The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House
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Working behind the scenes for the eighteen months following Bill Clinton's election, conducting hundreds of interviews with administration insiders and other key officials, and gaining access to confidential internal memos, diaries, and meeting notes, Bob Woodward has discovered how the Clinton White House really works.
Clinton's pledge for a new economic deal was the cornerstone of his 1992 campaign, and fulfilling it has been his central ambition and enterprise as president. By focusing on Clinton's efforts to pass a comprehensive economic recovery plan, Woodward takes us not only to the highest level meetings, the hard-fought debates, and the most difficult decisions but also to the very hear of this presidency -- and of this man.
With its day-by-day, often minute-by-minute account, it is one of the most intimate portraits of a sitting president ever published. President Clinton is shown as he debates, scolds, pleads, celebrates, and rages in anger and frustration. What emerges also is a group portrait of Clinton's innermost circle of advisers in action -- including his wife, Hillary; Vice President Al Gore; Treasure Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and the economic team; George Stephanopoulos and David Gergen and the White House staff; James Carville, Paul Begala, and the other outside political strategists; Congressional leaders; and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
Using his proven research method -- returning time and again to key sources and relying on the paper trail of internal documentation -- Woodward has assembled an extensive archive of the early Clinton presidency. This microscopic examination of the Clintons and this administration, working under pressure on the nation's most important task, reveals the deep and still unsettled conflicts among President Clinton's advisers and within himself. The questions about the federal deficit, health care, welfare reform, taxes, jobs, government spending, interest rates, the roles and responsibilities of the middle class, the wealthy, and the poor are of lasting importance. How they are being answered affects each person in the country.
message, he was now convinced it had failed. The Republicans had defined the debate, portraying Clinton as a tax-and-spend Democrat. When people thought about the deficit, Greenberg explained, they thought about taxes, and when they thought about taxes, they thought the taxes were going to fall on the middle class. The focus groups demonstrated a hunger for information on the positive parts of the program—the investments in kids, tax credits for the poor—and the administration was not talking
given the mixed signals from Clinton’s staff and from Clinton himself, that he knew what Clinton really believed. The struggle for Clinton’s soul and for control of his administration was continuing, and Boren wondered how it would turn out. Clinton was resigned about Boren. “I’m never going to get him,” the president complained to Stephanopoulos. Stephanopoulos felt that one of Clinton’s defenses when he didn’t get somebody to agree was to appropriate that person’s arguments. Some of Boren’s
Nonetheless, Bentsen admired the president’s relationship with his wife. He had never seen such a real partnership in the White House before. Hillary, however, was a lot tougher, more goal-oriented, and disciplined. Bentsen was proud of his own work managing Treasury, bringing in experts to help reorganize the department, meticulously analyzing how he spent his own time, directing his attention to what mattered. McLarty often commented, “Why aren’t we as organized as the Treasury Department?”
firstname.lastname@example.org The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows: ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-5281-9 ISBN-10: 1-4165-5281-2 Contents Author’s Note Introduction Cast of Characters Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20 Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
legislative process. “At the end, your friends are no longer at the table,” she said. “You’re dealing with the last intransigent conservatives in talking about what they want.” Clinton’s populism was being drowned out and they had to start reviving it right away. They couldn’t waste another day, she said. Sperling said he feared they could wind up with nothing. The selling of the plan needed clarity and focus. A beautiful speech that stressed everything was like birdshot. Only one message came