Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy

By William G. Hyland | Go to book overview

10
Watershed

The first great turning point for the Clinton administration was not a foreign success or a foreign crisis but a domestic defeat. In the congressional elections of November 1994 the Democrats were repudiated by the electorate to the point that control of both houses of Congress passed to the Republicans for the first time since 1952. Most of the blame landed squarely on the White House. It was a vote of no confidence in Bill Clinton and especially his "liberal" advisors. Clinton himself acknowledged that it was a "national sea change." In a parliamentary system, he would have been forced to resign immediately.

Early in 1994, barely a year after he had taken office, a journalist had warned that unless Clinton became a foreign policy president he would jeopardize his chances for reelection. The president had rejected such advice. Even if he had been so inclined, after the disaster of the midterm elections of November 1994 much of the power in Washington passed to Congress and its new Republican majority. For two years the president was engaged in almost daily battles with them.

At first his tactic was to fight back, which meant stalemate, or as Washington preferred to call it, gridlock. This shifted some of the public frustration back onto Congress, but the Clinton presidency was widely regarded as wounded, perhaps mortally so. What he needed was a strategy, and he found it with the return of his old political comrade, Dick Morris. Clinton lowered his own sights and began to adopt Republican programs and even some of his opponents' rhetoric.

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Clinton's World: Remaking American Foreign Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • 1- The Legacy 1
  • 2- Mandate for Change 15
  • 3- Intervention 29
  • 4- Nation Building 51
  • 5- South of the Border 67
  • 6- Russia 79
  • 7- European Security 93
  • 8- Asian Tangles 109
  • Notes 124
  • 9- Unsinkable Japan 127
  • 10- Watershed 137
  • 11- Endgame 145
  • 12- Oslo and Beyond 155
  • Notes 168
  • 13 171
  • 14- Crisis Management 185
  • 15- Between Hope And History 197
  • Selected Bibliography 207
  • Index 209
  • About the Author *
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