Bill Clinton and America’s Post-Cold War Leadership

by Peter Zeihan on October 26, 2022
For all of Bill Clinton’s considerable intelligence, bouts of intense curiosity, and ability to make dazzle a room of even his opponents, there was not a lot of deep domestic or international policy crafting during his presidency. His focus on topics tended to follow polls and his own episodic interest. Good for his own approval polling, but in the end the inability to commit would take its toll.

But part of the reason his approval ratings stayed so high was the fact that his presidency overlapped a sort of halcyon age for Americans (according to Gallup, Clinton’s final presidential approval polls are the highest of any president going back to Harry S. Truman). But just because he got away with it doesn’t mean his leadership style didn’t cast a long shadow. We are still dealing directly with foreign policy decisions he made–and chose not to make–in the present day.

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