Hillary says, 'You can come back and you can do it again.' Is he parsing here? He disappoints them every time on some level, but he always gets up and tries to make it better. How does he keep going through this?' Narrator: In a Primary field crowded with Democratic candidates, Clinton's determination and skill quickly distinguished him from his rivals. Why are you keeping the boys there? It was one of the stupidest political decisions that Bill Clinton ever made.

Bill Clinton (archival): Never. They broke people. Narrator: Ken Starr was watching the Jones' lawsuit with great interest.

Nasty stuff, they don't want to do it.'

Newt thought the reverse was true. You know, he willed himself back into that race. Joel Ochoa is a seasoned organizer who wasn't afraid to go against conventional wisdom. We feel good about it. Narrator: Gingrich decided that the best way to achieve a Republican victory in the mid-terms was to run against Clinton. Dee Dee Myers, Press Secretary: You gotta be a little grand. They were looking for a crime. And in the end it falls to Chelsea Clinton, a teenager, to take both of their hands, on her own initiative, take her father's hand in one and her mother's hand in the other and walk across the lawn, literally the bridge between her parents at this moment of crisis between them.

Dee Dee Myers, Press Secretary: You know whether or not to balance the budget, we can't win that fight.

Bill Clinton's one of the most resilient people I've ever met.

Weakened by scandal and the defeat of health care, Clinton was about to be challenged by a new and formidable rival. Bill Clinton (archival): Thank you. We're here to discuss the economy, which is all I discussed yesterday with congressional leadership contrary to the press reports. Joe Klein, Journalist: Clinton understood that very few presidents create their own greatness.

David Gergen, Adviser: There was this joy and buoyancy and he had so much promise about him. Newt saw fundamental flaws in the Democratic Party's relationship with the American electorate. Long Beach California Press Telegram

Jay Fialkov Two months later, Clinton convened the warring parties in Dayton, Ohio to negotiate an end to hostilities. In the Spring of 1995, Gingrich picked his battleground. He knew those folks and he thought they loved him and it turned out they didn't. I thought his mood changed visibly at that point. Narrator: Over the next few years, Clinton began to catch the attention of the media and national Democratic leaders desperate to find a candidate who could loosen Republicans' grip on the Presidency. And there wasn't tension on him, there wasn't pressure on him, he wasn't sweating and worrying about did I do the right thing?

As Roger Clinton descended into alcoholism, he grew more and more violent, beating Virginia in front of Bill and young Roger, Jr. My life was "full of uncertainty and anger," Clinton would recall, "and a dread of ever-looming violence.".

A torn-up note was found a few days later at the bottom of Foster's briefcase. Even if your name gets used in the absence of proof, nobody can prove you're guilty, don't worry about it, just tell the truth... Narrator: The press called him 'Slick Willie' -- and it stuck.

He knew the people there, and he was of that place. Speaker Pro Tem (archival): On this vote, the yeas are 228, the nays are 206. NAFTA and Brady culminated 10 months of intense focus on domestic affairs, but beyond America's shores, a troubled world would wait no longer for the president's attention.

He even loved being President when it was tough.

Max Brantley, Journalist: Of course, the famous thing is when he said "in conclusion..." he got a round of applause, finally. I can barely talk. Bill Clinton (archival): This is a v-chip, and it will be required to be put in all new television sets. I don't think status alone in the absence of some destructive behavior should disqualify people. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky. Richard Clarke, National Security Coordinator: He knew that. Dick Morris, Political Consultant: Finally the President set up a trip wire where if the Bosnian Serbs attacked it would trigger a massive NATO military response. Sound design and re-recording He felt we couldn't stop these attacks -- and yes, no, we couldn't stop these attacks. Narrator: Unable to secure Lewinsky's cooperation against the president, Starr still had a card to play. He was considered a very good conservative but very good court of appeals justice, so people were hopeful. When his nomination of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court took a tortuous course, reporters pounced. They were law firm records. John Harris, Journalist: Success, misjudgment, in some cases catastrophe, followed by comeback: that resilience is central to who he is as a politician. Narrator: For the next week, Clinton campaigned 20 hours a day, pushing himself to the limits of his endurance.

Lets take our country back, and see this country win again.

Bill Clinton (archival): The American people should not be held hostage any more to the Republican budget priorities.

There was no memo on it, there was no defense group.

But he quickly discovered how easily his focus could be deflected by an unscripted comment to a reporter. John Harris, Journalist: Polling became absolutely central. And I said, 'Well she's got outcroppings of where she grew up in Chicago and her parents all came from Pennsylvania.' But events have been set in motion that will soon divide the country and nearly destroy Clinton's presidency. And he looked more unprepared than most. Bernard Nussbaum, White House Counsel: They were toughening up by this time.

Harold Ickes, Deputy Chief of Staff: The jury was out initially because Starr had quite a sterling reputation. I have been in the former Yugoslavia.

Real Planet, Inc.

We have to reject the political philosophy that gripped this country in the 1980s... Narrator: With only days left, his voice ragged, Clinton spoke at an Elks Lodge in Dover, New Hampshire. Within hours, the FBI had pegged responsibility to a little known terrorist organization called Al Qaeda. I answered their questions truthfully, including questions about my private life, questions no American citizen would ever want to answer.

His massive truck bomb, detonated outside the Murrah Federal Building, killed 149 workers, along with 19 children.

Some believed by selling his soul; others, by finding it again.

Bill and Hillary had always been doting parents to Chelsea, trying to keep her life as normal as possible.

But there was something in Tripp's story that caught Starr's attention: the president had asked his friend Vernon Jordan to help find Lewinsky a job in the private sector. I mean, here she had devoted her life and given up a lot to go out to Arkansas for their rise together. He really went through a lot of, you know, of kind of internal conflicts. Robert Reich, Labor Secretary: We knew that if Bill Clinton lost that vote, the signal would be he can't get the Democrats in the House and the Senate to go along with him. But we don't have to do it in a draconian way that hurts the American people.

An old letter had surfaced, written by Bill Clinton more than 20 years earlier when facing the possibility of being drafted to fight in Vietnam. "The New West and the Politics of the Environment," a feature-length documentary for the public television environmental news magazine “Earth Focus,” makes the case for placing former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and Nevada at the center of a green new deal. Nothing.

Narrator: The lawyer chosen to lead the Clintons' defense was their close friend and deputy White House Counsel, Vince Foster. That was just a theory.

PBS NewsHour In the tradition of American Experience's acclaimed Presidents series, Clinton provides an intimate, honest, balanced look at the 42nd president's life, career, and legacy. A politician who had achieved a great deal, yet left behind a curious sense of unfulfilled promise.

Narrator: That Christmas was another dismal one. Lucianne Goldberg, Literary Agent: I was watching with a friend in my office and I said, 'That is it, this man is dead meat. Bill Clinton (archival): I'm honored to be here tonight to nominate my friend Michael Dukakis for President of the United States.

I've seen people in my state, middle class people, their taxes have gone up in Washington and their services have gone down while the wealthy have gotten tax cuts. In the end, he left much as he had come: a man loved by his friends, and loathed by his enemies. To have a President of the United States look you in the eye, take your hand, speak to you -- the world stops. PF Bentley

Some of my colleagues and some of the editors agreed, but at the end of the day the brass at Newsweek just were not willing to pull the trigger.



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