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How is Bill Clinton's presidency perceived in the US today?

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Big Nikus

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From here in France he seemed cool. And his uncontrollable laugh with Boris Yelstin aired in every "best funny moments" shows on TV. I think it still does sometimes.
https://youtu.be/vHfbpL0NDmw

A legit great and weird moment though. The Cold War had ended not so long ago, and here they are, laughing their arses off.
 

Madness

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Jan 1, 2013
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People tend to forget two things when it comes to Bill's presidency in that he took office right at the cusp of the total collapse of communism, the fast rise of globalization etc. A lot of the positive economic aspects would have been seen in republican or democratic presidencies.

And then what they really forget is that one of his last acts in office was granting China most favored nation status and allowing them entry to the WTO. Numerous economists and advisers stated it would collapse US manufacturing and flood the world with cheap Chinese exports. That is exactly what happened. Forget NAFTA, this singular act allowed China to achieve unprecedented economic growth to the point where in less than 5 years they will be the de facto largest world economy.

He was just as much a stooge to the military industrial complex and corporations as every other president. Just he wasn't a complete pushover like Dubya. The intervention and bombing of Yugoslavia to achieve the goals of what Europw wanted but standing by while the genocide in Rwanda happens etc.
 

Torokil

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He did a lot of social welfare cutting and deregulation that fucked us down the line. People remember him fondly because it was the brief intermediate period between the Cold War and 9/11. Our biggest problems back then were guessing which Western Team MJ would destroy in the finals.
 

Frozenprince

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Sep 26, 2013
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Crack epidemic didn't exist or you believe the government was involved with the crack epidemic? Because there absolutely was a crack epidemic in the 80's and early 90's. The numbers don't lie on that.

https://www.corwin.com/sites/defaul...Reader___Chp_3_The_Crack_Attack_Final_Pdf.pdf

There wasn't an epidemic. Usage rates of cocaine and usage rates of crack don't malign, it didn't become an epidemic until the fed instituted disproportionate sentencing laws in order to combat the "threat" that never really existed.

http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/fryer/files/fhlm_crack_cocaine_0.pdf

This Harvard study found that most youth asked about crack cocaine usage who admitted to usage shows that the rates actually peaked in the late 90's, not the mid/late 80's and early 90's. Usage grew as the drug became introduced as a cheap alternative to cocaine, the rich mans drug, that was affordable to the street level junky. The rates have plateaued and remained relatively steady and stable since 1989, before the Bush administration began its crack war crackdowns. Meth's usage rate over the last 20 years has mirrored the growth and impact of crack almost 1/1 and yet nobody has called that an "epidemic".

There was no epidemic. It was a scare tactic designed to target the disproportionately poor, primarily black, users in order to clean up the streets and the inner city to drive down crime rates and fill the prison systems longer over time.
 

leroidys

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Dec 14, 2008
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Yes what? You are analyzing him from the perspective of an ideologue in modern times with the hindsight of history and ignoring numerous aspects of context one typically uses when evaluating persons of history.

So sure, you are giving the perspective of the short-sighted lazy liberal ideologues that attempt to view history through narrow prisms of ideology. Which does have its value to some extent. However that is neither a well rounded analysis nor does it answer the question of the OP that you are suddenly so concerned with.

Speaking of worthless, how about unsolicited drive-by claims of me being an ideologue for making such a tepid judgement as "it's hard to like his presidency", backed up by several specific negative aspects of his legacy?

It's not ancient history. The man left office 15 years ago. But please, enlighten us with your brilliant, balanced analysis, or lay off of the drive-by, judgemental shitposts.
 

Waddle Dee

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Jun 3, 2013
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When I was in kindergarten Bill Clinton visited my school and he pointed and saluted at me when I saluted at him. I was too young at the time to think anything other than "Oh wow, it's the man in the white house!". Looking back, he was alright. Obama's the best president I've had in my short lifetime, tho.
 

massoluk

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Dec 19, 2011
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The crime laws
War on drugs
Free trade deals
Glass Steagall repeal

It's pretty hard to like his presidency as a liberal.

