Bill Clinton — William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton was born on August 19, 1946. He was the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. At 46 he was the third-youngest president. He became president at the end of the Cold War, and was the first baby boomer president. His wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is currently the United States Secretary of State. Each received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Yale Law School. Clinton has been described as a New Democrat. Some of his policies, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and welfare reform, have been attributed to a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance, while on other issues his stance was left of center. Clinton presided over the continuation of an economic expansion that would later become the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history. The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus in 2000, the last full year of Clinton’s presidency. After a failed attempt at health care reform, Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in 1994, for the first time in forty years. Two years later, in 1996, Clinton was re-elected and became the first member of the Democratic Party since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term as president. Later he was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with a scandal involving a White House intern, but was subsequently acquitted by the U.S. Senate. Clinton left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II. Since then, he has been involved in public speaking and humanitarian work. Clinton created the William J. Clinton Foundation to promote and address international causes such as treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and global warming. In 2004, he released his autobiography My Life, and was involved in his wife Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign and subsequently in that of President Barack Obama. In 2009, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Clinton teamed with George W. Bush to form the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Early life and career
Bill Clinton was born William Jefferson Blythe, III, in Hope, Arkansas. His father, William Jefferson Blythe, Jr., was a traveling salesman who died in an automobile accident three months before Bill was born. Following Bill’s birth, in order to study nursing, his mother Virginia Dell Cassidy (1923–1994), traveled to New Orleans, leaving Bill in Hope with grandparents Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, who owned and operated a small grocery store. At a time when the Southern United States were racially segregated, Bill’s grandparents sold goods on credit to people of all races. In 1950, Bill’s mother returned from nursing school and shortly thereafter married Roger Clinton, who together with his brother owned an automobile dealership in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The family moved to Hot Springs in 1950. Although he assumed use of his stepfather’s surname, it was not until Billy (as he was known then) turned fourteen that he formally adopted the surname Clinton as a gesture toward his stepfather. Clinton says he remembers his stepfather as a gambler and an alcoholic who regularly abused his mother and half-brother Roger Clinton, Jr., to the point where he intervened multiple times with the threat of violence in order to protect them.
In Hot Springs, Clinton attended St. John’s Catholic Elementary School, Ramble Elementary School, and Hot Springs High School – where he was an active student leader, avid reader, and musician. He was in the chorus and played the tenor saxophone, winning first chair in the state band’s saxophone section. He briefly considered dedicating his life to music. In 1963, two influential moments in Clinton’s life contributed to his decision to become a public figure. One was his visit as a Boys Nation senator to the White House to meet President John F. Kennedy. The other was listening to Martin Luther King’s 1963 I Have a Dream speech (he memorized Dr. King’s words).
With the aid of scholarships, Clinton attended the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., receiving a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.) degree in 1968. He spent the summer of 1967, the summer before his senior year, working as an intern for Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright. While in college he became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Clinton was also a member of Youth Order of DeMolay, but he never actually became a Freemason. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi’s National Honorary Band Fraternity, Inc. Upon graduation he won a Rhodes Scholarship to University College, Oxford where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics, though as a result of switching programs and leaving early for Yale, he did not obtain a degree there.
He developed an interest in rugby union, playing at Oxford and later for the Little Rock Rugby club in Arkansas. While at Oxford he also participated in Vietnam War protests, including organizing an October 1969 Moratorium event. In later life he admitted to smoking cannabis at the university, but famously said that he “never inhaled”. He was a contemporary of figures including Christopher Hitchens; Robert Jackson; William Waldegrave; Edwina Currie; Stephen Milligan; John Scarlett; William Blair; John Redwood and Gyles Brandreth.
Clinton’s political opponents charge that to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War during his college years, he used the political influence of a U.S. Senator who employed him as an aide. Col. Eugene Holmes, an Army officer who was involved in Clinton’s case, issued a notarized statement during the 1992 presidential campaign: “…I was informed by the draft board that it was of interest to Senator Fullbright’s office that Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar, should be admitted to the ROTC program… I believe that he purposely deceived me, using the possibility of joining the ROTC as a ploy to work with the draft board to delay his induction and get a new draft classification.” Clinton did not join the ROTC program, but the temporary ROTC status prevented him from being drafted. This was not illegal, but it became a source of criticism from conservatives and some Vietnam veterans.
