Clinton, William Jefferson

An American political leader of the late twentieth century. A Democrat, he handily defeated President George H. W. Bush's bid for reelection in 1992. Clinton, a former Rhodes scholar, had served as governor of Arkansas. Although harried by questions about his character during his presidential campaign, Clinton proved adept at reconciling the conservative and liberal wings of the Democratic party and establishing himself as the candidate of change. He was elected to a second term in 1996. His second term was plagued by charges of sexual misconduct, which led to the Clinton impeachment. Nevertheless, he retained great popularity, partly because of a booming economy.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.