Let's not pretends that these achievements were at that time not popular consensus, liberal or conservative.

Particularly the crime laws were endorsed by BLACK COMMUNITY

Well, yeah, it didn't work, but it's not like he went there to wreck the black people without their agreements
 

Eppy Thatcher

God's had his chance.
Jun 18, 2011
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I remember the man and times and the country under his presidency fondly. All good times.

As I grow older and look more into his politics and decision making there are things that crop up that make you shake your head. A little too willing to just fall into established BS. continuing the war on drugs/3 strikes bullshit and such like that.

Mostly what I've taken away via Clinton and Obama vs the Bush fam is that i can actually relate to the former and actively dislike (for various reasons) the latter. It has tended to make me think along the lines of "Who would i want to speak for me in a conversation with other leaders of the world" as a main factor in who i vote for.

To that end - i wish Obama could be president for life cause fuck meng.... i just wanna like... chill on a beach and drink beer/smoke j's with that dude.
 

Diablos

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Bill had the potential to be a progressive President but the Republican Revolution of 94 had to make him think on his feet, Dems lost the House after decades of control and it was a kick in the gut to the entire party. Not to mention the Republicans ushered in and their antics have lingering effects to this day that contribute to the extreme right-wing politics that continue to poison Congress and our political discourse.

He was a good President on a lot of things like foreign policy and improving the economy, certainly his SCOTUS Justices are great, but on many other things he basically rolled over for the GOP. I guess he didn't really have a choice and it's not like he had a huge accomplishment like the Affordable Care Act to defend. Hillary tried really hard to get universal health care done and it did not go over well at all.
 

Xe4

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https://www.corwin.com/sites/defaul...Reader___Chp_3_The_Crack_Attack_Final_Pdf.pdf

There wasn't an epidemic. Usage rates of cocaine and usage rates of crack don't malign, it didn't become an epidemic until the fed instituted disproportionate sentencing laws in order to combat the "threat" that never really existed.

http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/fryer/files/fhlm_crack_cocaine_0.pdf

This Harvard study found that most youth asked about crack cocaine usage who admitted to usage shows that the rates actually peaked in the late 90's, not the mid/late 80's and early 90's. Usage grew as the drug became introduced as a cheap alternative to cocaine, the rich mans drug, that was affordable to the street level junky. The rates have plateaued and remained relatively steady and stable since 1989, before the Bush administration began its crack war crackdowns. Meth's usage rate over the last 20 years has mirrored the growth and impact of crack almost 1/1 and yet nobody has called that an "epidemic".

There was no epidemic. It was a scare tactic designed to target the disproportionately poor, primarily black, users in order to clean up the streets and the inner city to drive down crime rates and fill the prison systems longer over time.
Meth is called an epidemic all the time. Other than. That I mostly agree with the post.
 

Jonm1010

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Feb 13, 2005
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Speaking of worthless, how about unsolicited drive-by claims of me being an ideologue for making such a tepid judgement as "it's hard to like his presidency", backed up by several specific negative aspects of his legacy?

It's not ancient history. The man left office 15 years ago. But please, enlighten us with your brilliant, balanced analysis, or lay off of the drive-by, judgemental shitposts.

There is nothing "shitpost" about pointing out vapid historical analysis and telling you why it is such.

And I am not sure what other word you want to use for someone that evaluates history entirely by how well they adhere to their strict present day ideological dogma.
 
Bill had the potential to be a progressive President but the Republican Revolution of 94 had to make him think on his feet, Dems lost the House after decades of control and it was a kick in the gut to the entire party. Not to mention the Republicans ushered in and their antics have lingering effects to this day that contribute to the extreme right-wing politics that continue to poison Congress and our political discourse.

Clinton was never going to be a "progressive". He was the chair of the DLC just before his presidency. The Republican sweep helped him pass a lot of policies he and the people around him had been toying with for years prior.
 

Fury451

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probably mostly good but for me pretty damn bad

dude out reagan'd reagan in many respects

This is pretty accurate to me too. I don't hold his presidency in high regard really, but thr 90s were such a positive time on the surface that it's easy to forget a lot of the long term outcomes.

