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More headlines: Bill Clinton on Principles & Values

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Obama: Clinton pushed progressive despite partisan Congress

It was Bill Clinton’s singular contribution that he recognized that the categories of conservative and liberal played to Republican advantage and were inadequate to address our problems.

He understood the falseness of the choices being presented to Americans. He saw that government spending and regulation could serve as vital ingredients and not inhibitors to growth, and how markets and fiscal responsibility could help promote social justice. He recognized that societal and personal responsibility were needed to combat poverty. Clinton’s third way went beyond splitting the difference. It tapped into the pragmatic, nonideological attitude of Americans.

By the end of his presidency, his policies enjoyed broad support. That he failed, despite a booming economy, to translate popular policies into a governing coalition said something about the demographic difficulties Democrats were facing and the structural advantages Republicans enjoyed in the Senate.

Source: The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p. 34-36 Oct 1, 2006

Rich pardon based on numerous foreign policy & legal reasons

    Because of the intense scrutiny and criticism of the pardons of Marc Rich and his partner Pincus Green, I want to explain what I did and why. They were indicted in 1983 on charges of racketeering and mail and wire fraud, arising out of their oil business. I decided to grant the pardons for the following legal and foreign policy reasons:
  1. Other oil companies that had structured transactions like Rich’s were sued civilly instead of being indicted;
  2. In 1985, the Department of Energy found that the manner in which the Rich/Green companies had accounted for [other related] transactions was proper;
  3. two highly regarded tax experts reviewed the transactions in question and concluded that the companies “were correct in their US income tax treatment.”
  4. their companies had paid $200 million in fines, penalties, and taxes [despite the tax review];
  5. finally, many Israeli and Jewish community leaders urged Rich’s pardon because of his contributions and services to charitable causes.
Source: Editorial by Clinton in NY Times Feb 18, 2001

Repaying $85,000 in gifts to avoid impropriety

Bill and Hillary Clinton announced they will pay more than $85,000 for gifts given to the first family during the president’s last year in office “to eliminate even the slightest question” of impropriety. “As have other Presidents and their families before us, we received gifts and followed all of the gift rules,” Bill Clinton said. “While we gave the vast majority of gifts we received to the National Archives, we reported those gifts that we were keeping.”
Source: CNN.com Feb 3, 2001

Be patient; this is democracy in action

From our earliest days, the right to vote has meant the right to participate and be heard. If ever there was a doubt about the importance of exercising the most fundamental right of citizenship, it sure was answered on Tuesday. No American will ever again be able to seriously say, “My vote doesn’t count.”

The people have spoken. The important thing for all of us to remember now is that a process for resolving the discrepancies and challenges to the election is in motion. The rest of us need to be patient and wait for the results.

I want to congratulate both Vice President Gore and Governor Bush for a vigorous and hard-fought campaign. Once again, the world has seen democracy in action.

The events unfolding in Florida are not a sign of the division of our nation, but of the vitality of our debate, which will be resolved through the vibrancy of our Constitution and laws. Regardless of the outcome, we will come together as a nation, as we always do.

Source: Weekly radio address by President Clinton Nov 11, 2000

Role as “First Laddy”: advise Hillary & promote her agenda

Q: If Hillary is elected president, what would your role be? What would you be called? You’re not First Lady. Would you be First Man? How does that work?

A: I have no idea. You know the Scots say I should be First Laddy. But I don’t know. I’m more interested in what I’d be called upon to do. And it’s been illegal for 40 years, since Robert Kennedy served as attorney general, and then the Democratic Congress with President Johnson in office made it illegal for the members of families of the president to be in the Cabinet. I actually agree with that. I think it would be a mistake for Hillary to give me a line policy-making job. I think I should be available to help her with specific foreign problems, that she said, and maybe to help to promote the domestic agenda, go around the country and help promote it. But I will do whatever I am asked to do. I don’t care what I’m called, I don’t care where my office is. I just want to do whatever helps her most.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Sep 30, 2007

Ambivalent about 2000 victory after Gore distanced himself

For all his praise of Al Gore in scores of speeches, Bill’s behavior throughout 2000--making passive-aggressive remarks, belittling Gore in private, grabbing the spotlight with his own political star turns, and continuing to argue his innocence in various scandals--betrayed ambivalence about a Gore victory, at least one earned on the vice president’s own terms. “Clinton felt it was really important for Gore to succeed him to burnish his legacy,” said a top White House official. “That was the main reason, and by that logic it was difficult for Clinton to contemplate any campaign strategy that departed from him as the center of attention. He couldn’t live with that.”

Bill’s personal agendas created complications for Gore that grew worse over time. The tensions centered on the Lewinsky scandal and Bill’s past womanizing, which Gore and his advisers believed had alienated independent voters--especially the soccer moms, who stood for traditional values.

Source: For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith, p. X Oct 23, 2007

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Other candidates on Principles & Values: Bill Clinton on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Mar 16, 2014