The Arkansas governor's campaign for the presidency was rocked by scandal almost from the start. But he refused to be derailed and threw himself into the races, proving himself to be a consummate campaigner.
The period immediately after the election was a difficult one for the president-elect and his young staff. Their combined inexperience helped make Bill Clinton's transition one of the worst of modern times.
Early missteps in the Clinton administration and controversy over their economic plan caused public conjecture about a "failed presidency." The Democrats were defeated in the midterm elections in both House & Senate. Clinton turned to a Republican for help. But just when the presidency began to come together, the scandals began.
Clinton saw the Democrats' defeat in the 1994 election as a personal failure and a warning sign that he would not win reelection. He turned to an old associate to help bring him back from the brink of disaster.
Clinton began his second term with optimism and with his eyes set on "building a bridge to the twenty-first century." However, he stumbled over a recurring impediment - an accusation of sexual impropriety.
Following the Senate acquittal, the president was able to reenergize his domestic agenda and to focus more intensely on foreign affairs. Clinton also had to prepare himself for another difficult transition - playing a supporting role as fundraiser and campaigner for his wife and vice president. This chapter concludes with analyses of what may ultimately be the Clinton legacy.