A lot of people overlook the devastation done to the justice system and how that has affected minority families, albeit unintentionally.
 

eyeball_kid

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Jul 25, 2011
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Good and Bad

Good and the short term for the country over all.

But now the long term affect got more people second guessing.

- Dont ask dont tell
- Defense of marriage act
- NAFTA
- "Tough on Crime" laws
- War on Drugs expansion
- Welfare reform
- Glass-Steagall Act repeal


there where positives, dont get me wrong, but yeah, His presidency, for me, is largely questionable in hindsight

Don't forget that Bill also lobbied hard to get China into the WTO. He couldn't get it done (Bush 43 did), but he did normalize trade relations with China which paved the way for WTO entry. His view (or at least his public rationale) was that opening free trade with China would encourage democratic and human rights reforms in China, but this has not come to pass and instead has decimated manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

President Clinton is very intelligent, charismatic, and a great orator, but many of his actions helped put this country into the mess of domestic issues we now face, including the financial crisis. I guess one of the few positive things I can say is that he didn't get us into any major wars. And the fact that he worked in a bi-partisan way with Congress and had a budget surplus (which Bush quickly squandered).
 

Officerrob

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Extremely overrated. Beloved because of his natural charisma and being fortunate enough to be in office during the tech boom. He was an incredible campaigner though
 

Wowfunhappy

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I'm too young to remember, but my parents have always spoken very, very highly of him.

They're staunch democrats, though.
 

A Human Becoming

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It's held as a high regard in the States too. If he ran for office again he would likely win because of how well the economy fared under his administration.
Even though the president has little influence over the economy. It's too complex to give anyone real credit.

Between the tough welfare reform, the crime bill, the sex scandal and in action with the Rwanda genocide hasn't left me feeling so great about it.
 

leroidys

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There is nothing "shitpost" about pointing out vapid historical analysis and telling you why it is such.

OP: How is Bill Clinton viewed in the US today?
Me: As a liberal in the US, here are my issues with his presidency...
Terrible poster/General asshole Jonm1010: Your post is worthless, and your opinion invalid.

I didn't provide a comprehensive chronicling of his presidency from an historical perspective because that's not what my post was intended to do, and it's not what the OP asked.


And I am not sure what other word you want to use for someone that evaluates history entirely by how well they adhere to their strict present day ideological dogma.
Jesus dude. Calm down. I am not an idealogue. My entire historical and political perspective is not distilled in those 5 lines that I posted.
 

Jonm1010

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I remember the man and times and the country under his presidency fondly. All good times.

As I grow older and look more into his politics and decision making there are things that crop up that make you shake your head. A little too willing to just fall into established BS. continuing the war on drugs/3 strikes bullshit and such like that.

Mostly what I've taken away via Clinton and Obama vs the Bush fam is that i can actually relate to the former and actively dislike (for various reasons) the latter. It has tended to make me think along the lines of "Who would i want to speak for me in a conversation with other leaders of the world" as a main factor in who i vote for.

To that end - i wish Obama could be president for life cause fuck meng.... i just wanna like... chill on a beach and drink beer/smoke j's with that dude.

I think it is important to remember certain historical contexts.

1992 is less then a decade removed from the Reagan revolution. A major final pivot of a previously long, slow shift that turned the FDR era of politics into a negative on a large enough scale that Democrats felt they had to distance themselves to win by 92. The label of "liberal" helped sink two Democratic nominees in a row.

Clinton IMO was a perfect Democratic candidate for that era, personal issues aside, because he was able to fit in as a perfect competitor to Reaganism in an era where Reaganism still had an infectious hold on American political thought despite the recession.

When you start unpacking most of Clinton's decisions that modern liberals tend to hold against him, they tend to ignore the context surrounding how and why they happened and selectively ignore some of the details. And I said it on the last page but it is wise to ask the question "compared to what?" Take NAFTA, where it was largely an already done deal but Clinton was able to put in environmental protections(thats putting aside the economic argument that i think liberals are largely wrong on in many ways) that otherwise would of been absent.

