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An Electoral History of the United States of America

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Third 2000 Presidential Debate

October 17, 2000

Jim Lehrer: Good evening from the Field House at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm Jim Lehrer of the NewsHour on PBS. And I welcome you to this third and final Campaign 2000 debate between the Democratic candidate for president, Vice President Al Gore, and the Republican candidate, businessman Steve Forbes. Let's welcome the candidates now.

[Applause]

JL: Before proceeding tonight we would like to observe a moment of silence in memory of Governor Mel Carnahan of Missouri, who along with his son and his former chief of staff, died in a private plane crash last night near St. Louis. A reminder, as we continue now, that these debates are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The formats and the rules were worked out by the commission and the two campaigns. Tonight's questions will be asked by St. Louis area voters who were identified as being uncommitted by the Gallup organization. Earlier today each of them wrote a question on a small card like this. Those cards were collected and then given to me this afternoon. My job, under the rules of the evening, was to decide the order the questions will be asked and to call on the questioners accordingly. I also have the option of asking follow-ups which -- in order to get to more of the panel's questions. For the record, I plan to do sparingly and mostly for clarifications. The audience participants are bound by the following rule. They shall not ask follow-up questions or otherwise participate in the extended discussion. And the questioner's microphone will be turned off after he or she completes asking the question. Those are the rules. As in Winston-Salem last week, no single answer or response from a candidate can exceed two minutes. There is an audience here in the hall and they have promised to remain absolutely quiet, as did their predecessors this year in Boston, Danville, and Winston-Salem. Now, let's go to the first question. Of over the 130 questions we received from this panel, we will begin with one of the 19 on health issues, and it goes to you, Mr. Vice President, and it will be asked by James Hankins. Mr. Hankins?

James Harkins: How do you feel about HMOs and insurance companies making the critical decisions that affect people's lives instead of the medical professionals, and why are the HMOs and insurance companies not held accountable for their decisions?

Al Gore: Mr. Hankins, I don't feel good about it, and I think we ought to have a patient's bill of rights to take the medical decisions away from the HMOs and give them back to the doctors and nurses. I want to come back and tell you why, but if you will forgive me, I would like to say something right now at the beginning of this debate following on the moment of silence for Mel Carnahan and Randy Carnahan and Chris Sifford. Tipper and I were good friends with Mel and Randy, and I know that all of us here want to extend our sympathy and condolences to Jean and the family and to the Sifford family. And I would just like to say that this debate in a way is a living tribute to Mel Carnahan because he loved the vigorous discussion of ideas in our democracy. He was a fantastic governor of Missouri. This state became one of the top five in the nation for health care coverage for children under his leadership. One of the best in advancing all kinds of benefits for children to grow up healthy and strong. And of course, this debate also takes place at a time when the tragedy of the USS Cole is on our minds and hearts and insofar as the memorial service is tomorrow, I would like to also extend sympathy to the families of those who have died and those who are still missing, and the injured. Now, Mr. Hankins, I think that the situation that you describe has gotten completely out of hand. Doctors are giving prescriptions, they're recommending treatments, and then their recommendations are being overruled by HMOs and insurance companies. That is unacceptable. I support a strong national patient's bill of rights. It is actually a disagreement between us, a national law that is pending on this, the Dingle-Norwood bill, a bipartisan bill, is one that I support and that Mr. Forbes does not.

JL: Two minutes response, Mr. Forbes.

Steve Forbes: I, too, want to extend my prayers and blessings, God's blessings on the families whose lives were overturned last night. It's a tragic moment. Actually, Mr. Vice President, it's not true. I do support a national patient's bill of rights. As a matter of fact, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to do just that in the State of Texas to get a patient's bill of rights through. It requires a different kind of leadership style to do it, though. You see, in order to get something done on behalf of the people, you have to put partisanship aside, and that's what we did in my state. We have one of the most advanced patient's bill of rights. It says, for example, that a woman doesn't have to go through a gatekeeper to go to her gynecologist. It says that you can't gag a doctor, doctor can advise you. The HMO, the insurance company, can't gag that doctor from giving you full advice. And this particular bill, it allows patients to choose a doctor, their own doctor if they want to. But we did something else that was interesting. We're one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage. Now there's what's called an Independent Review Organization that you have to go through first. It says if you've got a complaint with your insurance company, you can take your complaint to an objective body. If the objective body rules on your behalf, the insurance company must follow those rules. However, if the insurance company doesn't follow the findings of the IRO, then that becomes a cause of action in a court of law. It's time for our nation to come together and do what's right for the people, and I think this is right for the people. You know, I support a national patient's bill of rights, Mr. Vice President, and I want all people covered. I don't want the law to supersede good law like we've got in Texas. I think --

JL: Mr. Forbes, time is up, sir. The next question also on health issue is from -- it will be asked by Marie Payne Kloepy, and it goes to Mr. Forbes.

