Highwire: From the Backroads to the Beltway--The Education of Bill Clinton

John Brummett, Author
John Brummett, Author Hyperion Books $22.45 (294p) ISBN 978-0-7868-6046-3
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-7868-8123-9
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Brummett, a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, calls his longtime relationship to former Arkansas governor Bill Clinton one of ``affectionate skepticism,'' yet this gossipy and ultimately unrevealing portrait of the president seems as centrist and equivocal as its subject. In Brummett's scorecard, Clinton looked unpromising in his first year in the White House, hobbled by broken promises, indecisiveness and self-inflicted wounds, but nevertheless managed to rack up a solid record of accomplishments. Brummett endorses Clinton's positioning of himself as a ``new Democrat'' who has attempted to appeal to the middle class by reforming health care, getting tough on crime and pushing through NAFTA. He faults the president for being self-indulgent, reckless, too eager to please and waffling out of commitments, but he believes Clinton can learn from his mistakes. (Nov.)
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