William Jefferson “Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the forty second President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. Before his presidency, Clinton served nearly twelve years as the 50th and 52nd Governor of Arkansas. He was the third-youngest president, older only than Theodore Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and is known as the first baby boomer president, as he was born in the period after the Second World War.
Clinton was described as a New Democrat and was mainly responsible for the Third Way philosophy of governance that came to epitomize his two terms as president. His policies, on issues such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, have been described as “centrist.” Clinton presided over the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history, which included a balanced budget and a federal surplus.
His presidency was also quickly challenged. On the heels of a failed attempt at health care reform with a Democratic Congress, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. In his second term he was impeached by the U.S. House for perjury, but was subsequently acquitted by the United States Senate and completed his term.
Clinton left office with a 65% approval rating, the highest end-of-presidency rating of any President that came into office after World War II. However, public reaction to the Lewinsky scandal left a mixed impression about his personal character. Since leaving office, Clinton has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work He created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes, such as treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and global warming. In 2004, he released a personal autobiography, My Life. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is the Junior United States Senator from the state of New York, where they both currently reside, and a Democratic candidate for president in the 2008 election. Clinton was inaugurated on January 20, 1993 as the 42nd President of the United States. In his inaugural address he declared that:” Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” In the 1996 presidential election, Clinton was re-elected, receiving 49.2% of the popular votes, becoming the first Democrat to win re-election to the presidency since Franklin Roosevelt. The Republicans lost a few seats in the House and gained a few in the Senate, but overall retained control of the Congress. Clinton received 379 or over 70% of the Electoral College votes, With Dole receiving 159 electoral votes. The public image of Clinton was important throughout his presidency and his innovative use of sound bite-ready-ready dialogue, personal public perception-oriented campaigning is stated by authors Martin Walker and Bob Woodward as the major reasons for his high public approval ratings. With his pioneering use of pop culture in his campaigning, such as playing the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show”, Clinton was sometimes described by religious conservatives as “the MTV president”. Clinton was also very popular among African Americans and made improving race relations a major theme of his presidency.
In 1998, Nobel Prize-winning author 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,” Though his political career was never short of controversies, Clinton definitely left his mark as one of the successful presidents of America.