Clinton: American Experience
Sunday, Jan 18, 2 p.m. on Vermont PBS
From draft dodging to the Dayton Accords, from Monica Lewinsky to a balanced budget, the presidency of William Jefferson Clinton veered between sordid scandal and grand achievement. This film explores the story of an American president who rose from a broken childhood in Arkansas to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage. It recounts a career full of accomplishment and rife with scandal, a marriage that would make history and create controversy, and a presidency that would define the crucial and transformative period between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. It follows Clinton across his two terms as he confronted some of the key forces that would shape the future, including partisan political warfare and domestic and international terrorism, and struggled, with uneven success, to define the role of American power in a post-Cold War world. The film features unprecedented access to Clinton insiders including White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers, White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, as well as interviews with foreign leaders, members of the Republican opposition, childhood friends, staffers from Clinton's years as governor of Arkansas, biographers and journalists.
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