Marie P. Kloepy: Are either of you concerned with -- are either of you concerned with finding some feasible way to lower the price of pharmaceutical drugs such as education on minimizing intake, revamp of the FDA process or streamlining the drug companies' procedures instead of just finding more money to pay for them?

SF: Well, that's a great question. I think one of the problems we have, particularly for seniors, is there is no prescription drug coverage in Medicare. And therefore, when they have to try to purchase drugs they do so on their own, there's no kind of collective bargaining, no power of purchasing among seniors. So I think step one to make sure prescription drugs is more affordable for seniors, and those are the folks who really rely upon prescription drugs a lot these days, is to reform the Medicare system, is to have prescription drugs as an integral part of Medicare once and for all. The problem we have today is like the patient's bill of rights, particularly with health care, there's a lot of bickering in Washington, D.C. It's kind of like a political issue as opposed to a people issue. So what I want to do is I want to call upon Republicans and Democrats to forget all the arguing and finger pointing, and come together and take care of our seniors' prescription drug program, that says we'll pay for the poor seniors, we'll help all seniors with prescription drugs. In the meantime, I think it's important to have what's called Immediate Helping Hand, which is direct money to states so that seniors, poor seniors, don't have to choose between food and medicine. That's part of an overall overhaul. The purchasing powers. And I'm against price controls. I think price controls would hurt our ability to continue important research and development. Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it. One of the most important things is to continue the research and development component. And so I'm against price controls. Expediting drugs through the FDA makes sense, of course. Allowing the new bill that was passed in the Congress made sense to allow for, you know, drugs that were sold overseas to come back and other countries to come back into the United States. That makes sense. But the best thing to do is to reform Medicare.

JL: Vice President Gore, two minutes.

AG: All right, here we go again. Now look, if you want someone who will spend a lot of words describing a whole convoluted process and then end up supporting legislation that is supported by the big drug companies, this is your man. If you want someone who will fight for you and who will fight for the middle-class families and working men and women, who are sick and tired of having their parents and grandparents pay higher prices for prescription drugs than anybody else, then I want to fight for you. And you asked a great question because it's not only seniors. Listen, for 24 years I have never been afraid to take on the big drug companies. They do some great things. They discover great new cures and that's great. We want them to continue that. But they are now spending more money on advertising and promotion. You see all these ads? Than they are on research and development. And they are trying artificially extend the monopoly patent protection so they can keep charging these very high prices. I want to streamline the approval of the competing generic drugs and the new kinds of treatments that can compete with them so we bring the price down for everybody. Now, briefly, let me tell you how my prescription drug plan works. Mr. Forbes talked about Medicare. I propose a real prescription drug benefit under Medicare for all seniors, all seniors, and here's how it works. You pick your own doctor, and nobody can take that away from you. The doctor chooses the prescription that you need and nobody can overrule your doctor. You go to your own pharmacy and then Medicare pays half the price. If you're poor, they pay all of it. If you have extraordinarily high cost, then they pay all over $4,000 out-of-pocket. And I'll bring new competition to bring the price down. And if you pass the big drug companies' bill, nothing will happen.

JL: All right. Another health question, it comes from Vickie French, and it's for you, Vice President Gore. Vickie French, where are you? Oh, there she is.

Vickie French: We spend billions of dollars every year on taxes, or pay billions of dollars in taxes. Would you be open to the idea of a national health care plan for everybody? And if not, why? If so, is this something you would try to implement if you are elected into office and what would you do to implement this plan?

