Clinton, however, was always able to talk and dance his way out of it. From the Whitewater scandal to his efforts to avoid the draft to his claim that he "didn't inhale" when he tried smoking marijuana, "Slick Willie" kept avoiding the consequences of his actions.
Perhaps the most blatant example of his slickness concerned his adultery. Forced to answer questions about his behavior before a grand jury, he lied, which led to his impeachment by the House. While half the Senate voted for conviction on one charge, the tally fell short of the required two-thirds, allowing him to stay in office. All along, Clinton clung to fine distinctions about the definitions of sexual relations and is.
Slick Willie wiggled his way out again and again. And since many of us found him likable, we went along with it.
Now he's back and trying to snooker us again, making the case for the reelection of President Obama. At the Democratic convention, Clinton argued that the country is better off than it was four years ago. While we may like the guy and want to believe him, we know that's not true.
About 20 percent of the nation's households include an adult who is unemployed, underemployed, or no longer seeking work. Almost all of those who are employed have seen their wages stagnate or decline. And almost 70 million households have seen the value of their primary investment - the home - decline in value. While the recession technically ended more than three years ago, the recovery has been almost nonexistent.
The truth, no matter what Slick Willie says, is that we are far worse off today than we were four years ago.
Clinton has also argued that it is George W. Bush's fault that we're in this mess, and that returning the White House to a Republican will make matters worse. But the reality is that while the recession may have been Bush's, the anemic recovery belongs to Obama.
Never before has government pursued such expansive fiscal and monetary policies with such terrible results. While Obama's policies have helped the bottom 20 percent of the population, they have put such a heavy burden on the economy that it simply can't recover at a reasonable pace.
Picture a runner who stumbles and falls while rounding a turn. Instead of trying to help him up, Obama keeps placing additional weight on his shoulders. With his burdensome health-care reform and excessive regulation of key markets, Obama has prevented the economy from getting up and running again.
Slick Willie can say what he wants. But even if we really do like the guy, let's not fall for it again.
Michael Busler is an associate professor at Richard Stockton College.