US Presidential Election: Dollar power

Big money talks in American politics. Presidential candidates need it to try to achieve office, and once there, favours must be repaid. So why not reform a system that protects the freedom to give and the freedom to receive?

The World Today Published 1 March 2000 Updated 27 October 2020 4 minute READ

Godfrey Hodgson

Director, Reuters Foundation Programme, Oxford University

On 28 January, Bill Clinton delivered his eighth and last state of the Union address, the longest and by all odds the most upbeat for many, many years. Only the previous day, newspapers carried the result of the Iowa party caucuses, the opening shot in the campaign to succeed him.

Clinton, and the presidency, had made a remarkable recovery. Only a year before, Clinton, actually impeached by the House of Representatives, faced a Senate trial that could have brought his term in office to a humiliating close. And the presidency, as an institution, looked back on more than three decades of frustration, declining power and occasional disaster.

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