It is clear that under Clinton's watchful eye the economy flourished. Some of this can be attributed to his prowess in foreign policy, most notably the ratification of NAFTA and GATT, which both helped to bolster our trade and in turn our economy.
Yes, a personal scandal did hurt Clinton's true ability to be judged unbiasedly. And unfortunately many will never put that mistake aside. These are the same people that voted him "One of the worst" Presidents in history, which is absolutely ridiculous. A surprising 19% of my readers put Clinton in this category. This is clearly a case of disregarding the facts and simply voting on his sometimes questionable morals. I digress.
Back to the facts... Clinton's foreign policy, though not great, was considered a positive. Along with the aforementioned NAFTA and GATT accomplishments, Clinton also helped to denuclearize several Soviet Republics, like the Ukraine. Though he can't be given all the credit, as many of his predecessors set the table for this to occur.
How about the Chemical Weapons Convention. Signed in 1993 under Clinton's administration, it was basically an extension of the Geneva Convention urging countries not to stockpile chemical weapons. The pact put into effect many verification measures including on-site inspections and compliance guidelines. That's not too bad... but again, not really Clinton's idea, but good for him for signing it. But since 184 of the 195 recognized states or countries signed it (though not all will remain compliant) we can't really give much of hoorah a to Mr. Bill.
1996 brought about a United States led effort to save the Mexican peso and subside any chance for a full fledged Mexican depression. NAFTA would help in the long run, but Mexico needed help now. Clinton's compassion for our southern neighbor staved off what would have been a huge calamity in Mexico, which could have led to an influx of Mexican's flocking to the US for jobs... heck that happens now, but imagine what it could have been.
Through deterrence, diplomacy and some Clinton charm, he reduced the threat of North Korea going postal, by negotiating the Framework Agreement to freeze and dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons fuel production and long range missile testing. (Little good it did, consider where North Korea is now).
This also helped to open a dialogue with South Korea, where Clinton played the "good neighbor" by trying to get two quarrelling neighbors to kiss and make up... a la Jimmy Carter. In doing this, Clinton helped to coordinate the Four Party Talks, which included both Koreas, the US and Japan.
Clinton also negotiated the exit of Russian troops from the Baltics, brought NATO missions into the Balkans and helped Russia to end to the Kosovo war. He then invited Russia to join the G-8, ATEC and into talks with NATO. He convinced Russia to dismantle thousands nuclear warheads, lessening the threat of nuclear danger, and finally helped to build Russia's economy by offering more than 250,000 Russian entrepreneurs training, consulting services and US backed loans to welcome them into the world of Free enterprise/market economy... It's about time, right?
He strengthened our relationship with China, helping to bring them into the World Trade Organization (which most likely helped to plant the seed of what China's economy is today... which is rather large and getting larger...)
With Bono's help (yep.. that Bono from U2) he helped broker the Good Friday Peace Accord, which ended decades of bloodshed, and finally allowed the people of Northern Ireland to live in relative peace and decide their own destiny.
He's done similar revitalizations with countries in Africa and Vietnam... and all of it was in the best interest of our country... a lot of win/win situations.
I could go on and on... and this is just foreign policy... this is not our Economy... I'll save that for another entry...
So here are the results of the poll... (with 52 votes)
As time passes, how do you think history will rate Bill Clinton as president?
Better than most - 36% (19 votes)
Not as good as most - 26% (14 votes)
One of the worst - 19% (10 votes)
One of the Best - 13% (7 votes)
Worse than Most - 3% (2 votes)
Would anyone care to vote again? Can he really be considered one of the worst?
I'd like to hear your thoughts on Clinton's legacy... and how he can be considered one of the worst.