It’s traditional to knock politicians when they’re down.
Despite having policies and what seemed like a genuine desire to improve the US economy, his second term of office was overshadowed - perhaps sunk - by the Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent impeachment hearings.
Foreign policy and in particular foreign trips were a welcome break from the tedium and embarrassment of life in Washington DC.
The police had sealed all the manhole covers around Belfast's Hilton Hotel and placed crowd control barriers in front of it.
As Clinton walked out of the hotel on that cold morning, was he greeted by the thousands of people who had stood in front of Belfast City Hall on his first visit and watched Clinton turn on the Christmas tree lights?
(Incidentally, either the Ninja Turtles or the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had been booked - can't remember which - but Bill snuck in and switched on the illuminations a week early.)
No. About twenty people greeted him. A couple of cleaners from a nearby building, and some folk who were wandering into work a bit late. Later on, some local office workers chatted to Chealsea in the hotel gym during their lunchtime workout. All very low key.
The reason for this reminiscence? Well, Tony Blair’s presidency seems to be heading downhill fast. His power at home is draining into the already-full storm drains around Westminster.
- Iraq has not been the success he gambled on. Bush has become an awkward ally, helping to undermine Blair’s genuineness.
- Blair’s Northern Ireland hopes are far from secure.
- So too are his efforts in the Middle East.
- And the Cash for Peerages investigation is sure to mean that the political trivia in history books includes the reference to him being "the first serving UK Prime Minister to be questioned by the police".
Politicians, who are at times noble, still fall as quickly as the rest of us.
Clinton, Blair, probably Bush too. Brown better watch out.