These presidents all said they were going to change America. How’d that work out?

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tags: election 2016, Trump



Twenty-four years ago, William Jefferson Clinton promised change.

“Thomas Jefferson believed that to preserve the very foundations of our nation, we would need dramatic change from time to time,” the 42nd president said in his first inaugural address. “Well, my fellow Americans, this is our time.”

He had been echoing Jefferson promiscuously for days. Jefferson had won the first “change election” in American history, in 1800 — federalists out, “republicans” in — and now Clinton had ended 12 years of Republican occupation of the White House. He had journeyed to Washington from Monticello, recreating Jefferson’s trip 191 years earlier, this time in a bus with a license plate reading “Hope 1.”

His predecessor had been a heroic World War II pilot, part of the Greatest Generation. Clinton was a boomer. The Cold War was over, and Clinton vowed to focus on domestic issues, boost the economy, help the middle class, reinvent government and provide universal health care while balancing the budget and just in general being transformational.

Then came reality. “Dramatic change” in Washington is hard to come by — as Clinton and just about every other “change” candidate has learned.




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