From Watergate to Whitewater: The Public Integrity War

By Robert N. Roberts; Marion T. Doss Jr. | Go to book overview

Chapter 13
It's Not Character, Stupid!

Throughout the 1992 presidential campaign, the Clinton campaign followed the motto "It's the Economy, Stupid!" Day after day the Clinton campaign pounded President George Bush on the slow growth of the nation's economy. Despite persistent efforts by the Bush campaign to attack the character of Bill Clinton, the Clinton campaign succeeded in keeping the focus of the campaign on the economy.


GOVERNMENT MAKES A COMEBACK: PRESIDENT FIX-IT

By early 1996, it became clear that the Republican Party planned to try to convince the American public that Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton lacked the character to reside in the White House for another four years. To counter the expected attacks, the Clinton campaign adopted a two-prong strategy for maintaining control of the agenda and avoid drawing the president directly into a debate over character. President Clinton announced a series of initiatives that demonstrated the ability of government to deal with important issues without increasing the federal budget deficit. At the same time, administration and campaign officials responded immediately to any attack against the integrity of Bill Clinton or members of his administration.

On June 24, President Clinton proposed legislation to amend the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to allow workers to take "as many as 80 hours of 'flex time' in lieu of overtime pay." The legislation would allow workers to use the compensatory time for a wide range of nonmedical

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