After Oxford, Clinton attended Yale Law School and obtained a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1973. While at Yale, he began dating law student Hillary Rodham, who was a year ahead of him. They married on October 11, 1975, and their only child, Chelsea, was born on February 27, 1980. During his time at Yale, Clinton took a job with the McGovern campaign and was assigned to lead McGovern’s effort in Texas. He spent considerable time in Dallas, Texas, at the McGovern campaign’s local headquarters on Lemmon Avenue where he had an office. There, Clinton worked with Ron Kirk, who was later elected mayor of Dallas twice; future governor of Texas Ann Richards, and then unknown television director (and future filmmaker) Steven Spielberg.
Political Career 1978-1992
Governor of Arkansas
After graduating from Yale Law School, Clinton returned to Arkansas and became a professor at the University of Arkansas. A year later, he ran for the House of Representatives in 1974. The incumbent, John Paul Hammerschmidt, defeated Clinton by a 52% to 48% margin. Without opposition in the general election, Clinton was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976. Clinton was elected Governor of Arkansas in 1978, having defeated the Republican candidate Lynn Lowe, a farmer from Texarkana.
He became the youngest governor in the country at age thirty-two. He worked on educational reform and Arkansas’s roads, with wife Hillary leading a successful committee on urban health care reform. However, his term included an unpopular motor vehicle tax and citizens’ anger over the escape of Cuban refugees (from the Mariel boatlift) detained in Fort Chaffee in 1980.
Clinton joined friend Bruce Lindsey’s law firm of Wright, Lindsey and Jennings, though he spent most of the next two years working on his re-election campaign. Clinton was again elected governor and kept his job for ten years. He helped Arkansas transform its economy and significantly improve the state’s educational system. He became a leading figure among the New Democrats. The New Democrats, organized within the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) were a branch of the Democratic Party that called for welfare reform and smaller government, a policy supported by both Democrats and Republicans. He served as Chair of the National Governors Association from 1986 to 1987, bringing him to an audience beyond Arkansas.
Clinton made economic growth, job creation and educational improvement high priorities. For senior citizens, he removed the sales tax from medications and increased the home property-tax exemption. In the early 1980s, Clinton made reform of the Arkansas education system a top priority. The Arkansas Education Standards Committee, chaired by Clinton’s wife, attorney and Legal Services Corporation chair Hillary Rodham Clinton, succeeded in reforming the education system, transforming it from the worst in the nation into one of the best. This has been considered by many the greatest achievement of the Clinton governorship.
Clinton and the committee were responsible for state educational improvement programs, notably more spending for schools, rising opportunities for gifted children, an increase in vocational education, raising of teachers’ salaries, inclusion of a wider variety of courses, and mandatory teacher testing for aspiring educators.
In 1980, during the first gubernatorial term of Clinton, then editorial page editor of the Pine Bluff Commercial, Paul Greenberg, gave Clinton the nickname “Slick Willie.” The Clintons’ personal and business affairs during the 1980s included transactions which became the basis of the Whitewater investigation which dogged his later presidential administration. After extensive investigation over several years, no indictments were made against the Clintons related to the years in Arkansas. He defeated a total of four Republican candidates for governor: Lowe (1978), White (1982 and 1986), and businessmen Woody Freeman of Jonesboro, (1984) and Sheffield Nelson of Little Rock (1990).
Democratic presidential primaries of 1988
In 1987 there was media speculation Clinton would enter the race after then-New York Governor Mario Cuomo declined to run and Democratic front-runner Gary Hart withdrew owing to revelations of marital infidelity. Clinton decided to remain as Arkansas governor (following consideration for the potential candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton for governor, initially favored – but ultimately vetoed – by the First Lady). For the nomination, Clinton endorsed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. However, he did give the opening night address at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, which was nationally televised, but it was criticized for length. Presenting himself as a moderate and a member of the New Democrat wing of the Democratic Party, he headed the moderate Democratic Leadership Council in 1990 and 1991.
1992 presidential campaign
Clinton won the 1992 presidential election (43.0% of the vote) against Republican incumbent George H. W. Bush (37.4% of the vote) and billionaire populist Ross Perot, who ran as an independent (18.9% of the vote) on a platform focusing on domestic issues; a significant part of Clinton’s success was Bush’s steep decline in public approval. Because Bush’s approval ratings were in the 80% range during the Gulf War, he was described as unbeatable. However, when Bush compromised with Democrats in an attempt to lower Federal deficits, he reneged on his promise not to raise taxes, hurting his approval rating. Clinton repeatedly condemned Bush for making a promise he failed to keep.
