Presidential scholars, former and current policymakers, and a former president bring varied insights and analyses to consider the impact, influence, and legacy of the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton, the “'New Democrat' from Hope, Arkansas."
In the eight years between 1993 and 2001, the Clinton White House presided over a booming economy that included a budget surplus in Clinton’s second term, oversaw the most significant welfare reform since the New Deal, and wrestled with the challenge of developing a foreign-policy vision for the post–Cold War era.
Structurally, the Clinton presidency expanded the office and responsibilities of the First Lady and the Vice President to an unprecedented degree, prevailed in a budget battle with Congress that included two government shutdowns, briefly employed a line-item veto until the Supreme Court declared that power unconstitutional, and endured the second impeachment of the chief executive in American history.
The evolution and consequences of the increased power held by modern presidents became sharply evident during the Clinton years. In The Clinton Presidency and the Constitutional System, based on the Eleventh Presidential Conference at Hofstra University, readers are afforded a unique combination of scholarly analysis and the perspectives of former administration officials. Students and scholars of the presidency will glean important understandings from the balanced, judicious studies of the Clinton administration and their juxtaposition with firsthand recollections of some of the participants who defined and shaped those events.
Introduction: Reclaiming the "vital center" in American politics through the Clinton presidency / Meena Bose -- pt. I. Evaluating the Clinton presidency -- How to evaluate a president / Bill Clinton -- Breaking into a conservative era / Sidney Blumenthal -- Clinton the survivor / John F. Harris -- Bill Clinton's early days / David Maraniss -- Clinton, Congress, and the presidency / James P. Pfiffner -- A president not yet ready to be history / Ted Widmer -- pt. II. Organizing the Clinton presidency -- The role of Chief of Staff / Leon E. Panetta -- Clinton as fearless leader / John Podesta -- Finding the vital center: the Clinton White House / Shirley Anne Warshaw -- Reshaping the model: Clinton, Gore, and the new vice presidency / Joel K. Goldstein -- pt. III. Constitutional powers of the presidency -- Bill Clinton, the constitution, and the war power / David Gray Adler -- Bill Clinton and unilateral executive power / Ryan J. Barilleaux and Christopher Kelley -- Clinton, the constitution, and presidential power: his legacy for the office of the president / Nancy Kassop -- pt. IV. Impeachment -- Impeachment and the independent counsel: collision in the Capitol / Ken Gormley -- The Clinton impeachment: politics and public law / Richard M. Pious -- Assessing the impeachment of President Clinton from a post-9/11 perspective / Susan Low Bloch -- Bill Clinton and the character factor in perspective / James P. Pfiffner -- The view from Capitol Hill / Peter King -- The view from the White House / Lanny J. Davis -- pt. V. The presidency in the system of checks and balances -- Economic policymaking and political learning: legislative leadership and the rhetorical presidency / M. Stephen Weatherford and Lorraine M. McDonnell -- The White House Office of Legislative Affairs / Howard G. Paster -- Confirmation politics: Clinton, Congress, and the appointment of federal judges / John Anthony Maltese -- President Clinton's Supreme Court appointments / Roger K. Newman.