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The Clinton Presidency

Updated on August 14, 2018
Rodric29 profile image

Politico-Socio issues stay ever with us. Gain perspective deciding if these words resonate with your understanding and thinking.


Few presidents in USA history have incensed the public to such a degree that the people demanded that those men relinquish their command and endure the impeachment process.

For decades, the office of president in the United States of America carried with it the distinguishing sentiment of the noblest of moral character—being that the president and his family represent the first of families in the nation: hence, the title First Lady for his wife and First Family for any children included in a marriage union.

In the United States, citizens expect the president to have a wife and maybe children. Americans expect the president to be a model of the nuclear family, which is an American icon of which life should consist for all citizens.

William or Bill Clinton’s private appetites introduced to society the hidden life of the passion of presidents and other leaders. From his indiscretion and impropriety, a new culture of “The Truth about (insert a historical figure’s name here)” asserted itself relegating past national heroes into regular fallible people.

From that initial expose came the “secret” records of a number of past icons in US history.

The idealistic sentiments of the nation diminished with the lack luster statement of President Clinton when he utter the words, “I did not have sex with that woman” on national television and introduced oral copulation to a budding generation of children, including the author.

Former President Bill Clinton violated the public trust in an intangible way that will effect generations in ways that have already and will continue to change the way Americans view politicians—though the lens of cynicism


The Breach of Trust

Monica Lewinski entered former president Clinton’s life during a time of legal controversy. The former president already faced legal issues about his pre-presidential investments and extra-marital encounters now part of US political history—namely the four-year Ken Starr investigation of the Clinton family which helped to publicize the Paula Jones allegation of sexual impropriety.

Clinton and Lewinski participated intimately without the marriage covenant for an estimated 18 months before the affair received attention and use to begin the impeachment process. What Clinton did with Lewinski did receive rave and negative attention worldwide embarrassing the American people; however, his marital indiscretion is not what alone immortalized him as the infamous president.

Lying under oath, his accusers insist, is what lauded the cry of impeachment and further stained the American trust for all American politicians. The impeachable act came to view as the result of ongoing investigation, which eventually included the extra-marital affair. He lied under oath


Presidents Congress put through impeachment proceedings

# of Presidents
Elected and Sitting Presidents
Andrew Johnson
Richard Nixon
Bill Clinton

President Clinton was the only elected president who went through the impeachment process. Johnson was promoted after President Lincoln's assassination and Nixon resigned before the proceedings commenced.

Articles of Impeachment

All the legalism involved in the Clinton saga led to the third impeachment process in US history and the first of an elected president, being that the other two impeachment processes following the Lincoln assassination and Nixon Watergate fiasco, one rose to the presidency from the vice presidency—unelected and the other left office respectively.

The House of Representative voted to impeach the president of the United states regarding “Clinton's minor transgressions” (Linder) as the Judiciary Committee referred to his perjury at the time and detach them “from those [transgressions] that might form the basis for articles of impeachment” (Linder).

As the proceedings continued, the Judiciary Committee agreed to submit four articles upon which impeachment proceedings would rest as decided before the Senate, two of which considered in the actual trial.

The charge against the president as a perjurer was to convince the Senate that the crimes he committed were of a nature as to make him unable to perform the office of president. Because of his perjury, his opponents insisted, according to the Articles of Impeachment quoted by The History Place that he

“has engaged in conduct that resulted in misuse and abuse of his high office, impaired the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, and contravened the authority of the legislative branch and the truth-seeking purpose of a coordinate investigative proceeding….”

Beside the allegations of his impropriety there existed an extreme partisan effort in the House of Representatives to win with an appeal to honor against Clinton’s lawyers as is evident in the closing statement before the Senate of Henry Hyde stating in part “…And now let us all take our place in history on the side of honor, and, oh, yes, let right be done” (Apple Jr.).

The House went through the congressional process to impeach Clinton amid protestations of his political party only to give him a congressional censure because of his perjury—a case that took a sizeable portion of the president’s second term in office.

As Clinton confronted the turmoil in Iraq and relished the prosperity of the economy, the House of Representatives took a bold step to try to impeach a popular president. Opinion polls condemned President Clinton’s actions, but applauded his handling of the country and did not favor as a majority the impeachment process, even if perjury occurred.