Or Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Clinton ran on a campaign of allowing service men and woman the ability to openly serve. Once president he met congressional opposition, majority public opposition and mounting pressures from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to maintain the outright ban. That is the ugly side of progress, expecting ideal policy all at once is unrealistic. Clinton took a compromise. An ugly one. On the other hand he also was able to appoint Supreme court justices that would later be pivotal in legalizing gay marriage decades later. Had Clinton not been elected, had Clinton been HW Bush, you are probably pushing back progress on gay marriage to the present day. So in the "compared to what" question, without Clinton gays would likely still be banned for decades, pushing back progress on that front, and gay marriage would still be an ongoing, unfinished fight.
 

TyrantII

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Let's not pretends that these achievements were at that time not popular consensus, liberal or conservative.

Particularly the crime laws were endorsed by BLACK COMMUNITY

Well, yeah, it didn't work, but it's not like he went there to wreck the black people without their agreements

It was also the rise of the modern obstructionists GOP.

People forget that this sort of disfunction and anti-legitimization was brand new back then. Gingrich steamrolled Clinton and it looked like he was going to be a failed one term president only weeks after taking office.

He had to find a way to get things done differently than what most Democrats would have wanted or liked. In some ways the opposition was even worse than what Obama has put up with.
 
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Was Bill Clinton more conservative than Reagan? I need to look at more of their policies, but I think he was.

Bill Clinton long-term effects had bad effects on our economy, so I'm not a fan of his even though he's one of the most charming president we ever had.
 

Jonm1010

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Feb 13, 2005
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OP: How is Bill Clinton viewed in the US today?
Me: As a liberal in the US, here are my issues with his presidency...
Terrible poster/General asshole Jonm1010: Your post is worthless, and your opinion invalid.

I didn't provide a comprehensive chronicling of his presidency from an historical perspective because that's not what my post was intended to do, and it's not what the OP asked.




Jesus dude. Calm down.

My post is not that far back. You can go read what it actually said instead of relying on your perversion of it.

The OP was simple, it asked how the US views Clinton. You offered up your personal view of him based on how he adheres to your personal interpretation of liberal ideology. You used the OP as a jumping off point to list off out of context reasons you personally don't like him. Which is not what the OP asked. So don't try and play that card.

I then offered up why that is a short sighted analysis of Clinton or history in general. You seem incapable of dealing with constructive criticism and started getting short so now we are here.
 

Heaven Shard

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I think he is one of the best presidents. I haven't talked with anyone that didn't like him. He left office with a country in a surplus and fantastic foreign relations and perception. Some problems with business laws for big companies, I think, but I'm not sure. Kid Bush tanked things HARD. I still can't believe he was elected again.

I am very hopeful with the Clintons taking office again and I think the world is too (san some idiotic backwards parrot chants about her not being from your team. I wish US politics grew out of 'my team' mentality to 'my country').

I have never cared (even when I was younger) about secual activity by others. Even as a younger person, I was confused at how 'childish' the news was acting about it. Years later someone told me it was a technicality about lying about something not the thing.
It doesn't have anything to do with his job, so I never cared.
 

leroidys

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Dec 14, 2008
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My post is not that far back. You can go read what it actually said instead of relying on your perversion of it.

The OP was simple, it asked how the US views Clinton. You offered up your personal view of him based on how he adheres to your personal interpretation of liberal ideology. You used the OP as a jumping off point to list off out of context reasons you personally don't like him. Which is not what the OP asked. So don't try and play that card.

I then offered up why that is a short sighted analysis of Clinton or history in general. You seem incapable of dealing with constructive criticism and started getting short so now we are here.

I'm loving the irony of "Anyone who does not answer the OP in a format that I deem acceptable and does not have an opinion I deem acceptable is an ideologue." If you want to keep insulting me, take it to PMs so we can stop shitting up this thread.
 

Jonm1010

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Feb 13, 2005
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I'm loving the irony of "Anyone who does not answer the OP in a format that I deem acceptable and does not have an opinion I deem acceptable is an ideologue." If you want to keep insulting me, take it to PMs so we can stop shitting up this thread.

IDK what you are even going on about now?

