The Clinton Scandal and the Future of American Government

Mark J. Rozell and Clyde Wilcox, Editors

"It is easy to moralize and sensationalize when speaking of the scandal. It is far more difficult to step back and, with fairness and detachment, chronicle what it reveals about American politics and political institutions. The contributions in this volume suceed admirably."
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The Clinton scandal consumed the better part of a year of American public life, bitterly dividing the nation and culminating in a constitutional crisis. In this book, thoughtful, nonpartisan essays provide an insightful and lasting analysis of one of the major political events of our time.

Here leading scholars explore the long-reaching constitutional and political implications of the scandal: how it will affect the presidency, the law, and the political process. A first group of chapters considers effects of the scandal on institutions: the presidency, Congress, the courts, the independent counsel statute, executive privilege, and the impeachment process itself. A second section addresses political factors: public opinion, the media, and presidential character and personality. A concluding essay broadly examines the implications of the scandal for governance.

These far-reaching essays address such issues as risks posed to Congressional political careers, the prospect of future presidents being subject to civil suits, the pros and cons of Kenneth Starr's investigation, the role of the media in breaking and then shaping the story, and ways of reforming the system to handle the unacceptable private behavior of future presidents.

A provocative book for readers concerned with how our government copes with such a challenge, and an essential reader for courses on the presidency or American government, this collection will stand the tests of both time and rigorous analysis.

Table of Contents


The Clinton Presidency and the Politics of Scandal
Mark J. Rozell and Clyde Wilcox

Institutional Perspectives

The Presidency: The Clinton Crisis and Its Consequences
Robert J. Spitzer

The Congress: The Politics of Impeachment
Thomas A. Kazee

The Courts: The Perils fo Paula
Karen O'Connor and John R. Hermann

The Independent Counsel Statute
Louis Fisher

Executive Privilege in the Clinton Scandal
Mark J. Rozell

"Below the Law"?
David A. Yalof and Joel B. Grossman

Scandal Time: The Clinton Impeachment and the Distraction fo American Politics
Paul J. Quirk

The Impeachment and Acquittal of William Jefferson Clinton
Michael J. Gerhardt

Political Perspectives

Public Opinion: The Paradoxes of Clinton's Popularity
Molly W. Andolina and Clyde Wilcox

The Media: The New Media and the Lure of the Clinton Scandal
John Anthony Maltese

Presidential Personality: The Clinton Legacy
Stephen J. Wayne

Presidential Character: Multidimensional or Seamless?
James P. Pfiffner



"It is easy to moralize and sensationalize when speaking of the scandal. It is far more difficult to step back and, with fairness and detachment, chronicle what it reveals about American politics and political institutions. The contributions in this volume suceed admirably."—American Political Science Review

"Offers understanding rather than sensationalism. The editors are to be congratulated for assembling the most able scholars for identifying the ripple effects of scandal and impeachment on American political institutions, the media, and the public."—Charles O. Jones, emeritus professor of political science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Rozell and Wilcox provide what the American political process and the public lacked so badly during the impeachment crisis: detached, fair scholarly analysis. Their book is required reading not just for those who are fascinated by the events of the Clinton impeachment, but for those who are concerned about American politics and the fate of constitutional government."—John Yoo, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley

"An outstanding collection that analyzes the Clinton impeachment scandal from a variety of perspectives, from the effects on the presidency to the role of media and public opinion."—Herbert Weisberg, Ohio State University

"The Clinton scandal raised many important issues for students of American politics. This book, the first major effort to systematically explore the dimensions of the scandal, makes a fine contribution to our understanding of the politics of impeachment."—George C. Edwards III, distinguished professor and director, Center for Presidential Studies, Texas A&M University


Louis Fisher Michael J. Gerhardt Joel B. Grossman John R. Hermann Thomas Kazee John Anthony Maltese Karen O'Connor James P. Pfiffner Paul J. Quirk Mark J. Rozell Molly Sonner Robert J. Spitzer Stephen J. Wayne Clyde Wilcox David A. Yalof

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Mark J. Rozell is an associate professor of politics at The Catholic University of America.

Clyde Wilcox
is a professor of government at Georgetown University. They are the coauthors of Interest Groups in American Campaigns: The New Face of Electioneering (Congressional Quarterly Press, 1999).

292 pp., 6 x 9

Mar 2000

292 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87840-777-4
Mar 2000

292 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-432-9
Mar 2000

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