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"Clinton," a 4-hour documentary revisiting Bill Clinton's rise to power and presidency, airs Monday and Tuesday on PBS.
"Clinton," a 4-hour documentary re-examining former US president Bill Clinton's rise to power and affair with Monica Lewinsky, will premiere Monday night on PBS as part of the network's "American Experience" series.
The documentary, which will air in two-hour segments Monday and Tuesday, seeks to shed new light on Clinton's affair with his 23-year-old intern, and features interviews with some of Clinton's closest advisors, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"When the Lewinsky scandal broke the President paged me and I returned the call," Clinton's former re-election campaign manager Dick Morris said in the film. "And he said, 'Ever since I got here to the White House I've had to shut my body down, sexually I mean, but I screwed up with this girl. I didn't do what they said I did, but I may have done so much that I can't prove my innocence.'"
The documentary also touches on some of the major milestones of Clinton's life and political career, including his childhood in Hot Springs, Arkansas, his relationship with his abusive stepfather, his courtship of Hillary Rodham, the major ethics controversy that came to be known as Travelgate, and the Whitewater scandal, the New York Times reported.
Despite its breadth, the documentary does not tackle certain issues, including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the rise of Osama bin Laden and terrorism in general, CBS News noted.
"(His idealism) was the engine of his energy," Barak Goodman, the director and writer of "Clinton," told CBS. "I think now that he's been sort of shorn of the political part of his life, he doesn't have to wage those battles to get re-elected. You see that idealism on display. He has had a remarkable post presidency. [...] I think you can say it's probably been the most successful in history."
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"It may not be the most novel political insight to point out that history repeats itself, but the most intriguing thing about watching [Clinton] is seeing how quickly it does," Time magazine's James Poniewozik wrote in his review of the documentary. "So many elements of today’s politics are here—a deeply polarized Washington, a new President criticized by his own party for caving too quickly on the issues, hyperbolic debate over health care—that once we get to the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress and a new-old face appears, that of Newt Gingrich, it seems only natural."