President Bill Clinton Essay
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Bill Clinton William Jefferson Clinton succeeded where no other Democrat since Franklin had. He was re-elected to a second term as President. Clinton also proved most of his critics wrong, surviving the personal scandals that came about. During his presidency, Clinton broke promises and failed in certain areas, but he still had support of the American people. Even after his affair with Monica Lewinsky, the people still wanted him in office. They liked what he was doing for the country and supported him no matter what. Bill Clinton was an important president in American history, even through his personal scandals and broken promises.
William Jefferson Clinton, now known as Bill Clinton, was born on August 19, 1946. He spent the…show more content…
Clinton met his future wife, Hillary Rodham, when he moved back to Arkansas. The two of them got married in 1975. Not long after he moved back to Arkansas, Clinton threw himself into politics by running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives against Republican John Paul Hammerschmidt. Even though Clinton lost this 1974 race, it was Hammerschmidt's closest election in the twenty-six years he had been in Congress (Dumas 2). This election showed that Clinton was a rising political star.
Two years after his defeat, Clinton was elected as state attorney general of Arkansas. Then, in 1978, at the age of thirty-two, Clinton ran for governor. It was an easy victory for Clinton, and it made him one of the nation's youngest governors ever. Even though this was a big step for Clinton, his young age and inexperience quickly left the Arkansas population unimpressed. Governor Clinton had several problems during his term and did several things that the people of Arkansas didn't agree with. Consequently, the voters elected Frank White instead of him in the next election. White was a little known, new Republican businessman who switched parties just to run against Clinton. Now Clinton was the youngest former governor in American history (Dumas 3).
Shocked by his defeat, Clinton went to work for a Little Rock law firm. While at the law firm, he spent a great deal of his time campaigning for reelection. In the 1982 race, Clinton admitted his mistakes and used
Gloria Steinem would not mount the same vigorous defence of Bill Clinton today that she offered in a controversial 1998 article that downplayed accusations of harassment against the then president, the feminist icon has told the Guardian.
But Steinem said she did not regret writing the New York Times article in the first place.
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“We have to believe women. I wouldn’t write the same thing now because there’s probably more known about other women now. I’m not sure,” she said on the red carpet of an annual comedy benefit for the Ms Foundation for Women, of which she is a founder.
“What you write in one decade you don’t necessarily write in the next. But I’m glad I wrote it in that decade.”
It was her first extended comment on the op-ed since it became fodder for a revitalized debate about the string of sexual misconduct claims against Clinton, and the political forces that helped him survive them.
“If all the sexual allegations now swirling around the White House turn out to be true, President Clinton may be a candidate for sex addiction therapy,” read Steinem’s 1998 essay, titled Feminists and the Clinton Question.
But, “even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb and reckless pass,” she continued. “President Clinton took ‘no’ for an answer.”
Her words have come under scrutiny amid a national reckoning over sexual harassment and renewed questions about whether the multiple accusations should have doomed Clinton’s presidency.
At the time of her letter, former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones was suing Clinton for sexual harassment, and Kathleen Willey had just given an interview to 60 Minutes about Clinton making an unwanted sexual advance.
Clinton, Willey claimed, kissed her on the mouth during a private meeting to discuss job opportunities. She pushed back away from him, she claimed, and he touched her breasts and placed her hand on his erect penis.
The gravest allegation came one year later, when former campaign volunteer Juanita Broaddrick accused Clinton of rape. Clinton has always denied non-consensual sexual contact.
Steinem’s op-ed has been held up as a prime example of how Democrats and their allies reflexively rallied to Clinton’s defense, an argument made most forcefully by the writer Caitlin Flanagan in the Atlantic.
“It slut-shamed, victim-blamed and age-shamed; it urged compassion for and gratitude to the man the women accused,” Flanagan wrote. “The notorious 1998 New York Times op-ed by Gloria Steinem must surely stand as one of the most regretted public actions of her life.”
But if those regrets exist, they are not Steinem’s.
“I’m glad I wrote it at the time,” she said. “Because the danger then was we were about to lose sexual harassment law because it was being applied to extramarital sex, free will, extramarital sex, as with Monica Lewinsky.”
Clinton had an affair with Lewinsky but both agree it was consensual.
Steinem appears to have been referring to the bruising legal battle that began when Jones, a former Arkansas state clerk, sued Clinton, then the sitting president, for sexual harassment. Jones claimed Clinton in his role as Arkansas’s governor summoned her to his hotel room, where he touched her, tried to kiss her, dropped his pants and asked for oral sex.
A judge later dismissed Jones’s case, saying Clinton’s alleged behavior, while “boorish and offensive”, did not meet the legal definition of sexual harassment.
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In her op-ed, Steinem was even more generous toward Clinton.
“Clinton seems to have made a clumsy sexual pass, then accepted rejection,” Steinem wrote, adding “there appears to be little evidence” of Jones suffering psychological damage.
Steinem’s thinking on Jones and her accusations seems unchanged today.
Asked if Jones’s accusation amounted to something other than a “free will” encounter, Steinem replied, “Paula Jones, in spite of all the pressures on her, said very clearly, ‘He said to me, I wouldn’t want you to do anything you don’t want to do.’ That was part of her testimony.
“The problem at the time was, the sexual harassment law was in danger,” she said. “If Clinton had resigned, that would have endangered the law.”