Clinton’s election ended twelve years of Republican rule of the White House and twenty of the previous twenty-four years. The election gave Democrats full control of the United States Congress. It was the first time this had occurred since the Jimmy Carter presidency in the late 1970s. However, during the campaign, questions of conflict of interest regarding state business and the politically powerful Rose Law Firm, at which Hillary Rodham Clinton was a partner, arose. Clinton maintained questions were moot because all transactions with the state were deducted prior to determining Hillary’s firm pay. Further concern arose when Bill Clinton announced that, with Hillary, voters would be getting two presidents “for the price of one”.
During his presidency, Clinton advocated for a wide variety of legislation and programs, much of which was enacted into law and/or was implemented by the executive branch. At the very end of his presidency, Clinton moved to New York and helped his wife get elected to the U.S. Senate there. Shortly after taking office, Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which required large employers to allow employees to take unpaid leave for pregnancy or a serious medical condition. While this action was popular, Clinton’s attempt to fulfill another campaign promise of allowing openly homosexual men and women to serve in the armed forces garnered criticism from the left (for being too tentative in promoting gay rights) and from the right (who opposed any effort to allow homosexuals to serve). After much debate, Congress implemented the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, stating as long as homosexuals keep their sexuality secret, they may serve in the military. Some gay rights advocates criticized Clinton for not going far enough and accused him of making his campaign promise to get votes and contributions.
The Clinton administration launched the first official White House website on October 21, 1994. It was followed by three more versions, resulting in the final edition launched in 2000. The White House website was part of a wider movement of the Clinton administration toward web-based communication. According to Robert Longley, “Clinton and Gore were responsible for pressing almost all federal agencies, the U.S. court system and the U.S. military onto the Internet, thus opening up America’s government to more of America’s citizens than ever before.
On July 17, 1996, Clinton issued Executive Order 13011 – Federal Information Technology, ordering the heads of all federal agencies to fully utilize information technology to make the information of the agency easily accessible to the public.” Also in 1993, Clinton controversially supported ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the U.S. Senate. Clinton, along with most of his Democratic Leadership Committee allies, strongly supported free trade measures; there remained, however, strong intra-party disagreement. Opposition came chiefly from anti-trade Republicans, protectionist Democrats and supporters of Ross Perot. The bill passed the house with 234 votes against 200 opposed (132 Republicans and 102 Democrats voting in favor; 156 Democrats, 43 Republicans, and 1 independent against). The treaty was then ratified by the Senate and signed into law by the President on January 1, 1994.
On November 30, 1993, Clinton signed into law the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on handgun purchases. He also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, a subsidy for low-income workers. One of the most prominent items on Clinton’s legislative agenda was the result of a taskforce headed by Hillary Clinton, which was a health care reform plan aimed at achieving universal coverage via a national health care plan. Though initially well-received in political circles, it was ultimately doomed by well-organized opposition from conservatives, the American Medical Association, and the health insurance industry. Despite Clinton’s party’s holding a majority in Congress, the effort to create a national health care system ultimately died. It was the first major legislative defeat of Clinton’s administration. Two months later, after two years of Democratic Party control, the Democrats lost control of Congress in the mid-term elections in 1994, for the first time in forty years In August 1993, Clinton signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which passed Congress without a Republican vote. It cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses, and raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers. Additionally, through the implementation of spending restraints, it mandated the budget be balanced over a number of years. Senators Ted Kennedy – a Democrat – and Orrin Hatch, a Republican, teamed up with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her staff in 1997 and succeeded in passing legislation forming the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the largest (successful) health care reform in the years of the Clinton Presidency. That same year Hillary Clinton shepherded through Congress the Adoption and Safe Families Act and two years later Rodham Clinton succeeded in helping pass the Foster Care Independence Act. Bill Clinton supported both bills as well, and signed both of them into law.
Clinton fired seven employees of the White House Travel Office in May 1993, giving rise to a controversy. The White House claimed the firings were done because financial improprieties in the Travel Office operation had been revealed by a brief FBI investigation. Critics contended the firings had been done to allow friends of the Clintons to take over the travel business and that the involvement of the FBI was unwarranted. White House FBI files controversy The White House FBI-files controversy of June 1996 arose concerning improper access by the White House to FBI security-clearance documents. Craig Livingstone, head of the White House Office of Personnel Security, improperly requested, and received from the FBI, background report files without asking permission of the subject individuals; many of these were employees of former Republican administrations. In March 2000, Independent Counsel Robert Ray determined that there was no credible evidence of any criminal activity. Ray’s report further stated “there was no substantial and credible evidence that any senior White House official was involved” in seeking the files.
