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Bill Clinton Report Card
Transcript of Bill Clinton Report Card
1993-2001 William J. Clinton General Prestige:
A Economy grew at an average of 4% per year during Clinton’s presidency.
Unemployment rates consistently decreased over his two terms (reaching their lowest levels since the 1960s)
North American Free Trade Agreement (1993)—removed trade barriers in America
Welfare Reform Bill (1996)—required recipients to work and placed lifetime limits on benefits “end welfare as we have come to know it”.
Reduction of crime
Protected millions of acres of American land
Tax increases on the wealthy
Gov’t spending cuts
Achieved the largest budget surpluses and debt reduction in US history by 2000.
This economic policy lowered the deficit from $290 billion in 1992 to $203 billion by 1994. Accomplishments/Domestic Affairs:
B+ Clinton Doctrine (1999)-- a doctrine of strengthening and expanding the world community of market democracies, with intervention becoming a matter of choice.
Somalia—inherited from Bush 41—a mission intended to provide short-term security for humanitarian relief, but Clinton was forced to withdraw US troops after numerous American soldiers were killed and wounded.
Rwanda—Because of Somalia, the Clinton administration decided not to not intervene in another African civil war, a choice Clinton eventually came to regret and regard it among the worst of his presidency.
China- Clinton realized China’s economic importance and grip on the U.S. Instead of penalizing China, he strengthened U.S.-Chinese trade relations. He promoted and validated the 2000 China Bill that made China a complete trading partner of the U.S.
He moderated Israeli and Palestine Liberation Organization meetings. Clinton made progress in getting Israel and PLO to agree that Palestine have independent rule within Israel.
Progress was deterred and slow after the Israeli president was assassinated. Clinton and the Secretary of State spent the rest of the ‘90s trying to get PLO and Israeli relations better. They never achieved their goal of creating an independent Palestine and breaking the permanent conflicting settlements.
In 1994 Clinton helped coordinate a historic compromise between longtime enemies Israel and Jordan to end their state of war
International trade agreements:
GATT: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
1995 WTO (World Trade Organization) an international group of member states responsible for monitoring trade rules among nations Foreign Affairs:
B Not very innovative: didn’t make major blunders (economy was improving anyhow)
Clinton was willing to act and made major efforts in areas of:
Crime and terrorism:
1993 car bomb at the World Trade center
1995 Oklahoma City bombing resulted in legislation that set new limits on habeas corpus intended to help deter domestic terrorism.
Economy achieved the greatest debt reduction in US history
Despite high inherited rates of crime and poverty, he was able to achieve the lowest crime rate in 26 years and the lowest poverty rate in 20 years
Flexibility: not soaring, yet was willing to act due to favorable circumstances Reaction to New Situations:
B+ Expansion of presidential power
Convinced Congress to pass the Line-Item veto Act of 1996 (struck down in 1998)
Issued 247 signing statements (pres. signs a bill but also specifies which parts of a bill he actually intends to enforce)
Claimed that sitting presidents are immune from lawsuits (struck down by Sup. Ct. in Clinton v. Jones in 1997)
catalyzed new economy throughout his terms
maintained relative international stability but had no major accomplishment since he entered office accompanied by lucky circumstances (especially the economy)
Extensive use of executive orders
Averaged about 1 executive order each week
Through executive orders, he exercised his role as Chief Legislator
Made lots of 11th hour orders
Issued a plethora of executive orders including ones relating to the economy, environmental pollution/sustainable development, foreign affairs, and establishing new gov’t committees/boards. Use of Power:
A- More than 22 million jobs were created in less than eight years
Lowest unemployment in 30 years
Raised education standards, increased school choice, and doubled education and training investment
Most diverse cabinet in American history
Enactment of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA), more commonly known as the "Motor Voter" law
President Clinton appointed a presidential Commission on Race to start a "national conversation on racial issues."
Passed the Defense of Marriage Act in 16 which defined marriage in federal law and declined to recognize same-sex marriage. Creating Nationalism:
A- General Prestige Short Term:
“first black president”
Despite the Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones scandals, in addition to perjury, Clinton had some of the highest approval ratings
He left office with an approval rating of almost 65%
Clinton was very charismatic and well-liked
Well-known for playing the saxophone on National TV
However, despite the high approval ratings, the allegations of sexual misconduct damaged the public's beliefs of his trustworthiness Long Term:
Clinton’s humanitarian efforts
The Clinton Foundation
-“mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote healthier childhoods, and protect the environment by fostering partnerships among governments, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and private citizens to turn good intentions into measurable results”
Clinton Health Access Initiative to improve global access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS
The Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative has helped strengthen small businesses and entrepreneurs across the USA
Still regarded very highly in the world today. Gives many speeches and promotes many leaders. Overall Grade: B+ Despite having no one notable accomplishment, the Clinton administration was one characterized by relative stability both domestically and internationally as Clinton led the nation through the last decade of the 20th century.