Bill Clinton provoked loud disputes in the American society. Some condemn and blame him, and others justify and believe that he had been slandered. Both have their arguments and are sure in their righteousness. At the same time, both sides agree that Clinton became one of the most influential political figures in the history of the US and probably in the whole world.
“Historians are beginning to categorize Mr. Clinton as a politician of splendid natural talent and some significant accomplishments, who nonetheless missed the greatness that once seemed within his grasp” (Edwards, 1998).
Clinton became the first president who was impeached. Nevertheless, his striking popularity was and is the example for others. Despite big scandal, lies, and manipulations, Clinton is remembered as a hugely influential figure in the world politics. His presidency lasted for 7 years and ratings show that his popularity and the popularity of presidency institution, in general, reached the highest point during this period. Historians and research name many reasons for that. First of all his actions had been focused on issues, popular among ordinary people. Such issues like the economy, social protection and crime rate are usually best noticed by ordinary people and Clinton centered on these things during his presidency.
Showing his care about things, which worry everybody, Clinton gained popularity among ordinary people, and this demand was partly justified. His preoccupation with economic growth and development had positive results for the level of income of ordinary citizens and they were thankful to Clinton for that. While most of the presidents paid considerable attention to the foreign policy of the country Clinton didn’t neglect internal one either. The US is a big country and has enormous influence on the world scene.
That is the reason why foreign polity is an extremely important issue, which shouldn’t be neglected. Many Clinton’s predecessors suffered because of the miserable economic situation even when the results had not been connected with their presidency directly. At the same time the results achieved in this sphere have long-time effect and sometime average citizens can’t notice positive results as quickly as in the case with internal politics. So, working on economic issues and loudly announcing that, Clinton gained the fame of the president who cared about the citizens of the country and this served him an excellent service in the future. At the same time, there is an argument against those who explain Clinton’s success and popularity only by economic growth. Clinton’s first victory in the president’s election wasn’t as loud as it had been announced later. The majority was doubtful and Clinton had to prove his ability to occupy the highest position in the state. The growth of his rating after the election confirmed the fact that Clinton worked hard to gain his popularity. Second reason consists of several points. Some critics try to demolish his accomplishments in the field of internal policy explaining economic boom, which happened during Clinton’s presidency, by factors other than Clinton’s wise leadership. Personal characteristics constitute the second reason of Clinton’s popularity. His famous charisma, which made people believe him whatever he told and his natural charm helped him a lot in his political career. In addition to functional born characteristics and talents, Clinton showed an example of hardworkingness and diligence. Even in the period of the crises and severe attacks of his opponents he worked days and nights and his loyal team supported him. Clinton possesses good orator abilities and this is one of the reasons his speeches got such a loud success. His orator’s talent helped him during all his political career, and it not only made him famous among the citizens of his country but also helped him to win a difficult negotiation. Democrats didn’t have their person in the White House since the time of Jim Carter and that is the reason they worked so hard on Clinton’s image and supported him as much as they could when he finally got to power. Some political observers call the opposition as one of the factors of Clinton’s popularity. Opposition was very strong during his presidency and this caused the growth of Clinton’s popularity despite its seems illogical in the beginning. It can be explained by the fact that active opposition creates a lot of challenges to the ruling party same as it raises the interest of the citizens to the politics. Both these factors make the population more politically involved and also cause them to choose between two opportunities – the president and his opposition. Since the percentage of indifferent was lower than usual Clinton managed to get higher rating. Clinton should be also thankful to his wife as she added some points to his popularity. Being also extremely charismatic, she helped to create and support the ideal image of loyal husband and caring father and this picture was gladly accepted by the public. Even after the loud scandal and lies, the “support for this president really rebounded tremendously once she said there was a vast right-wing conspiracy, which the public still believes. There are also some significant cultural factors that should not be discounted – the 50 percent divorce rate. When we do focus groups, people shrug their shoulders and say, well, everybody does it, so they excuse them because of that.” (Panetta). Hillary’s present-day popularity proves that the fact that Bill’s fame was partially achieved with the help of his charismatic wife. Same can be said about the team of the president. We know old truth that suite makes the king and this was the case with Bill Clinton. Loyal and responsible people who surrounded Clinton helped him to withstand strong opposition and gain popularity. Like mentioned before, Demarcates had to wait for a long time before they had their representative in the White House and they did everything possible to fix their success. Despite any hardships, Democrats acted as one political force and this helped Clinton a lot. In addition, Democrats had control over major political institution when Clinton came to power. During his presidency, they controlled the executive branch, the Senate, the House, the majority of the governorships. Same they managed the majority of the state legislatures, and a majority of all elected officials nationwide.
So, Clinton’s policy met very little resistance, and he had the opportunity to make his ideas real. Also, all his favorable decisions very quickly were given to publicity while failings were same forgotten soon.
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