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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

State of the Union
A Report on President Clinton's First Four Years in Office

by Thomas Blood and Bruce Henderson

(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 29 full quotes from Bill Clinton in the book State of the Union, A Report on President Clinton.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is a "report card" on Clinton's first term. Its stated intent is to establish a "universal standard by which citizens can go down a checklist to judge a President's performance" (p. 9) The authors use the standard of fulfilling Constitutional duties and then fulfilling campaign promises. They conclude that Clinton has fulfilled 136 out of 157 campaign promises, or 87%, and that he tried but failed to achieve results on an additional 14, for a total of 96% on that scale (p. 154).

The "report card" is a cute metaphor but the authors' analysis is just not plausible. They claim to judge Clinton by a "universal standard"--pshaw! Whether Clinton has fulfilled campaign promises is interpretative--there is no "universal standard" like the authors pretend. Therefore, this is a campaign booklet much more than a "report card"--and the authors should not pretend otherwise!

For example, the authors score Clinton as having fulfilled 9 out of 9 promises on health care (pp. 136-8), and having achieved results on 5 out of 9 promises on health care, scoring him at 100% on "action taken" and 55% on "achieved results." The authors mask the truth about Clinton's first term--that his health care initiative, known as "HillaryCare" because his wife ran the commission that wrote the policy report, was widely considered the greatest failure of his presidency--if not one of the greatest political and policy failures of American history. The authors claim "promises kept" on health care--but every one of those got killed in Congress when they killed HillaryCare. Only to warped inside-the-Beltway pundits does that count as "Promises kept"--to the rest of us, Clinton promised to reform healthcare and failed.

The campaign promise analysis is "Part 2"; unfortunately, "Part 1" is even worse. "Part 1" scores whether Clinton fulfilled his basic Constitutional duties, such as "Establish Justice" (pp. 15-26, a phrase from the preamble to the Constitution). The authors score Clinton with a resounding "Yes," based on his having succeeded in pushing the Brady Bill through Congress (pp. 15-17) which limits handgun access. Any non-partisan analyst would score Clinton just as resoundingly "No," based perhaps on the Waco killings (pp. 36-38, not in the "Establish Justice" section). Even Clinton supporters might agree that Clinton oversaw a great injustice by using tanks and teargas against unarmed children--but the authors interpret the actions they like in the sections they like.

To think that one can score a president on a "Report Card" in any unbiased manner is just plain silly. This book reeks of bias--we don't MIND bias, but we DO mind when bias hides behind a "fair report card." This book is a pro-Clinton hagiography. Read it as such--not as a "report card."

-- Jesse Gordon, OnTheIssues editor-in-chief, April 2012

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Require Medicaid to pay for abortions for poor women.
    Revoke Mexico City Policy: family planning ok in foreign aid.
Civil Rights
    Affirmative Action is still an effective tool.
    50% tax exclusion for long-term investment in new business.
    Limit deductions for executive pay.
    Expand the death penalty.
    More community police; more prison construction.
    51-day Branch Davidian siege resulted in 76 deaths.
    Stop the flow of illegal money to Colombia Cali cartel.
    Throw corporate polluters in jail.
    No net loss wetlands policy.
Families & Children
    Triple funding for battered women's shelters.
    Establish a national registry of sex offenders.
    Crack down on parents who avoid child support.
Foreign Policy
    North Korea must give up nuclear program to get economic aid.
Free Trade
    NAFTA increased exports to Mexico by 11%.
Government Reform
    End soft money; cap political spending.
Gun Control
    Five-day waiting period and instant background check.
    Assault Weapons Ban resulted in 18% decline in use in crimes.
Homeland Security
    Explosive inspection machines for all airline baggage.
    Steep fines on convicted terrorists to help victims.
    START II: 25% reduction in nuclear arsenals.
    Cut the $245B defense budget.
    Reduce US forces in Europe to 100,000 troops.
    700 new Border Patrol agents; increased penalties on aliens.
Social Security
    Create optional Individual Development Accounts.
    Fund $20B a year for transportation & communication network.
    Mission to Planet Earth plus unmanned probes.
Welfare & Poverty
    Transfer 10% of federal housing to churches, for homeless.

The above quotations are from State of the Union
A Report on President Clinton's First Four Years in Office

by Thomas Blood and Bruce Henderson

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Feb 24, 2019