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Bill Clinton's I Have Sinned speech

This study guide will help you analyze Bill Clinton’s “I Have Sinned” (1998) speech. In addition to help with your analysis, you can find a summary of the speech and ideas for assessing it and putting it into perspective

Bill Clinton (b. 1946) is an American politician who served as the 42nd president of the United States. Clinton’s wife is Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in the 2016 election. Bill Clinton’s second presidential term was influenced by the scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, with whom Clinton had an affair. In his “I Have Sinned” speech, Clinton lets American citizens know that he is sorry for his actions and the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. 

Extract

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Audience 

Clinton delivers his speech at the annual White House prayer breakfast to over 100 religious leaders, family, friends, and members of staff. 

Clinton’s speech is mainly intended for the American people, whom he targets directly: 

In this, I ask for your prayers and for your help in healing our nation. And though I cannot move beyond or forget this - indeed, I must always keep it as a caution light in my life - it is very important that our nation move forward.

In this example, Clinton addresses American citizens and asks for their support. He suggests that having their forgiveness is in the country’s best interest, as he is still a good leader despite his mistakes. 

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Bill Clinton's I Have Sinned speech

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