Last updated on: 12/30/2010 | Author:

Paul Begala, JD Biography

Former Political Advisor to President Bill Clinton
Pro to the question "Was Bill Clinton a Good President?"

“I think he will be seen as a stunningly successful president…

When I traveled around with him in the country, these are the promises he made: he said, ‘I’ll revive the economy.’ 22 million jobs later, this is the best economy in the history of the world, in the history of capitalism, the finest economic situation any people have ever had. He said, ‘I’ll reduce the deficit by half.’ I thought that was a little optimistic over-promising in the campaign. He’s more than reduced it. He’s now going to pay down the national debt if the Republicans don’t squander it away in a tax cut.

‘I’ll end welfare as we know it.’ Mission accomplished. He said, ‘I’ll put 100,000 cops on the street and cut crime.’ The lowest crime rate in 30 years. He said, ‘I’ll expand trade and be a new kind of Democrat, passing a free trade deal with Mexico and then later with China.’

Mission accomplished on every critical juncture, except health care, where he promised national health insurance… I tell you, it’s the most successful presidency since FDR, maybe LBJ if he hadn’t had Vietnam, but if you look at what the man set out to do and what he accomplished, stack him up against anybody.”

“The Clinton Years: Promise/Defeat,” Frontline,, Jan. 16, 2001

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Former Political Advisor to President Bill Clinton
  • Affiliated Professor of Public Policy, Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University
  • Political Analyst and Commentator, CNN
  • Carl E. Sanders Political Leadership Scholar at the University of Georgia School of Law, 2007
  • Former Contributing Editor, George magazine
  • Co-host, Crossfire, CNN, 2002-2005
  • Former co-host, Equal Time, MSNBC
  • Former Senior Vice President, Public Strategies, Inc.
  • Principal public spokesman, Clinton administration
  • Political Consultant, Carville & Begala
  • JD, University of Texas, 1990
  • BA, Government, University of Texas, 1983
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Was Bill Clinton a Good President?