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Assess the significance of the Clinton presidency of the Democrat Party

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Assess the significance of the Clinton presidency of the Democrat Party Clinton was the first Democrat to serve two full terms as president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. His election ended an era in which the Republican party had controlled the White House for 12 consecutive years, and for 20 of the previous 24 years. That election also brought the Democrats full control of the political branches of the federal government, including both houses of U.S. Congress as well as the presidency, for the first time since the administration of the last Democratic president, Jimmy Carter. He was a much needed charismatic and centrist leader to unite the party. Clinton's first act as president was to sign executive order 12834 (entitled "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees"), which placed substantial restrictions upon the ability of his senior political appointees to lobby their colleagues after they leave office. Clinton rescinded the order shortly before he left office in executive order 13184 of December 28, 2000. Shortly after taking office, Clinton fulfilled a campaign promise by signing the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which required large employers to allow their employees to take unpaid leave because of pregnancy or serious medical condition. ...read more.


After the 1994 election, the spotlight shifted to the Contract with America spearheaded by Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The Republican-controlled Congress and Clinton sparred over the budget. The inability of Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress to come to an agreement resulted in the longest government shutdown to date. In the 1996 presidential election, Clinton was re-elected receiving 49.2% of the popular vote over Republican Bob Dole (40.7% of the popular vote) and Reform candidate Ross Perot (8.4% of the popular vote), while the Republicans retained control of the Congress losing but a few seats. Clinton developed a close working relationship with Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, when he was elected in 1997. In 1998, as a result of issues surrounding personal indiscretions with a young female White House intern (Monica Lewinsky), Clinton was the second U.S. president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He was tried in the Senate and found not guilty of the charges brought against him. Clinton initially denied having any improper relationship with Lewinsky, but later admitted that it had in fact taken place. ...read more.


The reasons for this growth are hotly debated, but Clinton supporters cite his 1993 tax increase as the reason that eventually led to the reduction in the annual budget deficits every year of his tenure. These deficit reductions stimulated comsumption and consumer spending, and strengthening the dollar, which encouraged foreign investment in the United States economy. Alan Greenspan supported the 1993 tax increase, which was approved by Congress without a single Republican vote. His critics credit Alan Greenspan, the Republican Congress' 1995 spending cuts, the Contract with America initiatives, and even Ronald Reagan's 1981 tax cut. Many believe he was the most skilful politician to occupy the White House since Lyndon Johnson, and one of the toughest. He remains a man of puzzling and inconsistent political principles - announcing that "the era of big government is over" even as he unveils dozens of new initiatives. And the President who promised the "most ethical administration" in history has presided over one in which resignations for ethical cause, indictments, convictions, judicial reprimands, appointments of special investigative prosecutors, and continuing questions about ethical and possibly criminal behaviour, including his own, have played a defining role. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kate Gillett 15/11/05 ...read more.

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