Listen to the poem Maya Angelou read at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration on January 20, 1993.
Watch a short video about Janet Reno and learn about many struggles that this Florida native faced on her way to becoming the first female U.S. Attorney General.
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Although the loss devastated Clinton, he refused to let it put an end to his promising political career. After working for two years at a Little Rock law firm, in 1982 Clinton once again sought out the governorship. Freely admitting his past mistakes and beseeching voters to give him a second chance, Clinton swept back into office. This time Clinton would hold onto the job for four consecutive terms.
As governor, Clinton took a centrist approach,
championing a mix of traditionally liberal and conservative causes. Appointing Hillary Clinton to head a committee on education reform, he instituted more rigorous educational standards and established competence tests for teachers. Clinton also championed affirmative action, appointing record numbers of blacks to key government positions. At the same time, Clinton favored the death penalty and put in place welfare reforms designed to put recipients back to work. Also noteworthy was Clinton's tactic of running the government like a political campaign, constantly consulting public opinion polls and pitching polices to the people through carefully orchestrated advertising campaigns.
By the late 1980s, Clinton also sought to increase his own national visibility. From 1986-1987, he served as the chairman of the National Governors Association, and in the early 1990s he became actively involved in the Democratic Leadership Council, a group of moderate Democrats seeking to move the party in a centrist direction. However, at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, Clinton squandered an opportunity to announce himself as an obvious future presidential candidate when he delivered an excruciatingly long and boring nomination speech for Michael Dukakis. In a skillful bit of political damage control, Clinton quickly made fun of his disastrous speech on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
In 1992, Bill Clinton easily defeated his competitors in the Democratic primaries to become the party's nominee for the presidency, choosing Tennessee Senator Al Gore as his vice presidential running mate. The Republican incumbent George H.W. Bush was vulnerable in the election of 1992 because he had broken his celebrated campaign promise not to raise taxes and, especially, because the national economy was mired in recession. Although Clinton's campaign was troubled by accusations of draft dodging and rumors of marital infidelity, he campaigned effectively by harping on economic issues. His political strategist James Carville posted a sign at Clinton campaign headquarters that pithily captured his message: "It's the economy, stupid." Clinton was also aided by the surprisingly successful third-party campaign of billionaire Ross Perot, who siphoned off a significant portion of the Republican vote from President George H.W. Bush. On November 3, 1992, Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States.
Despite several notable accomplishments, including the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the implementation of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Clinton's first years in office were largely unsuccessful.
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