I guess you just really hate a term that is defined as: "an adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic."

Which when you offer up an opinion that is stemmed exclusively to how the figure in question matches up to your strict present day ideology, the term seems pretty apt and fitting to describe the way you were analyzing him.
 

Jonm1010

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Feb 13, 2005
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Damn, my dude B.A.P. really got nuked. He had a good point though, Bill's expansion of the War on Drugs and the three strikes policy were disastrous for black communities.

Absolutely they were bad policies with the benefit of hindsight.

How one should judge Clinton for those is a harder question to answer. One I am not sure I have been able to find a final resting place on.
 

Mahonay

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Damn, my dude B.A.P. really got nuked. He had a good point though, Bill's expansion of the War on Drugs and the three strikes policy were disastrous for black communities.
Yeah, those are probably some of the most harmful parts of his tenure. Just the absolute worst decisions in hindsight.

Overall people remember the Clinton years as the good years. It was a pretty prosperous period for a majority of people in America. Unless you're a far right winger, then Bill is the reason everything sucks today and totally not George W. Bush's two disastrous terms.
 

benjipwns

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People forget that this sort of disfunction and anti-legitimization was brand new back then. Gingrich steamrolled Clinton and it looked like he was going to be a failed one term president only weeks after taking office.
Bill Clinton took office with pretty strong Democratic majorities in both houses, his first battle was between the left of the Democratic Party and the still Southern Conservative wing over his budget bill. A hill everyone was willing to war over was regarding home heating fuel taxes. With Gore and the Left battling Bentsen and the Right.

Hillarycare didn't die because of the GOP either, it ran smackdab into incompetence at every level of its task force and internal Democratic opposition. The rest was throwing dirt on the grave.

The early Clinton administration dysfunction combined with the shift of Southerners open to voting Republican is what led to the Republican Revolution and Gingrich and eventually the government shutdown. Years later.

And Gingrich never steamrolled Clinton. Clinton outplayed him constantly.

This wasn't new either. The Democrats openly went to war with Reagan and Bush's various nominees after 1986. As is their right and arguably duty. It has escalated because nobody has failed to not benefit from it.

Was Bill Clinton more conservative than Reagan? I need to look at more of their policies, but I think he was.
what is this i don't even

Absolutely they were bad policies with the benefit of hindsight.

How one should judge Clinton for those is a harder question to answer. One I am not sure I have been able to find a final resting place on.
I find that it's best to judge Presidents on a sliding scale of the two terms before and after their terms. The Bushes on either side of Clinton were worse. (As were the last days of Reagan.) Dole was unlikely to be better. Therefore, Clinton rates out well.

Same thing for Carter really. At least in my opinion.

It all has to be relative because we can't compare Presidents to ideals, but only to each other.

Take all the bad stuff Clinton did. Would Bush/Dole/Bush have done it? Probably yes to 80+% of it. Take the good stuff Clinton did. Would Bush/Dole/Bush have done it? Probably no to a lot of it. And in many cases they would have been worse. Clinton rejected the original welfare reform packages multiple times, W. Bush would have signed the first one, etc.
 

Jonm1010

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I find that it's best to judge Presidents on a sliding scale of the two terms before and after their terms. The Bushes on either side of Clinton were worse. (As were the last days of Reagan.) Dole was unlikely to be better. Therefore, Clinton rates out well.

Same thing for Carter really. At least in my opinion.

It all has to be relative because we can't compare Presidents to ideals, but only to each other.

Take all the bad stuff Clinton did. Would Bush/Dole/Bush have done it? Probably yes to 80+% of it. Take the good stuff Clinton did. Would Bush/Dole/Bush have done it? Probably no to a lot of it. And in many cases they would have been worse. Clinton rejected the original welfare reform packages multiple times, W. Bush would have signed the first one, etc.

That's not a bad rule of thumb. I might add that you may even have to go beyond that to completely evaluate the president's performance/legacy because things like Supreme Court nominees could span decades.

