William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library

We got here right as they opened, at 9am. Not first in line, but among the first. The parking lot pretty empty.

The usual, going through security, then buying tickets, $8 per Senior. On the ground floor is the Gift Shop, of course, and the presidential limo.

Then we were directed up a flight to see a movie about President Clinton, about ten minutes long, the story of his life, Clinton speaking to the camera for some of the movie. He talked about being raised by his extended family and how they taught him the values he took with him to the White House. [Here, I’ll refrain from the usual snark I might add because if I started now, the whole post would be snark!]

Not a packed house…..

From here, we met up with a guide in the recreated Cabinet Room, set up exactly as it was in the Clinton Administration.

The couple in front of me had their dog along on the tour. I was shocked the Library would allow pets in that weren’t assist dogs. But I guess if you travel with your pet, you can’t leave him in the hot car. Still, I was surprised.

Our guide, Michael, was raised in Arkansas, lived in New York and California before deciding to return to Arkansas. He said his father or grandfather, I can’t remember which, lived in Hope, so I suspect his connection to the Clinton Family is from that. All the guides are volunteers, a lovely bunch, all very helpful. Michael had a bit of an agenda, although he said at least a half dozen times, I’m not going to being partisan, then he’d say something incredibly partisan!!! It was actually comical.

The tour moved from the Cabinet Room into the Timeline Room where there were displays of each year Clinton was in office and things that happened then.

Many people in our tour group were part of a York Family Reunion, all raised in Arkansas and back, 65 strong. The young boy in the center was with his grandparents, from Austin, Texas.

Michael, looking worried, when early on someone asked if there was a display about The Impeachment years. Yes. But no blue dress.

Much of Michael’s spiel was about Clinton being strong on globalization, NAFTA his major claim to fame legislation. But there was a large section on the Economy during the Clinton years.

No Library in Little Rock would be complete without a mention of the Little Rock Nine, from the days of Central High School.

Forgive the lousy photo, the glass glare made taking photos of exhibits impossible but here’s one example of Clinton’s goal of Shared Prosperity by globalization. 

Peeps….

The third floor included exhibits of gifts to the President and First Lady, a Dale Chihuly chandelier, that here is only a portion of the larger actual chandelier.  

Hillary, looking wistful. The caption options are limitless!!! 😀

Several of Bill’s sxaphones are on display and Bill said in his movie that his passtion for music was deeply influenced by Elvis.

Third floor looking down to the second level. 

The recreated Oval Office was last on the tour. No photos allowed standing in the room because there was a professional photographer who took your photo sitting at the President’s desk. We opted out of paying for that privilege.

Our non-partisan partisan guide snarled at Trump using these curtains early on when he moved into the WH but not attributing them to Clinton. It was that level of commentary from our guide that gave him a 1 out of 10.

The building itself is quite attractive in its setting but no display or exhibit on the architect. The top floor is an apartment that Bill uses when he’s in town. Needless to say we weren’t allowed up here!!

Lovely vistas across to downtown Little Rock and over the river and the bridge that the Clinton family restored and is part of a long biking and walking trail.

There’s also a building on the grounds that was a former rail station, now housing the Clinton School of Public Service. We did not go inside. The buildig is amazingly detailed and nicely juxtaposed next to the very modern Library.

Leaving the Library, another large Reunion group was going in. I didn’t catch the names on their shirts but they were much bigger in number than the Yorks. 

Parking lot vanity plates!!!! What is a Dirtird?? 

Back at the hotel to unwind from the heat a bit, take a swim, then head back out for more sightseeing. Hope you enjoyed our tour.  

I was underwhelmed by the Library, nothing to do with Clinton himself, I just thought the displays and exhibits were meh. Visually unappealing to my eye. But now it’s off the bucket list. I can say yes, I’ve been to the Clinton Library. One has to wonder had Hillary won, would this become the Bill and Hillary Presidential Library or would she erect one of her own in Illinois or New York? Thankfully, we needn’t worry about that!!! 

21 thoughts on “William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library

  1. Now that’s a tour! Thanks for saving us the $8.

    Any mention of who financed the library?

    Or of post-office rescue-mankind activities for the past 16.5 years?

    Now you can turn on the snark.

    1. Michael went to great lengths to tell us the library was funded privately UNTIL finished. Then it belongs to National Archives and we get the pleasure of keeping the doors open. I’m okay with that. Michael said the rules changed after Reagan, leaving me to think the taxpayers paid for the Reagan Library? I have to do some research when I get home.
      Post office rescue? Need help understanding that.

  2. Excellent tour. I suppose anyone who chooses to be a guide at the Clinton Library has inherent bias. Would be hard to give a tour and say nothing partisan.

    1. Good question. I think yes. But for those who didn’t approve, perhaps decorum, being in a presidential library, meant keeping ones opinion out of the tour. I wish our guide felt the same. I wanted facts.

    1. FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY.

      Personally, I thought the Clinton lieberry was true to Bill in the sense it was double talk social justice everyone should be treated the same crapola.

  3. You should see the tour guides they have at Graceland – looked like the King himself picked the girls out from the local high school. They had these canned speeches they would repeat for each room and if you asked a question, they would just repeat it. My favorite was that Elvis did not cause the rip that is in the corner of his pool table because he was an excellent pool player.

  4. Interesting report. Give us your sense of Little Rock and what it is like as a city.

    A lot to process in this trip. I’ve been watching a number of YouTube videos recently of Milton Friedman from his Free to Choose series, which has to be circa 1980, as well as some of his speeches/lectures and panel discussions. He spends a lot of time talking about equality and freedom, or maybe that is what I’ve honed in on, given that equality is such a tag line these days. He contends if you emphasize equality over freedom, you wind up with neither. Of course he thinks one should be free to choose and then live with choices and how things play out. Lots of other insightful logic also.

    I miss this guy.

    1. It’s very hard to get a feel for a city doing a drive by. There are some established neighborhoods with lovely homes and then there are run down parts. But that’s anywhere. I don’t know the profile of a local so all the peeps we saw downtown walking we couldn’t decide if they were tourists like us or residents. The people at the Library were likely 100% tourists although 90% of the license plates said Arkansas. Could be from outside LR or rental cars.
      I can’t see how Hillary liked living there. Bill, yes, he’s a good old boy. Hillary is a northerner thrown into the Deep South. That’s no easy transition.

      1. Somehow, it seems to me, the only place that she would be at home with her well developed traits of mendacity, avarice and condescension would be Washington D.C.

        1. Very true. I bet she hasn’t come to LR since the library was dedicated. That’s the condescension aspect of her. She wouldn’t step foot in LR unless there was a TV crew and there was some favorable coverage.

    1. Aren’t you the smart one for figuring that out!! Kudos. I NEVER thought to pronounce it that way. Usually when I see a vanity plate I don’t understand I try and pronounce it a million different ways.

  5. It really says something about US culture when the tour guide is informally dressed better than the tourees. What a bunch of slobs

    1. Actually, to my eyes, the guide was a mess. His shirt was wrinkled. His blue blazer didn’t fit and looked dirty. His pants were too long. The female guides I saw were done up to the nines. Superb.
      As for the tourees, I was the only one in a dress. The York family reunion peeps, while in t-shirts, were nattily accessorized and very neat.
      I didn’t see anyone in horrible attire but I really wasn’t looking.
      And to think my mother made me wear white gloves when we flew to Europe.

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