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4. How did the issue of Clinton's character affect his political career?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about how the issue of Clinton's character affected his political career, focusing in particular on: (i) the centrality of 'character' in assessments of the presidency of John F. Kennedy; (ii) the different treatment of politicians' personal lives in the media in the 1960s and the 1990s; (iii) the four scandals that Clinton endured during his presidential campaign in 1992 and during this presidency: his alleged drug-use at Oxford, the Whitewater scandal, his alleged avoidance of military service in Vietnam, and the series of sex scandals: Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky. etc.; (iv) the limited political impact of the first two of these; (v) the truth behind the allegations that Clinton was a 'draft dodger', and the impact this had in his political career; (vi) the limited impact of Clinton's earlier sex scandals (Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones), but the huge impact of the Monica Lewinsky scandal; and (vii) the extent to which the media and the political classes cared more about the Monica Lewinsky scandal than the American people.
In this course, Professor Mark White (Queen Mary, University of London) explores the life, political career and presidency of Bill Clinton through five key questions: (1) How did Clinton rise to power?; (2) Why did Clinton win the 1992 presidential election?; (3) What was the significance of Clinton's image?; (4) How did the issue of Clinton's character affect his political career?; and (5) How successful was Clinton as a presidential policymaker?
Mark White is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London, specialising in US foreign policy in the Cold War and the US presidency since 1945. His recent publications include Against the President: Dissent and Decision-Making in the White House (2007) and The Presidency of Bill Clinton: The Legacy of a New Domestic and Foreign Policy (2012)
Cite this Lecture
White, M. (2021, March 15). The Presidency of Bill Clinton, 1993-2001 - How did the issue of Clinton's character affect his political career? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-bill-clinton-1993-2001/how-did-the-issue-of-clinton-s-character-affect-his-political-career
White, Mark. "The Presidency of Bill Clinton, 1993-2001 – How did the issue of Clinton's character affect his political career?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Mar 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-presidency-of-bill-clinton-1993-2001/how-did-the-issue-of-clinton-s-character-affect-his-political-career