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Clinton's Place In History

Bill Clinton wanted his presidency to be about the big things, reports CBS News Correspondet Wyatt Andrews. He looked forward to fixing social security, confronting racism, and improving education. However, instead of mending Medicare, his year has been about Monica.

Does anyone even remember the president's agenda this year? He had a plan to find 100,000 new teachers, at one point declaring "education is our highest priority."

He planned to stick big tobacco with a $1.50 tax hike and told working women that a million new children would receive child care with the tax revenues.

He also promised to help low income workers by trying to raise the minimum wage.

But did any of it happen?

Barring some future crisis, historians say, Clinton's substance may be overshadowed by scandal.

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"The bottom line on the Bill Clinton presidency will be that he was a moderate president bedeviled by sex scandal," says George Washington University Professor Leo Ribuffo.

For six years now, the affairs that Mr. Clinton wanted to call private have distracted him in public. Even die-hard defenders -- who watched him balance the budget, manage the economy and achieve tax credits for the poor -- are worried about the Clinton that history will remember.

"It would be a shame for him, it would be a shame for his friends such as myself who believe in him, and it would be a shame for the American people because this has been a truly historic presidency," says former presidential counsel Lanny Davis.

He has two years left to reverse the stain of scandal and he is the "comeback kid." However, right now the young idealist who was driven to find his place in history is at risk of getting a place he never wanted.

Reported by Wyatt Andrews
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