The Survivor

The Survivor

Bill Clinton in the White House

Book - 2005
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The definitive account of one of the most accomplished, controversial, and polarizing figures in American history Bill Clinton is the most arresting leader of his generation. He transformed American politics, and his eight years as president spawned arguments that continue to resonate. For all that has been written about this singular personality--including Clinton's own massive autobiography--there has been no comprehensive, nonpartisan overview of the Clinton presidency. Few writers are as qualified and equipped to tackle this vast subject as the award-winning veteran Washington Post correspondent John F. Harris, who covered Clinton for six of his eight years in office--as long as any reporter for a major newspaper. In The Survivor, Harris frames the historical debate about President William Jefferson Clinton, by revealing the inner workings of the Clinton White House and providing the first objective analysis of Clinton's leadership and its consequences. Harris shows Clinton entering the Oval Office in 1993 primed to make history. But with the Cold War recently concluded and the country coming off a nearly uninterrupted generation of Republican presidents, the new president's entry into this maelstrom of events was tumultuous. His troubles were exacerbated by the habits, personal contacts, and the management style, he had developed in his years as governor of Arkansas. Clinton's enthusiasm and temper were legendary, and he and Hillary Rodham Clinton--whose ambitions and ordeals also fill these pages--arrived filled with mistrust about many of the characters who greeted them in the "permanent Washington" that often holds the reins in the nation's capital. Showing surprising doggedness and a deep-set desire to govern from the middle, Clinton repeatedly rose to the challenges; eventually winning over (or running over) political adversaries on both sides of the aisle--sometimes facing as much skepticism from fellow Democrats as from his Republican foes. But as Harris shows in his accounts of political debacles such as the attempted overhaul of health care, Clinton's frustrations in the war against terrorism, and the numerous personal controversies that time and again threatened to consume his presidency, Bill Clinton could never manage to outrun his tendency to favor conciliation over clarity, or his own destructive appetites. The Survivor is the best kind of history, a book filled with major revelations--the tense dynamic of the Clinton inner circle and Clinton's professional symbiosis with Al Gore to the imprint of Clinton's immense personality on domestic and foreign affairs--as well as the minor details that leaven all great political narratives. This long-awaited synthesis of the dominant themes, events, and personalities of the Clinton years will stand as the authoritative and lasting work on the Clinton Presidency.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2005
ISBN: 9780375508479
Characteristics: xxxi, 504 p. : ill


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Oct 04, 2016

[I read this quite some time ago, and wasn't planning on commenting, but since it is in the book queue. . . .]
The Library Journal says: // Harris lauds him for deficit reduction, large-scale job creation, and an engaging populist style that connected with the public \\
Large-scale job creation???? Huuuuuuh . . . about full-time jobs which last more than a year? Epic fail for Clinton!
So let us review the facts [WaPo reporters really despise those pesky things!]:
Clinton, before president, accepts free office space from the world's richest private bank [private equity firm], the Blackstone Group, to solicit donations to his presidential campaign.
Bill will later appoint the founder of the Blackstone Group, Peter G. Peterson [long an advocate for ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and offshoring all jobs], to his commission to // end welfare as we know it \\, i.e., TANF, ending cash payments which dramatically increases drug dealing in jobless inner city 'hoods, which greatly increases the populations in private prisons, which the Clintons are promoting.
And then there's . . . .
Telecommunications Act of 1996 to colossally concentrate media control;
REIT Modernization Act, a necessary ingredient to the MERS criminal conspiracy;
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act - - killing Glass-Steagall and giving the banks control over the securities markets;
Commodity Futures Modernization Act - - the giant loophole of loopholes, killing oversight on credit derivatives and setting the stage for the global economic meltdown and the largest asset transfer in history, $23 trillion from the 99 percent to the 1 percent!
Now why do I take issue with this WaPo dude . . .
And, oh yeah, welcoming the Taliban to America!

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