The Right Coast

June 10, 2004
Johnson on Clinton
By Mike Rappaport

With an example of what has made him a bestselling historian, Paul Johnson attempts to sum up the presidency of Bill Clinton.

Most of Clinton's time and energy as president were spent not on policy or executive activity but in defending himself against accusations. . . This had one outstanding virtue. It turned the Clinton years into one of the longest periods of laissez-faire in U.S. history. If Clinton had been a continent man, and so with time to be an activist president, the consequences would almost certainly have been disastrous for the American economy. As it was, with the president busy elsewhere, the nation thrived mightily as always when the White House does nothing.
Another reason to be thankful that the ascetic Ralph Nader will not become president.