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The Unitary ExecutivePresidential Power from Washington to Bush$
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Steven G. Calabresi and Christopher S. Yoo

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300121261

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300121261.001.0001

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Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

(p.391) 42 Bill Clinton
The Unitary Executive

Steven G. Calabresi

Christopher S. Yoo

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on one of the most controversial presidents of the twentieth century, Bill Clinton. Political scandals notwithstanding, all agree that Clinton's intelligence and knowledge of policymaking details were very impressive. Clinton was a master at asserting presidential control over the executive branch of the government, including the independent agencies, and, in addition, was an unusually hardworking president who was deeply immersed in the policymaking details of his administration. He demanded total control over the workings of the executive branch—an attitude that filtered into his decisions in appointing and dismissing, as well as controlling, subordinates. Much like Lyndon Johnson, Clinton wanted no disagreement, indeed no independent forces, within his executive department, and also expressed no hesitation in exercising his authority to remove executive officials.

Keywords:   controversial presidents, Bill Clinton, policymaking details, presidential control, independent agencies, Lyndon Johnson, independent forces

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