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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

State of the Union
A Report on President Clinton's First Four Years in Office

by Thomas Blood and Bruce Henderson

(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 9 full quotes from Bill Clinton in the book State of the Union, A Report on President Clinton.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is a "report card" on Clinton's first term. Its stated intent is to establish a "universal standard by which citizens can go down a checklist to judge a President's performance" (p. 9) The authors use the standard of fulfilling Constitutional duties and then fulfilling campaign promises. They conclude that Clinton has fulfilled 136 out of 157 campaign promises, or 87%, and that he tried but failed to achieve results on an additional 14, for a total of 96% on that scale (p. 154).

The "report card" is a cute metaphor but the authors' analysis is just not plausible. They claim to judge Clinton by a "universal standard"--pshaw! Whether Clinton has fulfilled campaign promises is interpretative--there is no "universal standard" like the authors pretend. Therefore, this is a campaign booklet much more than a "report card"--and the authors should not pretend otherwise!

For example, the authors score Clinton as having fulfilled 9 out of 9 promises on health care (pp. 136-8), and having achieved results on 5 out of 9 promises on health care, scoring him at 100% on "action taken" and 55% on "achieved results." The authors mask the truth about Clinton's first term--that his health care initiative, known as "HillaryCare" because his wife ran the commission that wrote the policy report, was widely considered the greatest failure of his presidency--if not one of the greatest political and policy failures of American history. The authors claim "promises kept" on health care--but every one of those got killed in Congress when they killed HillaryCare. Only to warped inside-the-Beltway pundits does that count as "Promises kept"--to the rest of us, Clinton promised to reform healthcare and failed.

The campaign promise analysis is "Part 2"; unfortunately, "Part 1" is even worse. "Part 1" scores whether Clinton fulfilled his basic Constitutional duties, such as "Establish Justice" (pp. 15-26, a phrase from the preamble to the Constitution). The authors score Clinton with a resounding "Yes," based on his having succeeded in pushing the Brady Bill through Congress (pp. 15-17) which limits handgun access. Any non-partisan analyst would score Clinton just as resoundingly "No," based perhaps on the Waco killings (pp. 36-38, not in the "Establish Justice" section). Even Clinton supporters might agree that Clinton oversaw a great injustice by using tanks and teargas against unarmed children--but the authors interpret the actions they like in the sections they like.

To think that one can score a president on a "Report Card" in any unbiased manner is just plain silly. This book reeks of bias--we don't MIND bias, but we DO mind when bias hides behind a "fair report card." This book is a pro-Clinton hagiography. Read it as such--not as a "report card."

-- Jesse Gordon, OnTheIssues editor-in-chief, April 2012

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Require Medicaid to pay for abortions for poor women.
    Revoke Mexico City Policy: family planning ok in foreign aid.
Civil Rights
    Affirmative Action is still an effective tool.
    Expand the death penalty.
    Throw corporate polluters in jail.
    No net loss wetlands policy.
Families & Children
    Establish a national registry of sex offenders.
Free Trade
    NAFTA increased exports to Mexico by 11%.
Welfare & Poverty
    Transfer 10% of federal housing to churches, for homeless.

The above quotations are from State of the Union
A Report on President Clinton's First Four Years in Office

by Thomas Blood and Bruce Henderson

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by OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Sep 23, 2012