This is the story of how Bill Clinton fashioned the incredible, the
unbelievable, the 100 to 1 shot victory in the campaign of 1992
that made him the forty-second President of the United States. In
the beginning, it wasn't supposed to happen that way. With the
Soviet Union in collapse at the end of the Cold War, the hero of
the Persian Gulf War, President George Bush, was initially regarded
by friend and foe alike as unbeatable. Except for a brief charge by
Pat Buchanan, no one really challenged him in the Republican
primaries for renomination. While among the contenders for the
Democratic nomination, there were only five - none nationally
known. Clinton was in the pack. But one by one, the strongest
Democrats - Paul Tsongas, Jerry Brown, and Bob Kerrey - fell into
obscurity. In the end, against all odds, Bill Clinton and running
mate Al Gore emerged to reunite the divided party. The Clinton/Gore
ticket went on to lead a growing entourage of twenty- and
thirty-something campaigners. Noble ideals, high energy, and rock
music made the Democratic party a powerhouse of youth and vitality.
The Clinton message spoke to a generation of voters who
statistically had been labeled apolitical and, along with more
mature voters, moved them to embrace the possibility for change.
"The Economy, Stupid" codified the single greatest concern of
voters throughout the country, despite their parting views on other
matters. The overconfident President Bush lambasted his youthful
rival on every issue, from unfamiliarity with national government
to assertions of weakness in leadership and flaws in character. And
yet, even after Ross Perot split off a part of the Democratic vote
as well as a section of Bush'ssupport, the man from Hope, Arkansas,
beat them both on Election Day - the third youngest after Theodore
Roosevelt and John Kennedy to enter the White House. Employing the
skills he has shown in his earlier books, a "crisp, narrative
style...(and) discerning editorial mind" (The New York Times Book
Review), John Hohenberg's Bill Clinton Story vividly captures not
only one man's road to the White House but, more importantly, it
illuminates the changing face of American politics on the eve of
the twenty-first century.
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