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The meaning of Bill

Just as Ulysses S Grant was the drinker, and Calvin Coolidge the napper, Clinton will always be remembered as the priapic president. But he does have a more lasting legacy. He reformed government for the post-cold war era and helped to change America's border between the private and public realms

By Jacob Weisberg   April 1999

In his book, Behind the Oval Office, Dick Morris described a telephone conversation with Bill Clinton in August 1996 on the question of Clinton’s place in history. Clinton agreed that he was not a top-tier president, but wondered what he could do to make it into Morris’s second tier with Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson and Ronald Reagan. (Morris said Clinton must do three big things: make welfare reform work; balance the federal budget; and smash international terrorism; along with some smaller things.)

So what is Clinton’s legacy? Popular democracy is Andrew Jackson’s legacy. The national park system is…

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