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| | |-+  How will Bill Clinton be remembered?
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Author Topic: How will Bill Clinton be remembered?  (Read 1982 times)
DevotedDemocrat
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« on: April 18, 2013, 05:04:41 am »
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Right now, Clinton enjoys a status as one of the most popular ex-Presidents ever. At least among my generation (I'm 22) Clinton is something of a rockstar meets politician; People my age feel he was the best President at least of their lifetimes if not the best in decades. In polls I've conducted on other forums, I've seen him beating Reagan as the best President of the modern era--with only FDR and TR beating him.

That said, as time goes by, do you think Clinton's era will continue to be as fondly remembered as it is now; Will he be remembered in history as a "great President" and come to be beloved over time as a nostalgic figure in the way Ike is remembered more than 50 years later, as being one of the icons of his era?

Or do you think with time, say in 2051 (50 years after he left office), he'll be sort of forgotten the way many of the 19th century Presidents or more modern Presidents like Taft are?
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2013, 09:36:54 am »
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If anything, Clinton will be remembered negatively for his actions that led us to the Great Recession. Plus I doubt he'll get high marks for implementing NAFTA, PNTR with China, ignoring the genocide going on in Rwanda, missing OBL more than once, and other terrible things his administration was complicit in, like the Welfare 'Reform' Act of 1996, the Telecommunications Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright act, the Defense of Marriage Act, or creating Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

The further away his administration gets, the worse it looks. The idea that this man will be remembered as a progressive is also very dubious. If anything, the history books of 2050 will have a section called the 'Second Gilded Age' that starts with Reagan and includes Clinton.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 11:26:05 am »
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He'll be remembered as a good president, but he'll lose the rockstar status as the generations pass. If anything, I see Clinton's administration being brought up more for the Lewinsky scandal and his impeachment than anything else by the end of the 21st century (assuming future presidents learned from his lesson and avoid it).
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 11:46:27 am »
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Well, if anything I think his presidency will be remembered for scandal. Clinton had one of the most salacious scandal ridden presidencies in recent history- Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Vince Foster's death, Travelgate, Whitewater and of course Monica Lewinsky. However, I think Clinton will be able to escape some of the blame as it has become clear that he had enemies who stopped at nothing to destroy him, even if it meant cooking up false scandals, which many of them were. While people will obviously remember the Lewinsky scandal far into the future, I think people will think of it as more of a witch hunt and a lesson in Republican hypocrisy than a personal failing of Bill Clinton. Think about it- in 1998 the Lewinsky scandal was shocking because it was the one of the first times a political sex scandal really blew up. But now we live in the internet age- many politicians have been caught with their pants down since Lewinsky and many many more will in the future thanks to technology that makes it harder to cover these things up. As this happens more and more we will become desensitized to it and wonder why in the hell a president was IMPEACHED for something that happens all the time.

I can't speak for the political aspects of his presidency. Again, I think he will also escape some of the blame for deregulation as people will note that Clinton had to deal with a GOP congress for six years and his hands were often tied. The brightest spot will be all the great work he did in his post presidency. Since he left office relatively young, he has had a lot of time to do great work and he will certainly be commended on that. I think he'll have sort of a "president to the world" reputation for that.

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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 12:11:22 pm »
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As Hillary Clinton's husband.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 12:46:12 pm »
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For his impeachment, but he'll get a good overall write-up in the history books and won't likely be over-rated like he is now.

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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 01:25:20 pm »
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A man who performed way below his potential - sort of like Obama might well be remembered.
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2013, 02:08:16 pm »
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The last great president.
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2013, 02:10:45 pm »
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The Eisenhower of his era sounds about right to me.
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 02:40:07 pm »
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Hopefully he'll still have the positive legacy he has today, at least on most policy matters.
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 03:06:28 pm »
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A moderate Democratic neoliberal who had an affair. He'll probably come up in the context of trivia questions on impeachment.
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 03:19:51 pm »
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Most presidents are remembered more positively when they're long gone than when they're alive, aren't they?  Unless news of a major crime comes out, I think his legacy will be very bright.
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2013, 04:50:23 pm »
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A man who performed way below his potential - sort of like Obama might well be remembered.

