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Agenda Audio, Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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A no-holds-barred look inside the Clinton White House during the first one hundred days of his presidency. What emerges is a portrait of a man hampered by his struggle to do the right thing. Despite the defeat of the health care initiative and the bungling first steps of a naive administration, Woodward uncovers the essential decency of the man from Hope. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Journalist Woodward's fast-paced behind-the-scenes look at the Clinton administration was a 13-week PW bestseller.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The main problem that I have with "The Agenda" is that there is too much "blow by blow" replay of who said what from day to day. Woodward provides very little historical context or political context and rather gives the reader a day by day micro look inside Washington. There is too much micro and not enough macro. It is almost like reading a very dull diary. 'On June 1 Gene Sperling called X and said ABC and then he called Y and said ABC.' Without context a reader thinks to himself"who cares??"
I know that the book is about Clinton's economic agenda but the book is far too bogged down in the economic weeds. I wonder whether you have to be an economist to enjoy the arcane economic debates that play out in the book. I can't help but think that while still being a book about Clinton's economic agenda, Woodward (or some other writer) could have done a far better job of writing and illuminating the subject without boring the non-economist-reader.
Shortly after winning the presidency in November of 1992 over incumbent President George Bush Clinton soon had to both come to grips and realize that his work was cut out a lot more for him, than he, or his campaign staff could've ever realized. Ultimately, he had to accept the fact that he would have to do some drastic compromising from his campaign promises. Clinton of course campaigned to be a "New Democrat" who would restore the economy to the forgotten middle-class and overturn the Reagan-Era greed of the 1980s, by investing in jobs, education, and health insurance reform. After meeting with Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, he soon realized that it wouldn't be so easy. As it would turn out, taking bold action to reduce the overwhelming national deficit would become the top-notch priority of his economic recovery plan, and would hog up most of his budget. Therefore his beloved domestic investment agenda would have to be sacrificed. Including his promised tax-cut for the middle-class.
So even before, let alone after Clinton took the oath of office, Clinton had his work cut out for him. He had to realize
early that his approval ratings would sink miserably and there would be disenchantment among his strongest supporters, let alone the American people. In many ways, two camps developed in his White House. There were the fiscal conservatives such as Robert Rubin, Leon Panetta, David Gergan. Then there were those from his campaign staff who wanted him to continue with his campaign pledges of investment such as Paul Begala, George Stephanapolis, and James Carville.
Greenspan's influence over the new president was amazing. Although it was from a neutral point of view, Greenspan
made Clinton understand how it was crucial that Clinton tackle the deficit. Or else long-term interest rates would never come down and the economy would never take off. Without the economy taking off, no way would Clinton ever be able to get back to doing the things that he was elected to do, let alone re-elected in 1996. Clinton had to come to accept that he would have to sacrifice many things, among them, his political popularity, but know that the long term effects would pay off dividends for both him politically, and for the US economy.
Fortunately for him, it did apparently work out for the best, and he did (with the extreme help of a Republican Congress
balance the federal budget in 1997) reduce the deficit and gave us a budget surplus. What should also be strongly considered is that he did this, at the behest of cutting the DOD and the intelligence community, which contributes to events such as September 11th, 2001.
What is also amazing about this book, is that Woodward gives you a fly-on-the-wall view of the battle to pass this
budget through both the House and the Senate. It also gives you the word for word account of a bitter phone conversation between Clinton and Nebraska Democratic Senator Bob Kerry, in which Clinton tells Kerry to go f--- himself, when Kerry refuses to vote for his budget, which turned out to be the crucial vote.
As it would turn out, Kerry would vote for it, making it a tie. Gore then gave the over the top vote and the budget was
This book was very, very good, and that is why I was able to go through it so quickly.
-Nicholas J. Vertucci
As for Clinton’s personal baggage, don’t expect to learn about the early affairs or the more infamous one that got him impeached. You will get a brief mention of the real estate deals back in Arkansas as well as a mention of Hillary’s questionable stock trades. You will also see Clinton in his frequent tirades but also those moments that make you feel sorry for him. After all for eight years he was the most powerful man in the world and that weight is enough to crush the average person.
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The Agenda was released in 1994 during Bill Clinton's Presidency and...Read more