Irrespective of his morality and ethics, Bill Clinton is deserving of the accolades he has received for being a very shrewd, very insightful, and very skilled politician.
When he first ran for and won the presidency he very accurately read the mood of the country.
A decent a man as Bush the Elder is and as incredibly high as his favorables were after the first Gulf War it was relatively easy to cast him as an out of touch old patrician who was not prepared to lead the US through the challenges that faced it and the world at the end of the 20th Century.
I would suggest that George H W Bush was the last viable 20th Century candidate and time caught up with him before the century even turned. Bob Dole was a dinosaur who somehow escaped the tar pits to get clobbered by the first of the 21st Century candidates, Slick Willy Clinton.
Bill Clinton created the mold with his appearances on popular late night TV, his saxophone solo in shades and the use of Fleetwood Mc instead of Kate Smith for his campaign theme. Neither Gore nor Kerry could come close to his charisma or his political acumen. He knew when he ran against Bush Sr. that while voters may have been looking for a more modern president, they weren't looking for a more radical one. His leading the Democrat Party towards the center and focusing his message on the economy won him the election (with a lot of help from nutty Ross Perot). His Sista Soldja moment was calculated and politically brilliant.
Most of us have now heard the reports that Bill continuously argued that Hillary was ignoring a key demographic --- working class whites and he was, of course, right. With 20/20 hindsight, plenty of Democrat strategists have all now put their finger on the flaw but at the time they all nodded, smiled and ignored Bill. Hillary may have been willing to use Bill to attract nostalgic Dems in their 50s and 60s, but she wasn't going to let him steer her campaign.
In the end Hillary proved herself to be a 20th Century dinosaur, despite all of the pretense of representing the modern 21st Century woman. The Dems should have taken lessons from Bob Dole's failure and Barrack Obama's success and never let her crawl out of the tar pits.