William Jefferson Clinton (Bill Clinton), the young President from Hope, Arkansas, achieved something that no other Democrat since Franklin D. Roosevelt has done: he was re-elected to a second term. Clinton also defied his critics by surviving a slew of personal scandals, turning the country’s largest budget deficit into a surplus, eventually using American force to end the murderous “ethnic cleansing” wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, and presiding over the country’s highest degree of economic growth since the early 1960s. He has had to deal with unrelenting personal attacks from the Republican Party’s right-wing, the Republicans losing control of Congress for the first time in forty years, and a humiliating but unsuccessful impeachment trial by the United States Senate. He branded himself as a “New Democrat” and has been dubbed the “Comeback Kid” numerous times. Few presidents have simultaneously raised more concerns regarding the president’s legitimacy while still presiding over a longer period of sustained prosperity.
Bill Clinton, whose father died just months before he was born, dreamed of becoming President since he was a child. He was born in 1946 and moved from Hope to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he attended public schools. He was fascinated with politics as a child, winning student elections in high school and later at Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University. Working on Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas’s committee staff and attending Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar strengthened his determination to pursue a political career. Clinton briefly taught law at the University of Arkansas after graduating from Yale Law School. In 1974, he ran for the United States House of Representatives but lost, and then became the state attorney general. He became the youngest governor in the country and in Arkansas history in 1978, at the age of 32. Clinton came back to win four terms after losing his reelection campaign, preparing himself for a run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992. After defeating a wide field of fellow Democrats for the Democratic nomination in 1992, Clinton defeated President George H. W. Bush and upstart independent Ross Perot. As President-elect, Clinton promised to focus like a “laser beam” on economic issues, working especially to combat the US economy’s sluggish growth. He also attempted to reshape the Democratic Party by focusing on issues that the middle class embraced, such as increased government spending to stimulate the economy, tougher crime legislation, employment opportunities for welfare recipients, and tax reform that transferred the burden to the wealthy. Clinton, on the other hand, remained committed to conventional political priorities such as diverting military spending to domestic uses, gun control, legalized abortion, environmental protection, fair jobs and educational opportunities, universal health care, and gay rights.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clinton’s political and marriage partner, has emerged as a central figure in his administration. Hillary’s popularity had collapsed after she struggled to enact health care reform in her first term, despite a long record of professional achievement in Arkansas and elsewhere. In his second term, however, she emerged from the Monica Lewinsky scandal with extremely high popularity ratings. Bill Clinton was the second President of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives, according to future history books. They would, however, undoubtedly mention his ability to survive as well as his influence on US politics, policies, and programs throughout the 1990s, including his presidency during a time of rapid economic growth. Clinton has had a major impact on the Democratic Party’s trajectory, but it is uncertain how long that legacy would continue.