While he was in office I had the impression that he was putting his own ego and personal needs ahead of the country's. I felt he needed to be more straight with us and not couch any of his actions in waffle words. Unfortunately, I don't recall anything specific, just a general feeling. I wasn't as happy with him as I'd hoped to be. I did like his Americorps program and other programs that gained very little press, but again had no good way to determine if they were successful or not.
At the same time I was sick to death of the right-wing assaults on him. The Whitewater investigations went on and on and I did not know what to make of them. It was only later that I learned more of the details of those investigations and the dirtiness of the funding of these assaults, and how the major media simply reprinted allegations without any investigation. We were full into the era of he-said-she-said, the journalists' version of "fairness". I wasn't the most astute political observer but even I could see that this was hardly a matter of equal time. It was distorted and lazy and disgusting.
I was glad when the two terms were over because I no longer felt the pressure to "defend my president". I was not a huge fan of Gore's, although I suspect that is more because I knew little about him. I had hated Bush the elder and seriously disliked what I had seen of W, so of course no votes were going there. Not mine, that is. I thought others would see what I saw in W, but too many didn't and still don't.
Interestingly, I have gained greater respect and appreciation of Clinton since he left office. Partly because of the greater knowledge I now have of his work and of the right-wing smear campaigns, and partly because of his own incredibly generous nature. He is not in the habit of attacking others. He doesn't use sound bites to attack those who attack him. Instead, he is diplomatic, more of a statesman than anyone else I can think of at this time. I am amazed that in spite of weathering so much in his presidency he continues to love his country and work hard for it, and keep a positive attitude. Those years had to be hard on him yet he worked like a dog to do what he was there for, to improve the economic situation for the entire country.
He was ridiculed for every possible reason, personal and political. But I see no signs of resentment or bitterness. He's bigger than that. And thus my admiration increases. And it's astonishing that he seems to take Hillary's advances so much in stride, even with humor. She is on the block now and he just shrugs his shoulders and lets it all slide past. Perhaps the shear size of the campaign against him made him that much stronger.