AG: I think that we should move step-by-step toward universal health coverage, but I am not in favor of government doing it all. We've spent 65 years now on the development of a hybrid system, partly private, partly public, and 85% of our people have health insurance, 15% don't. That adds up to 44 million people. That is a national outrage. We have got to get health coverage for those who do not have it and we've got to improve the quality for those who do with a patient's bill of rights that's real and that works, the Dingle-Norwood bill, and we have got to fill in the gaps in coverage by finally bringing parity for the treatment of mental illness, because that's been left out. We have got to deal with long-term care. Now, here are the steps that I would take, first of all. I will make a commitment to bring health care coverage of high quality that is affordable to every single child in America within four years. And then we'll fill other gaps by covering the parents of those children when the family is poor or up to two and a half times the poverty rate. I want to give a tax credit for the purchase of individual health insurance plans. I want to give small business employers a tax credit, 25%, to encourage the providing of health insurance for the employees in small businesses. I want to give seniors who are, well, the near elderly, I don't like that term because I am just about in that category, but those 55 to 65 ought to be able to buy into Medicare for premiums that are reasonable and fair and significantly below what they have to get now.

JL: Time is up. Mr. Forbes, two minutes.

SF: I'm absolutely opposed to a national health care plan. I don't want the federal government making decisions for consumers or for providers. I trust people, I don't trust the federal government. It's going to be one of the themes you hear tonight. I don't want the federal government making decisions on behalf of everybody. There is an issue with the uninsured, there sure is. And we have uninsured people in my state. Ours is a big state, a fast-growing state. We share a common border with another nation. But we're providing health care for our people. One thing about insurance, that's a Washington term. The question is, are people getting health care, and we have a strong safety net, and there needs to be a safety net in America. There needs to be more community health clinics where the poor can go get health care. We need a program for the uninsured. They've been talking about it in Washington, D.C. The number of uninsured has now gone up for the past seven years. We need a $2,000 credit, rebate for people, working people that don't have insurance, they can get in the marketplace and start purchasing insurance. We need to have -- allow small businesses to write insurance across jurisdictional lines so small business can afford health care, small restaurants can afford health care. So health care needs to be affordable and available. We have to trust people to make decisions with their lives. In the Medicare reform I talk about it says if you are a senior, you can stay in Medicare if you like it, and that's fine, but we're going to give you other choices to choose if you want to do so, just like they do the federal employees. The people that work in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Congress or the United States senate. Get a variety of choices to make in their lives. And that's what we ought to do for all people in America.

JL: Yes, sir, sorry, time is up. We have another audience question. It will be asked by Robert Lutz. Mr. Lutz?

Robert Lutz: Mr. Forbes --

SF: Yes, sir.

RL: I would like to know why you object to the Brady Handgun bill, if you do object to it. Because in a recent TV ad it showed that the National Rifle Association says that if you are elected, that they will be working out of your office.

SF: I don't think the National Rifle Association ran that ad. But let me just tell you my position on guns in general, sir, if you don't mind.

JL: Excuse me, I'm not sure he's finished with his question.

SF: I'm sorry.

RL: That kind of bothers me when I see an ad like that. I want you to explain that ad to me.

SF: Well, I don't think I ran the ad. I think somebody who doesn't want me to be president might have run that ad. That wasn't my ad. I think it might have been one of my opponent's ads. Here is what I believe, sir. I believe law-abiding citizens ought to be allowed to protect themselves and their families. I believe that we ought to keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them. That's why I'm for instant background checks at gun shows, I'm for trigger locks, I think that makes sense. I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun. But I also believe strongly that we need to enforce laws on the books that the best way to make sure that we keep our society safe and secure is to hold people accountable for breaking the law. If we catch somebody illegally selling a gun, there needs to be a consequence. If we keep somebody -- you know, illegally using a gun, there needs to be a consequence. Enforcement of law, and the federal government can help. There is a great program called Project Exile in Richmond, Virginia, where we focused federal taxpayers' money and federal prosecutors and went after people who were illegally using guns. To me that's how you make society the safest it can be. And so, yeah, sometimes I agree with some of these groups in Washington and sometimes I don't. I'm a pretty independent thinker. The one thing I'm for is a safe society. And I'm for enforcing laws on the books. And that's what is going to happen should I earn your confidence.

JL: Vice President Gore?

