President Bill Clinton – An Overview

William Jefferson Clinton was Governor of Arkansas when he was elected the 42nd President of the United States in November 1992.

ClintonSworn into office on January 20, 1993, Clinton was soon embroiled in controversy over the question of gays in the military. He embarked upon an ambitious program of reform, including an ill-fated attempt to reform Health Care in 1994.

At the mid-term congressional elections of 1994, the Democratic Party lost control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate, ushering in a period of confrontation between the Congress and the President. A shut-down of the US government occurred in late 1995 following the breakdown of negotiations on the passage of the President’s budget.

However, Clinton went on to win re-election in November 1996, defeating the Republican nominee, former Senator Robert J. Dole.

Clinton’s presidency was again under attack in 1998, following allegations of a sexual affair with a White House intern, Monica S. Lewinsky. A report by the Independent Counsel, Kenneth Starr, was submitted to the House of Representatives in September 1998 which alleged perjury, obstruction of justice and witness tampering by the President.

Clinton’s videotaped evidence before the Independent Counsel’s Grand Jury was released to the public, as were taped conversations between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp.

In the mid-term Congressional elections in November 1998, the Democratic Party achieved a gain of 5 seats in the House and no net loss in the Senate, a result that was widely interpreted as a rejection of impeachment moves by the Republicans in Congress. Despite this, the Judiciary Committee proceeded with impeachment hearings and ultimately voted 4 articles of impeachment against Clinton.

The full House of Representatives adopted 2 Article of Impeachment in December 1998 and a trial of the President was conducted in the Senate during January and February of 1999. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on February 12.

He continued to govern until the end of his term in January 2001. The day before he left office he reached an agreement with the Special Prosecutor, Robert Ray, agreeing to the suspension of his Arkansas law license in return for no prosecution over the Lewinsky matter.

Clinton left office with a high approval rating, but was dogged for some months by allegations about the granting of pardons on his last day in office.

In subsequent years, Clinton travelled the world as a sought-after speaker. He made occasional forays into active politics, notably in his campaigning for Senator John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.

Clinton’s wife, Hillary, was elected as a Senator for New York in 2000 and is seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2008. It is widely believed that her husband is an enthusiastic supporter of her candidacy.

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