The Clinton Administration Election of 1992

The Clinton Administration
Election of 1992
Domestic Legislation
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
eliminated all trade restrictions (i.e., tariffs) between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico
opposed by labor groups (feared cheaper labor costs would cost Americans’ jobs)
supported by big businesses, which saw opportunity to increase markets
World Trade Organization (WTO)
economic internationalism
Madeleine Albright appointed as first woman Secretary of State
U.S. Participation in International Military Peacekeeping Efforts (UN- or NATO-led)
Somalia (1993), Haiti (1994), Northern Ireland (1998), Bosnia (1995), Iraq (1998), Kosovo (1999)
U.S. Participation in International Diplomacy
Northern Ireland (1998)
Middle East negotiations - Wye River Accords (1998), Camp David Summit (2000)
U.S. Embassy bombings (1998) – Tanzania and Kenya
organized by Osama bin Laden
Controversies and Scandals
Universal Healthcare Reform (1993)
soundly rejected by insurance companies and small businesses
Family and Medical Leave Act (passed in 1993)
“Motor Voter” Law (passed in 1993)
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (1993)
Oklahoma City Bombing (1995)
“Welfare Reform” (passed in 1996), aka Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act
limited welfare benefits to five years
seen as a moderate revision to conservatives’ demands for less “big government”
Defense of Marriage Act/DOMA (passed in 1996)
federal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman
states may legalize same sex marriage; they are not required to recognize them
Foreign Affairs
Clinton was first Baby Boomer to win the White House
GHW Bush seen as out of touch, broke taxes pledge
H. Ross Perot (Independent) had best 3rd party totals since TR in 1912
Republicans won both houses of Congress in 1994 elections
“Contract with America” outlined their plans to slash government spending
Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House
Impeachment (1998)
second U.S. President to be impeached (A. Johnson – 1868)
charged with perjury and obstruction of justice
Senate acquitted him on both charges
voters elected Democratic majorities in Congress in fall elections
Turn of the Century
Economic Growth
federal surplus (revenues > spending) in late 1990s….for the first time in ~30 years
growth of Internet and “e-commerce”
record gains in Stock Market
3.9% overall unemployment (lowest in 30 years); lowest ever for Afr.-Amer’s/Hispanics
West + South = fastest growing regions
more ethnic diversity (Hispanics growing fastest; white population ~ 75%)
average income continued to rise ($22K/person)
wealth continued to concentrate among richest Americans (“new Gilded Age”)