What was his potential? And what is Obama's?
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 05:24:14 pm »
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'50s nostalgia peaked in the '70s, I wonder of '90s nostalgia will peak this decade.
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 05:49:22 pm »
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90s nostalgia is the worst.
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 05:55:50 pm »
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'50s nostalgia peaked in the '70s, I wonder of '90s nostalgia will peak this decade.

Almost certainly, as the mid-00's 80's nostalgia drove me nuts. Remember that 1985 song?

As for the topic, I think Clinton will be remembered fondly, though with detractors. Somewhere around the 15 mark on a ranked list.
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2013, 12:20:16 am »
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A better Republican President than Obama.
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2013, 08:41:25 am »
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Most presidents are remembered more positively when they're long gone than when they're alive, aren't they?  Unless news of a major crime comes out, I think his legacy will be very bright.

For 20th century Presidents, there tends to be a certain amount of regressing to the mean. I suspect Clinton's stock will go down somewhat over time. He'll still be remembered positively though.
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2013, 09:09:59 am »
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Neocon, at least he will by me
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« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2013, 11:41:42 am »
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Interesting there has been more criticism by Democrats than Republicans here.
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2013, 12:01:18 pm »
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Neocon, at least he will by me

Perhaps, but much less so than Obama or Bush, obviously.

I think Clinton will be looked at fairly favorably, in spite of the fiscal crisis roots.
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2013, 12:06:49 pm »
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A man who performed way below his potential - sort of like Obama might well be remembered.

What was his potential? And what is Obama's?

Clinton had an encyclopedic knowledge about almost everything, and a fantastic gift of persuasion, and with more discipline and courage could have cut some of the Gordian Knots that hold us back. Obama with his tremendous influence with the African American community, and young people, and also a good ability to persuade, could have done the same. So far in my view he hasn't. Thus the grand bargain needed to get us out of the box, which both sides want so much, continues to elude us.
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2013, 01:23:42 pm »
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A man who performed way below his potential - sort of like Obama might well be remembered.

What was his potential? And what is Obama's?

Clinton had an encyclopedic knowledge about almost everything, and a fantastic gift of persuasion, and with more discipline and courage could have cut some of the Gordian Knots that hold us back. Obama with his tremendous influence with the African American community, and young people, and also a good ability to persuade, could have done the same. So far in my view he hasn't. Thus the grand bargain needed to get us out of the box, which both sides want so much, continues to elude us.

I think you're overstating what both were capable of in terms of actual governance. They're both brilliant, sure, but Clinton dealt with six years of a Republican congress and Obama is stuck in the most vile political environment since Abraham Lincoln was elected.
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2013, 01:27:26 pm »
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A man who performed way below his potential - sort of like Obama might well be remembered.

What was his potential? And what is Obama's?

Clinton had an encyclopedic knowledge about almost everything, and a fantastic gift of persuasion, and with more discipline and courage could have cut some of the Gordian Knots that hold us back. Obama with his tremendous influence with the African American community, and young people, and also a good ability to persuade, could have done the same. So far in my view he hasn't. Thus the grand bargain needed to get us out of the box, which both sides want so much, continues to elude us.

I think you're overstating what both were capable of in terms of actual governance. They're both brilliant, sure, but Clinton dealt with six years of a Republican congress and Obama is stuck in the most vile political environment since Abraham Lincoln was elected.

Pity they didn't try so we could find out, no?
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2013, 01:37:11 pm »
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"Try"? Clinton blew all of his political capital early on from overplaying his hand and Obama's ascension naturally coincided with the Tea Party uprising. That helps my argument, and Obama's first few years were certainly that of an active administration.

Clinton was accomplished at working with a Republican Congress, but he was never going to be some liberal icon. I don't know many people who think Obama was capable of being the next FDR just because he's highly intelligent and a great orator.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 01:41:30 pm by BluegrassBlueVote »Logged

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