The application of the federal death penalty was expanded to include crimes not resulting in death – such as running a large-scale drug enterprise – by Clinton’s 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill. During Clinton’s re-election campaign he said, “My 1994 crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins, murderers of federal law enforcement officers, and nearly 60 additional categories of violent felons.” According to some sources, Clinton was in his early years a death penalty opponent who switched positions. During Clinton’s term, Arkansas performed its first executions since 1964 (the death penalty was re-enacted on March 23, 1973). As Governor, he oversaw four executions: one by electric chair and three by lethal injection. However, Clinton was the first President to pardon a death-row inmate since the federal death penalty was reintroduced in 1988. Federal executions were resumed under his successor George W. Bush.
Law professor Ken Gromley’s book The Death of American Virtue reveals that Clinton escaped a 1996 assassination attempt in the Philippines by terrorists working for Osama bin Laden. During his visit to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Manila in 1996, he was saved shortly before his car was due to drive over a bridge where a bomb had been planted., Gromley said he was told the details of the bomb plot by Louis Merletti, a former director of the Secret Service. Clinton was scheduled to visit a local politician in central Manila, when secret service officers intercepted a message suggesting that an attack was imminent. A transmission used the words “bridge” and “wedding”, supposedly a terrorist’s code words for assassination. The motorcade was re-routed and the US agents later discovered a bomb planted under the bridge. The report said the subsequent US investigation into the plot “revealed that it was masterminded by a Saudi terrorist living in Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden”. Gromley said “It remained top secret except to select members of the US intelligence community. At the time, there were media reports about the discovery of two bombs, one at Manila airport and another at the venue for the leaders’ meeting”.
Second term, 1997–2001
In the 1996 presidential election, Clinton was re-elected, receiving 49.2% of the popular vote over Republican Bob Dole (40.7% of the popular vote) and Reform candidate Ross Perot (8.4% of the popular vote), becoming the first Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt to win presidential reelection. The Republicans lost a few seats in the House and gained a few in the Senate, but retained control of both. Clinton received 379, or over 70% of the Electoral College votes, with Dole receiving 159 electoral votes.
Lewinsky scandal Main article
Lewinsky scandal Clinton’s sexual relationship with a 22-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky led to the Lewinsky scandal. In a lame duck session after the 1998 elections, the House voted to impeach Clinton, based on allegations Clinton lied about his relationship with Lewinsky in a sworn deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit. This made Clinton only the second U.S. president to be impeached after Andrew Johnson.
Attempted capture of Osama bin Laden
Capturing Osama bin Laden has been an objective of the United States government since the presidency of Bill Clinton. It has been asserted that on three separate occasions in 1996, 1998, and 2000, while the Clinton Administration had begun pursuit of the policy, the Sudanese government allegedly offered to arrest and extradite Bin Laden as well as to provide the United States detailed intelligence information about growing militant organizations in the region, including Hezbollah and Hamas, and that U.S. authorities allegedly rejected each offer, despite knowing of bin Laden’s involvement in bombings on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. However, the 9/11 Commission found that although “former Sudanese officials claim that Sudan offered to expel Bin Laden to the United States”, “we have not found any reliable evidence to support the Sudanese claim.”
As the first baby boomer president, Clinton was the first president in a half-century not to have been shaped by World War II. Authors Martin Walker and Bob Woodward state Clinton’s innovative use of soundbite-ready dialogue, personal charisma, and public perception-oriented campaigning was a major factor in his high public approval ratings. When Clinton played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show, he was described by some religious conservatives as “the MTV president.” Standing at a height of 6’2″ (1.88 m), Clinton is tied with five others as the fourth-tallest president in the nation’s history. Clinton drew strong support from the African American community and made improving race relations a major theme of his presidency. In 1998, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison in The New Yorker called Clinton “the first Black president”, saying, “Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald’s-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas”, and comparing Clinton’s sex life, scrutinized despite his career accomplishments, to the stereotyping and double standards that blacks typically endure.
In 2008, Morrison’s sentiments were raised anew as Barack Obama, who would later become the country’s first African-American President, ran for the presidency. After endorsing Obama, Morrison distanced herself from her 1998 remark about Clinton, saying that it was misunderstood. She noted that she has “no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race” and said she was only describing the way he was being treated during the impeachment trial as an equivalent to a poor black person living in the ghetto. Obama himself, when asked in a Democratic debate about Morrison’s declaration of Clinton as “black”, replied that Clinton had an enormous “affinity” with the black community, but joked he would need to see Clinton’s dancing ability before judging “accurately […] whether he was, in fact, a brother”.