AG: Well, it was not one of my ads, either, Mr. Forbes. But I am familiar with the statement, and it was made by one of the top-ranking officials of that organization. Let me tell you my position. I think that some common sense gun safety measures are certainly needed with the flood of cheap handguns that have sometimes been working their way into the hands of the wrong people. But all of my proposals are focused on that problem, gun safety. None of my proposals would have any effect on hunters, or sportsmen, or people who use rifles. They're aimed at the real problem. Let's make our schools safe, let's make our neighborhoods safe. Let's have a three-day waiting period, cooling off, so we can have a background check to make sure that criminals and people who really shouldn't have guns don't get them.

JL: Alright. Now we're going to go to closing statements. Vice President Gore, you're first.

AG: Thank you very much, Jim. I would like to tell you something about me. I keep my word. I have kept the faith. I've kept the faith with my country. I volunteered for the Army. I kept the faith with my family. Tipper and I have been married for 30 years. We have devoted ourselves to our children and now our nearly one-and-a-half-year-old grandson. I have kept the faith with our country. Nine times I have raised my hand to take an oath to the Constitution, and I have never violated that oath. I have not spent the last quarter century in pursuit of personal wealth. I have spent the last quarter century fighting for middle-class working men and women in the United States of America. I believe very deeply that you have to be willing to stand up and fight no matter what powerful forces might be on the other side. If you want somebody who is willing to fight for you, I am asking for your support and your vote and, yes, your confidence and your willingness to believe that we can do the right thing in America, and be the better for it. We've made some progress during the last eight years. We have seen the strongest economy in the history of the United States. Lower crime rates for eight years in a row. Highest private home ownership ever, but I'll make you one promise here. You ain't seen nothing yet. And I will keep that promise.

JL: Mr. Forbes, two minutes.

SF: Well, Jim, I want to thank you and thank the folks here at Washington University and the vice president. Appreciate the chance to have a good, honest dialogue about our differences of opinion. I think after three debates the good people of this country understand there is a difference of opinion. There is a difference between big federal government and somebody who is coming from outside of Washington who will trust individuals. I've got an agenda that I want to get done for the country. It's an agenda that says we're going to reform Medicare to make sure seniors have got prescription drugs and to give seniors different options from which they can choose. It's an agenda that says we're listen to the young voices in Social Security and say we're going to think differently about making sure we have a system, but also fulfill the promise to the seniors in America. A promise made will be a promise kept should I be fortunate enough to become your president. I want to have the military keeping the peace. I want to make sure the public school system in America keeps its promise so not one child is left behind. After setting priorities, I want to give some of your money back. I don't think the surplus is the government's money. I think it's the people's money. I don't think the surplus exists because of the ingenuity and hard work of the federal government, I think it exists because of the ingenuity and hard work of the American people. And you ought to have some of this surplus so you can save and dream and build. I look forward to the final weeks of this campaign. I'm asking for your vote. For those of you for me, thanks for your help. For those of you for my opponent, please only vote once.

(LAUGHTER)

But for those who have not made up their mind, I would like to conclude by this promise. Should I be fortunate enough to become your president, when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to not only uphold the laws of the land, but I will also swear to uphold the honor and the dignity of the office to which I have been elected, so help me God. Thank you very much.

JL: A closing piece of business before we go. The Debate Commission wants reaction to the three kinds of formats used in the debates this year, and you may register an opinion at their website at www.debates.org. Vice President Gore, Mr. Forbes, thank you. And good night from Washington University in St. Louis.

(APPLAUSE)

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Election Night 2000

6:00 PM

"Good evening. It's election night in America once again, and after a gruelling campaign, we the people are about to elect a new President. Former Vice President Gore seems to be the favorite; he has lead the Republican nominee, businessman Steve Forbes, in every single poll published since the nomination of the two candidates. However, he might be able to beat impossible odds and pull off a win. Stay here, on CNN."

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8:00 PM

"We can officially call both Indiana and Kentucky for Steve Forbes. Gore was expected to do relatively well in Kentucky, possibly losing by only 2 points, but has instead lost by over 9%."

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9:00 PM

"We can make a few projections. Steve Forbes has narrowly carried Georgia, while handily winning South Carolina. Gore has easily won Virginia and Vermont by double digits. And - this just in, CNN can project that Al Gore will carry Florida."

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10:00 PM

"Lots of important calls right now. Steve Forbes has won Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Texas. Vice President Gore has won Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, D.C., Delaware, Illinois, and his home state of Tennessee. Missouri is too close to call."

