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What light is shed on the themes of Presidential power by both the record of Clinton and the events during the period?

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What light is shed on the themes of Presidential power by both the record of Clinton and the events during the period? Whereas authority is the right to exercise power, power is the ability to exercise power. Powers are the functions, tasks or jobs of an office. Power on the other hand, is the ability to get things done. Every American president has the same powers as his predecessor. Essentially, President George W. Bush has the same powers as Jimmy Carter had, as Harry Truman had, as Woodrow Wilson had, as Abraham Lincoln had, as George Washington had - the powers to sign and veto bills, to appoint cabinet officers and Supreme Court Justices, to negotiate treaties and so on. But the power that each president possesses is very much a variable. Indeed, it even varies for the same president throughout his period of office. One might argue for example, that Nixon after Watergate or Reagan after Iran-Contra, or Clinton after Lewinsky, had much less power than before those unfortunate episodes. ...read more.


With regards to foreign policy, Clinton occupied the oval office during a period of stability and relative peace. Aside from periodic skirmished with Saddam Hussein, Clinton avoided military action of significant note, and engaged in efforts to promote peace in the Middle East, and Northern Ireland. Presidential power was not exercised as the expense of the other branches of government. Although Clinton mad an admirable policy record, he undermined the credibility of the presidential office through his personal misconduct. During the 1992 election campaign, he was accused of being unfaithful to his wife, and questioned over drug issues, and avoiding the draft for the Vietnamese war. However, despite all this, he easily beat George Bush Senior. Two years into this term, in 1994, Paula Jones accused his of sexual harassment, and as a result of a Supreme Court decision, he was forced to defend himself. Ongoing investigations revealed and uncovered a secret affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. ...read more.


He kept peace as best he could, and endeavoured to seek diplomatic, peaceful solutions to problems in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. To most members of the electorate in any modern democracy, the prominent preference in a leader, is one who will manage the finance of the country. Any leader who is successful in keeping inflation levels low, and who can help induce substantial economic growth is going to be popular, and Clinton was indeed this. People seek a leader who can help the nation and its economy prosper. Clinton was a very skilled president. His popularity with critics and his peers was not important, and his record shows that it was not important and didn't effect his efficiency as president. The fact that he managed to succeed despite his personal misconduct record showed that he was indeed a 'persuader'. He had popularity, but was also able to persuade others to do things they perhaps didn't totally agree with. This was his great skill, and helped him to succeed as president. As long as Clinton was succeeding as president, his misconduct record did not undermine his popularity, and ultimately, his success. ...read more.

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