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William Jefferson Clinton
1946 -

Forty-second president of the United States (1991 - 2001), best known for his extra-marital affairs, questionable financial dealings, lying and perjury, and his sweeping pardon on his last day in office of many similarly unprincipled friends and financial supporters.


 There would almost have to be some sort of club or organization at the school -- because if you think about it, your parents are still pretty well separated... Most neighborhoods are still fairly segregated. Most houses of worship are still fairly segregated... We have to find a disciplined, organized way out of this so that we reach every child in an affirmative way before something bad happens.

Nov. 10, 1997 - from a speech at the White House Conference on Hate Crimes
 A wage-based premium.

Pledged not to raise taxes, this is what Clinton called the tax he planned to impose to pay for his health care reforms. Quoted in Read My Lips by Parris and Mason
 [Thomas Jefferson’s view of equality meant that] you had to be white, you had to be male, and ... you had to own property. ... [Our history is the story of] new and higher definitions - and more meaningful definitions - of equality and dignity and freedom.

1997 - from a speech advocating "a living Constitution", non-traditional interpretation of the American Constitution to accommodate "our changing times"
The President should resign. He has lied to the American people, time and time again, and betrayed their trust. He is no longer an effective leader.

speaking about Richard Nixon, 20 years before his own inclination to prevarication was well known
Undeniably, character does count for our citizens, our communities, and our nation, and this week we celebrate the importance of character in our individual lives ... core ethical values of trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility, caring, respect, and citizenship form the foundation of our democracy, our economy, and our society. Instilling sound character in our children is essential to maintaining the strength of our nation into the 21st century.

Oct. 17, 1997 - from his speech for "National Character Counts Week"
No question that an admission of making false statements to government officials and interfering with the FBI is an impeachable offense.

Aug. 8, 1974 - quoted in the Arkansas Gazette
 We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...

Mar. 1, 1993 - at a press conference in New Jersey, quoted in USA Today
 I am here because I want to redefine the meaning of citizenship in America. ... If you're asked in school 'What does it mean to be a good citizen?' I want the answer to be, 'Well, to be a good citizen, you have to obey the law, you've got to go to work or be in school, you've got to pay your taxes and - oh, yes, you have to serve ...

from a speech at the Volunteerism Summit
 You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say.

May 28, 1993 - from a speech at Philadelphia city hall
 The purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.

1993 - from an interview on MTV
The road to tyranny, we must never forget, is the destruction of the truth.

Oct 15, 1995 - from a speech at the University of Connecticut
 Over time, we have had to redefine the words that we started out with [in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution], not because there was anything wrong with them and their universal power and strength...but because we were limited in our imaginations about how we could live and what we were capable of and how we should live... We are redefining, in practical terms, the immutable ideals that have guided us from the beginning.

1997
 If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.

Aug. 12, 1993 - from a speech
 I think the definition [of an impeachable offense] should include any criminal acts, plus a willful failure of the President to fulfill his duty to uphold and execute the laws of the United States. The third factor that I think constitutes an impeachable offense would be willful, reckless behaviour in office, just totally incompetent conduct in the office and the disregard of the necessities that the office demands.

In an interview with John Whitehead while a presidential candidate. Quoted in Time Magazine, September 21st, 1998.
 There is no reason for anyone in this country- anyone except a police officer or military person- to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns.

1993 - from his speech upon signing the Brady Bill
Every state should give parents the power to choose the right public school for their children. Their right to choose will foster competition and innovation that can make public schools better. We should also make it possible for more parents and teachers to start charter schools, schools that set and meet the highest standards and exist only as long as they do.

Feb. 04, 1997 - from his State of the Union address
No country is immune to people who run [for public office] making extreme statements trying to divide people, trying to, in effect, play on both the economic frustrations and the social and moral frustrations that people feel in all countries where there is both economic stagnation and social disintegration. People everywhere yearn for a certain sense of order and discipline and hopefulness about the daily conditions of life. And when those things are under stress, every political system will be vulnerable to people who try to play on fears and to divide people.

Jun 2, 1994 - at a news conference in Rome [speaking about himself?]
 I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child. [Fact: there is no record of any black church being burned in Arkansas when he was a boy.]

 Once again, the gun lobby and its allies in the leadership of Congress are standing in the way of real progress. We battle not just for the safety of our families, but for the soundness of our democracy.

 We'll all have to regroup and find new ways to achieve the same objective.

Apr. 8, 1997 - quoted by the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal after a federal court upheld California voters' passage of Proposition 209 banning affirmative action programs
You can put wings on a pig, but you don't make it an eagle.

1996 - Describing a modified piece of legislation [or himself?]
 When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly ... [Now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.

Apr. 19, 1995 - from a speech after the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City
 The last time I checked, the Constitution said, 'of the people, by the people and for the people.' That's what the Declaration of Independence says.

quoting, in fact, from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address