So not only do you have the comparison between his alternatives on something like gay rights, but you wouldn't be wrong in my mind to account for how his appointments played a role decades later in shaping society. Absent Clinton, gay rights likely would not be where they are today....Though assessing things like nominees and their subsequent rulings is a complex animal in itself.
 

benjipwns

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Justices are also tough because many of them "evolve" on the bench in ways that the President nominating them never imagined once they have life tenure. And quite a few Presidents later stated their regret for appointing this justice or that one.

Reagan nominated Kennedy who authored both Lawrence and Obergefell for example. (And O'Connor.)

Bush thought Souter was a conservative.

Any Democrat likely would have appointed justices who voted for gay rights, it'd be iffy if Bush would have appointed any had he got Clinton's two nominees. So it's both kinda a point in Clinton's favor, but not a huge one imo.
 

benjipwns

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From a management perspective Carter was a disaster who wasted half his term because he was trying to be his own chief of staff and refused to talk to Congress.

Otherwise he was certainly less bad than the three guys before him and maybe everyone after him.

The pardon alone was amazing.
 

Ninja Scooter

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From a management perspective Carter was a disaster who wasted half his term because he was trying to be his own chief of staff and refused to talk to Congress.

Otherwise he was certainly less bad than the three guys before him and maybe everyone after him.

The pardon alone was amazing.

I think more along the lines that he was probably the most genuinely good guy we've had as President in modern history? Or at least the closest thing to someone genuinely good. The position seems to come with a lot of warts.
 

benjipwns

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I think more along the lines that he was probably the most genuinely good guy we've had as President in modern history? Or at least the closest thing to someone genuinely good. The position seems to come with a lot of warts.
He was a nuclear engineer too.

Which made it extra odd when he outsourced that issue to his daughter.

He helped the right wing repeal Glass-Steagall, which fucked over so many people its ridiculous.
The fun part will be when you don't explain this link. Or know the history of Glass-Steagall and who got it passed in the first place.
 

Abounder

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I believe in Europe his presidency is generally held in high regard. Does his legacy affect Hillary's campaign in any way? It feels like it is hardly ever talked about.

Mixed is what I'd say. Bill was ranked as both the 3rd worst president since WW2, and the 2nd best according to a 2006 Quinnipiac poll. His legacy sure as hell hasn't helped Hillary reach Obama levels of hype from millennials and minorities but Bush kind of set the bar really, really low anyway.

Personally he's a super Bill Cosby when it comes to tainted legacies or some such. Did a lot of great things but good luck getting the under 35 crowd to be enthused about his scandalous judgment.
 

timetokill

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People were happy at the time because he was basically lucky enough to be president in a time of great prosperity.

A lot of his policies set the stage for the crises we're still dealing with today, though.

Also, I don't particularly care that he was cheating on Hillary, but I care very much that he lied under oath about it.
 

shintoki

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Oct 9, 2007
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It some ways fondly, in some ways not. For the economy, it really did feel like it was the right place and at the right time. Compared to Obama, who had it tank his first year and he needed to work up. Bush right before rose taxes(Got kicked for doing it), while we had an upswing in the economy. Big Tech boom, auto industry bounced back, World development etc. It really was a lucrative time regardless of who would have been in office.

A lot of the social issue too in retrospect were pretty poor, but of course, a lot of those were pushed due to the Republic Congress in 94'. Specifically the stuff to do with War on Drugs and criminalization. I think rates have been falling since 00', but he didn't particularly help the situation at times either.

Now in half the countries eyes, he was a terrible president and in the other half, a fairly solid one. I always thought he was a pretty alright one.
 

benjipwns

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Bill was ranked as both the 3rd worst president since WW2, and the 2nd best according to a 2006 Quinnipiac poll.
One factor in these is that partisans still rank the "last" President as best or worst with no inbetween. Much like NeoGAF.com evaluating video games. Reagan was rated horribly in every single historian poll, and had that massive split in public polls. Bush/Obama have it going on currently.

Now Reagan is generally top 15 among historians/etc. and has fewer people listing him as the worst so he's moved up public rankings too.

Bush right before rose taxes(Got kicked for doing it),
Clinton rose taxes too, right in his first year. "Largest tax increase in history" at the time based on dubious valuations.
 
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