Born August 19, 1946, his birth name was William Jefferson Blythe IV, but at the age of 15, he took his stepfather's name Clinton.
Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd President in 1992 with only 43 percent of the vote, as the independent candidate Ross Perot pulled votes away from incumbent George H.W. Bush.
Clinton was the 3rd youngest President.
Though a liberal when contrasted with George H.W. Bush, some of Bill Clinton's views would be considered conservative when compared to many of the leftists in his party today.
In 1996, President Clinton signed a welfare reform bill which helped people get off of welfare and balanced the Federal Budget for the first time in nearly 30 years, resulting in an historic budget surplus not seen since.
In 1997, President Clinton signed into effect the Taxpayer Relief Act which stimulated the economy by giving the largest capital gains tax cut in U.S. history.
In his Hanukkah Message, President Clinton stated on December 20, 1997:
"The coming year will mark the 50th anniversary of the State of Israel, where the story of the first Hanukkah took place so many centuries ago ...
From the days of the ancient Maccabees down to our present time, tyrants have sought to deny people the free expression of their faith and the right to live according to their own conscience and convictions.
Hanukkah symbolizes the heroic struggle of all who seek to defeat such oppression and the miracles that come to those full of faith and courage."
President Clinton stated in a Christmas radio address, December 25, 1993:
"Today Christians celebrate God's love for humanity made real in the birth of Christ in a manger almost 2,000 years ago.
The humble circumstances of His birth, the example of His life, the power of His teachings inspire us to love and to care for our fellow men and women."
At an Interfaith Breakfast, President Bill Clinton remarked August 30, 1993:
"I bought a book on vacation called The Culture of Disbelief by Stephen Carter, a professor ... at the Yale Law School. He is himself a committed Christian, very dedicated to the religious freedoms of all people of faith, of any faith, in the United States.
And the subtitle of the book is 'How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion.' And I would urge you all to read it from whatever political as well as religious spectrum you have ..."
"Sometimes I think the environment in which we operate is entirely too secular.
The fact that we have freedom of religion doesn't mean we need to try to have freedom from religion.
It doesn't mean that those of us who have faith shouldn't frankly admit that we are animated by the faith, that we try to live by it, and that it does affect what we feel, what we think, and what we do."
At James Madison High School, July 12, 1995, President Bill Clinton stated:
"The First Amendment does not require students to leave their religion at the schoolhouse door ...
It is especially important that parents feel confident that their children can practice religion ...
We need to make it easier and more acceptable for people to express and to celebrate their faith ..."
"If students can wear T-shirts advertising sports teams, rock groups or politicians, they can also wear T-shirts that promote religion ...
Religion is too important to our history and our heritage for us to keep it out of our schools ...
Nothing in the First Amendment converts our public schools into religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be left behind at the schoolhouse door ...
Government's schools also may not discriminate against private religious expression during the school day."
Bill Clinton was the second President to be impeached.
Encyclopedia Britannica (accessed 2022) stated:
"In the United States the impeachment process has rarely been employed ... Andrew Johnson was the first U.S. president to be impeached ...
In December 1998 the House of Representatives voted to impeach Pres. Bill Clinton, charging him with perjury and obstruction of justice in investigations of his relationship with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky."
On September 21, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):
"I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position."
"The word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
This wording became Public Law 104-199, § 3(a) (110 Statute 2419), September 21, 1996:
"In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."
In 2000, Hillary Clinton stated:
"Marriage has historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman."
When Barack Obama ran for Senate against Ambassador Alan Keyes, he told the Windy City Times, February 2, 2004:
"I am not a supporter of gay marriage ... I think that marriage, in the minds of a lot of voters, has a religious connotation. I know that’s true in the African-American community."
In 2006, Obama declared:
“Decisions about marriage should be left to the states as they always have been.”
On April 17, 2008, while running for President, Obama was allowed to make an unchallenged statement at Saddleback Church without the moderator pressing for clarification:
“I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”
On November 2, 2008, Obama stated in an MTV campaign interview:
“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."
On Oct. 27, 2010, President Obama obfuscated in an interview with liberal bloggers:
“I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage. But I also think you’re right that attitudes evolve, including mine.”
In 2012, President Obama publicly switched to not only supporting gay marriage but punishing States and purging from the military anyone holding the views he held just a few years earlier.
This leads many to believe that Obama's views did not "evolve," but rather that he was deceptive during his campaigning, performing a political "bait-and-switch -- lying to the public in order to get elected then once in office, forcing his liberal views on the country.
“Part of this is also politics. ... This is the latest wedge issue to divide the Democratic Party.
And, you know, my interest is to avoid playing on their court on this issue."
Political rhetoric is lowest common denominator, and since politicians want to get elected, they say things that appeal to the largest number of voters.
In this sense, what an ambitious politician says in speeches is more a reflection of the views held by the majority of the citizens rather than a reflection of the personal views held by the politician.
This political strategy was expressed by Machiavelli in The Prince, 1513:
"The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present."
"A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise."
"A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests."
"Politics have no relation to morals."
Many politicians study Machiavelli, as David Broder wrote in The Washington Post article "The Reformer has Enemies ... and Only Lukewarm Defenders," May 16, 1994:
"A year ago last week, President Bill Clinton gave an interview to several of us from The Washington Post ...
At the end of the interview, he stood before the fireplace in the Oval Office and recited to us a passage from Machiavelli's The Prince.
In a hoarse voice, he said, 'Listen to this: It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out ... than to initiate a new order of things.
For the reformer has enemies ... and only lukewarm defenders.'"
Talleyrand was the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He was notorious for his ability to give political speeches filled with deception and obfuscation -- the art of intentionally obscuring the truth.
He confided: "We were given speech to hide our thoughts."
A example of obfuscation was at a NATO summit press conference, December 3, 2019.
As hundreds of cemeteries, churches, and cathedrals were being vandalized, including Notre Dame Cathedral, President Trump asked French President Emanuel Macron if he wanted more ISIS fighters in France.
Marcon gave lengthy, evasive response, after which Trump quipped:
“This is why he is a great politician because that was one of the greatest non-answers I have ever heard.”
Vice-President Kamala Harris has employed this evasive maneuver in what has become known as "word salad non-answers."
The Greek philosopher Plato quoted Socrates in Dialogues, Phaedo (4th century BC):
"False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil."
On August 19, 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote to Peter Carr:
"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual;
he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions."
Jesus told the hypocritical political leaders (John 8:44):
"Ye are of your father the devil ... There is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
Sir Walter Scott wrote in his poem "In Marmion" (1808, canto VI, stanza XVII):
"Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!"
President Bill Clinton recalled his faith as an innocent youth, while addressing the National Prayer Breakfast, February 4, 1993:
"The first time I ever saw Billy Graham ... he came in the 1950's, in the heat of all our racial trouble, to Arkansas to have a crusade.
And the white citizens council tried to get him, because of the tensions of the moment, to agree to segregate his crusade ... He said, 'If I have to do that, I'm not coming.'
And I remember I got a Sunday school teacher in my church - and I was about 11 years old - to take me 50 miles to Little Rock so I could hear a man preach who was trying to live by what he said.
And then I remember, for a good while thereafter, trying to send a little bit of my allowance to the Billy Graham crusade because of the impression he made on me."
In the current climate of government using every crisis as an excuse to infringe on individual rights, it is an interesting flashback to hear what a Democrat President said just a few decades ago. Bill Clinton stated June 29, 1994:
"The Declaration of Independence ... delineated the very idea of America, that individual rights are derived not from the generosity of the government, but from the hand of the Almighty."