Just as Clinton was leaving elective office, his wife was entering it, as a U.S. Senator from New York. Bill Clinton proceeded to give speeches around the world, often for over $100,000 a speech. Altogether, Clinton has spoken at the last six Democratic National Conventions, dating back to 1988. Activities up until 2008 campaign In 2002 Clinton warned that pre-emptive military action against Iraq may have unwelcome consequences.
In 2005, Clinton criticized the Bush administration for its handling of emissions control, while speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal. The William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Arkansas was dedicated in 2004. Clinton released an autobiography, My Life in 2004. In 2007, he released, Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World which became a bestseller and garnered positive reviews.
In the aftermath of the 2005 Asian tsunami, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Clinton to head a relief effort. After Hurricane Katrina, Clinton established, with fellow former President George H. W. Bush, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund and Bush-Clinton Tsunami Fund. As part of the tsunami effort, these two ex-presidents appeared in a Super Bowl XXXIX pre-game show, and traveled to the affected areas. They also spoke together at the funeral of Boris Yeltsin.
The William J. Clinton Foundation includes the Clinton Foundation HIV and AIDS Initiative (CHAI), which strives to combat that disease, and has worked with the Australian government toward that end. The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), begun by the Clinton Foundation in 2005, attempts to address world problems such as global public health, poverty alleviation and religious and ethnic conflict. In 2005, Clinton announced through his foundation an agreement with manufacturers to stop selling sugared beverages in schools. Clinton’s foundation joined with the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group in 2006 to improve cooperation among those cities, and he met with foreign leaders to promote this initiative. He also spoke in favor of California Proposition 87 on alternative energy, which was voted down. The foundation has received donations from a number of governments in the Middle East. In 2008, Mr. Clinton travelled to Kazakhstan with Canadian mining magnate Frank Giustra who then won three lucrative uranium mining contracts from the Kazakh government, and Giustra donated $US31 million to Mr. Clinton’s charity.
2008 presidential election
In the course of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Clinton vigorously advocated on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton. Some worried that as an ex-president, he was too active on the trail, too negative to Clinton rival Barack Obama, and alienating his supporters at home and abroad. Many were especially critical of him following his remarks in the South Carolina primary, which Obama won. Later in the 2008 primaries, there was some infighting between Bill and Hillary’s staffs, especially in Pennsylvania. Based on Bill’s remarks, many thought that he couldn’t rally Hillary supporters behind Obama after Obama won the primary. Such remarks lead to apprehension that the party would be split to the detriment of Obama’s election. Fears were allayed August 27, 2008 when Clinton enthusiastically endorsed Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, saying that all his experience as president assures him that Obama is “ready to lead”.
After 2008 election
In 2009, Clinton travelled to North Korea on behalf of two American journalists imprisoned in North Korea. Euna Lee and Laura Ling had been imprisoned for illegally entering the country from China. Jimmy Carter had made a similar visit in 1994. After Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Kim issued a pardon. Also in 2009, Clinton was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that Clinton and George W. Bush would coordinate efforts to raise funds for Haiti’s recovery.In 2010, Clinton announced support and delivered the keynote address for the inauguration of NTR, Ireland’s first ever environmental foundation.
Post-presidential health concerns
In September 2004, Clinton received a quadruple bypass surgery. In March 2005 he underwent surgery for a partially collapsed lung. On February 11, 2010, he was rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City after complaining of chest pains, and had two coronary stents implanted in his heart.
Honors and accolades
Clinton has received many honorary degrees. Schools have been named for him and statues immortalize him. He has been honored in various other ways, in countries that include the Czech Republic, New Guinea, Germany, and Kosovo. U.S. states where he has been honored include Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, and New York. In 1993 Clinton was selected as Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year”, and again in 1998, along with Ken Starr. From a poll conducted of the American people in December 1999, Clinton was among eighteen included in Gallup’s List of Widely Admired People of the 20th century. In 2004, he received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children for narrating the Russian National Orchestra’s album Wolf Tracks and Peter and the Wolf (along with Mikhail Gorbachev and Sophia Loren) and 2005 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for My Life. In 2005, he received the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, and 2007 TED Prize (named for the confluence of technology, entertainment and design). On June 2, 2007, Clinton, along with former president George H.W. Bush, received the International Freedom Conductor Award, for their help with the fund raising following the tsunami that devastated South Asia in 2004. On June 13, 2007, Clinton was honored by the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria alongside eight multinational-companies for his work to defeat HIV/AIDS. On September 9, 2008, Bill Clinton was named as the next chairman of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His term began January 1, 2009 and he succeeded Fmr. President George H. W. Bush.