What Happened Again?

  • Pre-presidential Scandal (Whitewater Controversy)
  • Sex Scandal (pre-presidential and presidential - Lewinsky and Others)
  • Impeachment for perjury (Acquitted though a majority vote for removal 50 in favor and 17 short of 2/3 majority (67))

His excuse sounds like this—“I didn’t have sexual relations with her. She did with me, because oral sex is not really sex to me.” Ken Starr and the Congressmen thought otherwise.
His excuse sounds like this—“I didn’t have sexual relations with her. She did with me, because oral sex is not really sex to me.” Ken Starr and the Congressmen thought otherwise. | Source

What Do You Think?

Do you think that Bill Clinton betrayed America's TRUST by cheating on his wife and lying under oath?

See results

Resolution of the Process

In order for the completion of the process to occur, the Senate would need to conclude with a majority no less than 67 of the 100 senators, which at the time there were 55 of one party and 45 of the other.

Potentially if the 55 voted for impeachment based on the evidence presented it would take another 12 of the other party to win the day. The process from the beginning hinged on the partisan lines; however, in the Senate, the passionate acridity did not exist among that body.

The Senate ruled with a majority in favor of impeachment without the required 67 votes. The impeachment proceedings ended and the president served the remainder of his term.

The majority of the leaders of the Congress thought to remove Clinton from office for perjury concluding that his statements were high crimes and misdemeanors as purported in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment. Congress did not impeach the president, but the president did perjure himself and suffered no consequences for so doing.

In retrospect, because of the prosperity of the president and the efforts of his supporters, society at large decided to overlook Clinton’s crime of perjury. The damage to the moral fabric of the nation will take time to surface.

Perjury is a crime among the common citizens of the US, but for the elected leaders of the nation, there exists a small window of hope that media influence can win a pardon from the crime—if there is a benefit that outweighs conviction for the guilty.


The History Place, 2000

D.O. Linder

R. W. Apple Jr.

© 2013 Rodric Anthony Johnson


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    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      You are welcome Michelle. I know you get a lot of comments because there are a lot of us following. I appreciate your attention.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you so much for letting me know that. I need to read them :)

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony Johnson 

      8 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Thanks for reading and commenting Michele. Just to let you know, you have bee the inspiration for one of my most popular hubs and all the hubs that have and will spin out of that one I wrote:

      This came about because of your:

      I appreciate that. I have written almost a dozen hubs that I am organizing from that one article you wrote that inspired me.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      8 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for writing this hub. I remember when he lied about it saying " I did not have s-x with that woman"

      Voted up!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for your comments Pamela and D.Williams. D, the is not about what Clinton did in the bedroom alone, but the fact that he lied under oath and got away with it. He then later admitted that he lied and still there were no charges against him. If an average US citizen did that, he or she would have been charged with perjury.

      I do not care about the sex lives of others personally, but I do care about lying under oath and getting away with it. It was embarrassing for me to be overseas when the incident occurred. It was embarrassing having a president in such a scandal. It was injustice for him to get away from perjury. He was a good president. All he had to do was tell the truth from the beginning. He had too may sexual encounters with different women to lie about it and get away with it.

    • d.william profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      If we threw everyone in this country accused of "sex" crimes in jail, we would have to build thousand + more prisons to house the 95% of the population that would be ripe for conviction. This national obsession with the sex lives of others by the religious fanatics is truly obscene.

      Yes, Clinton lied about not "having sex with that woman", but if we looked close enough most presidents and politicians would have some kind of perceived 'scandal' that the righteous think they "should" have been impeached for. The government has no business judging others, or passing any laws regarding their personal brands of morality. These are religious issues and do not belong in government.

      Frankly i was pleased the Mr. Clinton was not impeached for receiving a BJ and lying about it, to save face for himself and his family. It would have opened the door to making this delectable activity some kind of mortal sin issue like the sodomy laws did.

      We need to keep out of the sex lives of others and tend to our own personal business.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I remember all of this happening, but I think Clinton was a popular president also. At least he was wlling to work with both parties and get something done, unlike our current administration. It is certainly a black mark on his record. I also remember many leaders from other countries thinking it was not right to charge Clinton with any crime, because afterall it was "only sex." But, of course, it was perjury.


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