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Dead Center: Clinton-Gore Leadership and the…
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Dead Center: Clinton-Gore Leadership and the Perils of Moderation

by James MacGregor Burns

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684837781, Hardcover)

When Bill Clinton first ran for president in 1992, write James MacGregor Burns and Georgia J. Sorenson, "he had professed a strong hope to be a transformational leader who would shape large and lasting changes in American society." In Dead Center, published in the final months of Clinton's second term, they take stock of his emerging legacy. The result is not flattering. Clinton won't be regarded as a "great" president in the tradition of Washington and Lincoln, they argue, or even a "near-great" one, because he pursued a centrist agenda in office. "A contradiction lay at the heart of Clinton's leadership: if he truly aspired to presidential greatness, the strategy he had chosen ensured that he would never achieve it." Pragmatism ("which today means only expedient, narrow, and short-term self-interest") may have kept Clinton in the Oval Office, they go on to say, but it hardly defines a true leader. "The test is 'what immediately works?'--with no consideration of broader, long-term aspects," explain the authors. They don't suggest Clinton has been a lousy president, but that he falls far short of the mark he set for himself early on. He knew how to win, but not how to lead. --John J. Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:34 -0400)

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