American Experience: Clinton Review

Bill Clinton’s presidency, with all of its successes, failures, joys, and shames, happened, and whether those across the aisle would like to admit it, was ultimately beneficial to the American economy. However, its impact on the American perception of politics and the men and women who make that machine go ‘round and ‘round was harmful. Slick Willy might have excelled at climbing out of the holes he dug for himself, but in so doing, and as often as he did, he left Americans with the lasting impression that US politics are broken. PBS’s American Experience examines Bill Clinton’s life from his childhood in Arkansas, to his years at Yale and Oxford, and the entire run of his political career in a 2-part, 4-hour documentary that dissects the man, scrutinizes his record, and questions the lasting impact of his time in office.

For some, this might all be too recent to revisit too soon, but for those interested in filling in the gaps that nightly news coverage omitted or under-examined, then Clinton is for you. The surname title gives American Experience the room to also cover Hillary’s involvement in Bill’s career, and it’s a good thing. If anyone person, place, or time could be considered the lynchpin in his success, it’s her. Her willingness to stay by his side through all of the scandal and public dissent to some of his worst choices is probably the very thing that kept him in good favor. She was his anchor, but also the litmus test that restricted just how angry at his failings the rest of the country could be. The documentary chronicles how Bill and Hillary met, the decisions that put him on the road to presidency, his triumphs, his mistakes, and how he bounced back each and every time.

Blu-ray Bonus Features


"American Experience: Clinton" is on sale February 21, 2012 and is not rated. Documentary. Written and directed by Barak Goodman. Starring Campbell Scott.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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