By Anthony J. Bennett (auth.)
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Extra resources for The Battle for the White House from Bush to Obama: Volume II Nominations and Elections in an Era of Partisanship
All these factors made the 2000 election Al Gore’s to lose. But as we shall see, the Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney managed to tie Al Gore to a popular administration—and still come out as the winners. Clinton’s legacy in the annals of political history is mixed at best. Dilys Hill drew attention to Clinton’s seeming inability to move from campaigning 24 T he Bat tle for the White House to governing. She wrote: “Campaigning skills were Clinton’s great strengths. ”4 Fred Greenstein also drew attention to the Clinton paradox: “At his best, Clinton was an outstanding public communicator.
Following the court’s rulings, both candidates made separate public statements. Gore gave what many regarded as his best speech of the entire election campaign—witty, concise, and self-deprecating. Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the forty-third president of the United States. And I promised him that I wouldn’t call him back this time. Now the US Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the Court’s decision, I accept it.
They said it wouldn’t last. But it did. Soon pundits were telling us that this was after all going to be a close election, that the good “fundamentals” favored the incumbent party and that 2000 would turn out to be another 1988—when the incumbent vice president came back from a huge deficit to pull off a comfortable win. Al Gore was George H. W. Bush II, and Bush’s son was merely another Michael Dukakis. The Bush-Gore Campaign Gallup’s post–Labor Day poll (September 8) had Bush at 46 percent and Gore at 45 percent.
The Battle for the White House from Bush to Obama: Volume II Nominations and Elections in an Era of Partisanship by Anthony J. Bennett (auth.)