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Bill Clinton

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Bill Clinton

A psychological study of President Bill Clinton, conducted before the 1996 election, predicted that the Clinton presidency would be 'troubled by ethical questions and lapses of judgment,' but that the president would 'retain a following and maintain his self-confidence in the face of adversity.' The investigation revealed serious flaws as well as redeeming features in the president's personality, and found his motives to be 'vastly different from those that scuttled the political career of Richard Nixon.'The study, by associate professor of psychology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, Aubrey Immelman, was published this fall in the journal Leadership Quarterly. Immelman concluded that in a second presidential term Bill Clinton would likely continue to display his 'driving ambition, supreme sense of self-confidence, and personal charisma,' but offered the 'sobering caveat' that President Clinton's character contained 'the seeds of its own undoing.' Specifically, Immelman determined that President Clinton's personality was an amalgam of ambitious and outgoing personality ordnums. According to Immelman, these patterns incorporate adaptive aspects of the narcissistic and histrionic character types described in the clinical personality literature.


Ambitious personalities are assertive, self-assured, persuasive, self-centered, and have a tendency to be arrogant, acting as though entitled. Outgoing personalities are gregarious, image-conscious, easily bored, charming, seductive, glib and inventive, and believe they can readily charm and influence others.The study was conducted before the president's affair with Monica Lewinsky came to light. Asked what the president's character reveals about his sexual risk taking, Immelman noted that personality theorist Theodore Millon of the University of Miami has found that a distinctive feature of the ambitious-outgoing personality composite (as in the case of Bill Clinton) is 'an erotic and seductive orientation.' According to Millon, such individuals may have an indifferent conscience and aloofness to the truth, which, if brought to ...

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