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Let me qualify my “leanings,” if you will, before commenting on this book: I supported Bill Clinton during his two terms in office. I wish he had not embarrassed himself and the Office of the President during his second term, but that’s something he has to live with. That said, I enjoyed this hefty tome a great deal. The first part of the book interested me the most since it was about Clinton’s early years in Arkansas, his relationship with his mom, his stepfather, Roger Clinton, others in his family, friends, etc. I got a better idea as to what shaped his life. As for his years as President, it’s still recent history, and I didn’t come across any earth-shattering revelations concerning Vince Foster, Monica, the Marc Rich pardon, Osama bin Laden, Hillary’s political ambitions, etc. The book is already 957 pages long! I’m sure there are plenty of other books available with someone’s take on these subjects. Reading the book did remind me how much time and money the Republican Congress spent on special investigations (especially Whitewater) and on the impeachment process, with hardly anything to show for it. What is deserved? History will be the judge. The strongest attribute that came across to me while reading this book was Clinton’s refusal to demonize any of his enemies (though you get the impression he’s no fan of Ken Starr). He even wishes W all the best (after the 2000 election), even though Clinton does state “[Bush and Cheney] saw the world very differently from the way I did… I thought that they would pass their big tax cut …. and we would be back to the big deficits of the 1980s; international partnerships developed in the aftermath of the Cold War could be strained; and that President Bush would be under pressure to abandon compassionate conservatism by the more right-wing leaders and interest groups of his party.” Again, a good book that one can pick up, read a few chapters, put down, finish a thriller (e.g., Jeffery Deaver or Vince Flynn), and pick up again to continue enjoying.
posted Dec 29, 2006 at 1:04PM
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