William Jefferson Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III; August 19, 1946) is an American Politician who served as Vice President of the United States from January 20th, 2013 until January 20th, 2021. He also served as Governor of Arkansas from January 11th, 1983 to January 11th, 1995 and as a Senator from Arkansas from January 3rd, 1997 until December 15th, 2012. He is married to Hillary Clinton.
Early life and Education
Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946, at Julia Chester Hospital in Hope, Arkansas. He is the son of William Jefferson Blythe Jr., a traveling salesman who had died in an automobile accident three months before his birth, and Virginia Dell Cassidy (later Virginia Kelley). His parents had married on September 4, 1943, but this union later proved to be bigamous, as Blythe was still married to his third wife. Virginia traveled to New Orleans to study nursing soon after Bill was born, leaving him in Hope with her parents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and ran a small grocery store.
At a time when the southern United States was racially segregated, Clinton's grandparents sold goods on credit to people of all races. In 1950, Bill's mother returned from nursing school and married Roger Clinton Sr., who co-owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas, with his brother and Earl T. Ricks. The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950.
Although he immediately assumed the use of his stepfather's surname, it was not until Clinton turned 15 that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton has described his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who regularly abused his mother and half-brother, Roger Clinton Jr. Clinton threatened his stepfather with violence multiple times to protect them. At age 16, Clinton decided he wanted to seek elected office and that he wanted to help the people of Arkansas given the poverty he grew up in.
Clinton would go to several colleges and law school. Getting a degree from Georgetown University, graduating from Yale Law School, and even attending Oxford.
Governor of Arkansas
Bill Clinton would successfully run for Governor of Arkansas in the 1982 election, he would hold the office for over ten years, serving from 1983 until 1995.
In the early 1980s, Clinton made reform of the Arkansas education system a top priority of his gubernatorial administration. The Arkansas Education Standards Committee was chaired by Clinton's wife Hillary, who was also an attorney as well as the chair of the Legal Services Corporation. The committee transformed Arkansas's education system. Proposed reforms included more spending for schools (supported by a sales-tax increase), better opportunities for gifted children, vocational education, higher teachers' salaries, more course variety, and compulsory teacher competency exams. The reforms passed in September 1983 after Clinton called a special legislative session—the longest in Arkansas history. Many have considered this the greatest achievement of the Clinton governorship.
He defeated four Republican candidates for governor: John White (1982), Mike Huckabee (1986), Jonesboro businessmen Woody Freeman (1990), and Sheffield Nelson of Little Rock (1994). Also in the 1980s, the Clintons' personal and business affairs included transactions that became the basis of the Whitewater controversy investigation, which would be used against him in his bid for the U.S. Senate. After extensive investigation over several years, no indictments were made against Senator Clinton related to the years in Arkansas. After winning re-election in 1990, Clinton announced he would not seek another term as Governor in the 1994 elections.
Senator from Arkansas (1997 - 2012)
Election to the Senate (1996)
Remaining popular in Arkansas, Governor Clinton announced his run for the U.S. Senate on August 12th, 1995. He would easily with the Democratic primary and would face off against Republican Tim Hutchinson. In the election, Hutchinson would smear Clinton for draft dodging and the Whitewater controversy investigation. In a close race, Clinton would defeat Hutchinson with 51 percent of the vote to Hutchinson's 49 percent.
Clinton would be in several committees throughout his tenure as Senator, including the Rural Development and Energy Subcommittee, the Armed Services Committee, and the Budget Committee. During the 109th Congress, Clinton would be a ranking member of the Budget committee, a position he would retain until his resignation from the Senate in 2012.
Clinton's record as a senator is regarded to be somewhere in between a moderate liberal and a more staunch liberal. On issues such as economics, foreign policy, and spending; he was aligned with the progressive establishment. Clinton was moderate on issues such as same-sex marriage, abstaining when the Marriage Equality Act made its way to the Senate floor in 2006. Clinton was mostly moderate in order to secure his Senate seat from any Republican challengers.
Vice President of the United States
Unlike previous Vice Presidents such as Pete du Pont and Bill Bradley, Clinton would have a more active role in the Reich administration, acting as an unofficial diplomat. He would travel alongside the State Department to several countries including India, the United Kingdom, China, Italy, Canada, and Morocco.
Presiding over the United States Senate
As Vice President, Clinton would rarely preside over the Senate, often leaving the President Pro Tempores to do most of the presiding. He would only preside during the State of the Union and when a tie breaking vote would be eminent.
Sexual Misconduct Allegations
With the #MeToo movement surging in popularity following allegations on comedian Harvey Weinstein, several women would come forward and accuse Vice President Clinton of sexual misconduct. It was these accusations which would lead to investigations into Clinton's past, though he would be defended by his Wife and by several members of the Reich administration. With speculation that he might resign, Clinton reaffirmed on April 17th, 2018 that he would remain in the Reich administration.
Other Political Ventures
1992 Presidential Campaign
Clinton attempted a run for President in the 1992 election. While polling well in the early states, Governor Tom Harkin's large victories in Iowa and New Hampshire would propel him towards front runner status. He would suspend his campaign on April 5th, 1992 and endorse Tom Harkin.