THE TERM Whitewater has two meanings. In its literal sense, it refers to the Whitewater Development Corporation, an unsuccessful real estate partnership between former president and first lady Bill and Hillary Clinton and James and Linda McDougal to develop a resort on the White River in Arkansas. In its broader sense, Whitewater was a partisan attempt to use a “scandal” to bring down a president.

The real estate deal can only be understood in the deregulation environment of the 1980s in what became known as the “me decade.” The “scandal” makes sense only in the highly charged environment of political campaigns and subsequent partisan attacks on a political opponent. Within the context of Whitewater, neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton was ever found guilty of anything worse ...

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