Assessing Clinton’s Foreign Policy at Midterm

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Date
1995
Authors
McCormick, James
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Bill Clinton ran for president on the theme of change-change in domestic policy and change in foreign policy. With the end of the cold war, candidate Clinton argued, American foreign policy had to meet novel challenges as it prepared for the twentyfirst century. What was needed, Clinton said in 1991, was "a new vision and the strength to meet a new set of opportunities and threats." "We face the same challenge today that we faced in 1946-to build a world of security, freedom, democracy, free markets and growth at a time of great change." In candidate Clinton's view, the Bush administration had failed to articulate such a vision and to put into place a post-cold war foreign policy strategy. Indeed, President George Bush's leadership, Clinton claimed, was "rudderless, reactive, and erratic," while the country needed leadership that was "strategic, vigorous, and grounded in America's democratic values."

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Reprinted with permission from Current History (94(595), Nov. 1995). © 2016, Current History, Inc.

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