William Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, was elected to the presidency
in 1992 and went on to help create an unprecedented time of peace
and economic prosperity in the United States. Among the successes
of his presidency were achieving the lowest unemployment rate in
modern times, managing an overhaul of the economic system, and proposing
the first balanced budget in decades. In his second year, after
the failure of his health care reform program, Clinton displayed
a marked shift in focus announcing that "the era of big government
is over." In the international arena, Clinton defended an expanded
NATO, successfully sent peace-keeping forces to war-torn Bosnia,
and responded with attacks on Iraq when Saddam Hussein halted U.N.
inspections for nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
The only Democratic
president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term, Clinton's
administration was plagued by investigations and personal scandals.
On December 18, 1998, the House of Representatives voted to impeach
William J. Clinton on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice
stemming from the president's testimony in a civil suit and his
statements regarding his relationship with a White House intern.
The debate largely focused on whether his crimes, if real, rose
to the level of an impeachable offense. The Senate found him not
guilty of the charges brought against him.