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10:30 PM

"Steve Forbes has taken North Carolina, unsurprisingly. We do have a major call to make, however; Al Gore has won the home state of his running mate, Arkansas. Many projected that picking Hillary Clinton as Gore's running mate was crucial in swinging the state into the Gore column."

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10:47 PM

"Quick bulletin: we at CNN have moved Missouri out of the 'too-close-to-call' column, and can project that is will be narrowly carried by Steve Forbes. Missouri is the state where Steve Forbes's running mate, John Ashbrook, hails from, so this is rather unsurprising.

"Al Gore must be feeling pretty good right now. If he wins New York and California, he's going to be elected the 43rd President of the United States."

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11:00 PM

"Vice President Gore has taken New York, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Mexico. Steve Forbes has won Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and Arizona. Louisiana and Colorado are too close to call at this time."

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12:00 AM

"Steve Forbes has taken Idaho, Utah, Montana, and North Dakota. Al Gore has taken Iowa and Oregon. Nevada joins Louisiana and Colorado in the 'too close to call' column. Al Gore is almost certainly going to be the next President, however, as he is at 260 electoral votes, and simply winning California will give him well over 10 votes."

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1:22 AM

"Al Gore has won California, Washington, and Hawaii, making him the 43rd President of the United States of America."

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President-elect Albert Gore, Jr. and his wife, soon-to-be First Lady Tipper Gore, walking out on stage to give a victory speech

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Final 2000 Election Results

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Popular vote:

Gore/Clinton: 57,002,020, 53.6%

Forbes/Ashcroft: 47,602,446, 44.7%

Nader/LaDuke: 928,337, 0.9%

Buchanan/Foster: 905,074, 0.9%

(Played as Gore)

 

FLORIDA CONTEST - 100% Reporting

Gore/Clinton: 3,074,390, 50.8%

Forbes/Ashcroft: 2,848,131, 47.5%

Buchanan/Foster: 65,960, 1.1%

Nader/LaDuke: 36,841, 0.6%

 

Congress

House: 

Democrats: 237 (up 18)

Republicans: 198 (down 18)

Speaker: Dick Gephardt

Senate:

Democrats: 54 (up 5)

Republicans: 46 (down 5)

Majority Leader: Tom Daschle

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Cabinet, 2001

President: Al Gore

Vice President: Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State: Carol Moseley Braun

Secretary of Treasury: Erskine Bowles

Secretary of Defense: Sam Nunn

Attorney General: Joe Lieberman

Secretary of the Interior: Tom Udall

Secretary of Agriculture: Jim Hunt

Secretary of Commerce: Richard Parsons

Secretary of Labor: Alexis Herman

Secretary of Health and Human Services: Donna Shalala

Secretary of Education: Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Donna Brazile

Secretary of Transportation: Rodney Slater

Secretary of Energy: Bill Richardson

Secretary of Veteran's Affairs: Robert Kerrey

Secretary of Homeland Security (est. 2004): William Cohen

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Events of 2001-2005

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New First Lady Tipper Gore, new President Al Gore, new Vice President Hillary Clinton, and new Second Lady Bill Clinton at the inauguration just after the swearing-in

After being sworn in, President Gore started pushing for the initiatives he had pledged to champion while campaigning. He signed the Lockbox Act of 2001 on February 16th of that year, putting Medicare and Social Security in a literal lockbox making it so that payroll taxes could only go towards their intended purpose and paying down the national debt. He also worked with Republicans on bipartisan education reform.

 

AL GORE APPROVAL RATING - December 2001

Approve: 53%

Disapprove: 41%

Not Sure: 6%

 

Gore's major initiative was healthcare. Americare was working, but it didn't insure everyone, so Gore, Vice President Clinton, and Congressional Democrats attempted to fix it. They attempted to pass a truly single-payer system, which would phase in over the course of a decade. It passed 218-217 in the House, but died 49-51 in the Senate. The Democrats tried to revise it several times over the course of 2002, but it never passed.

 

AL GORE APPROVAL RATING - November 2002

Approve: 46%

Disapprove: 50%

Not Sure: 4%

 

2002 Midterms

House:

Democrats: 220 (down 17)

Republicans: 215 (up 17)

Speaker: Dick Gephardt

Senate:

Democrats: 51 (down 3)

Republicans: 49 (up 3)

Majority Leader: Tom Daschle

 

2003 was the year President Gore hoped to use to pass an Americare reform package (since the single-payer plan failed). However, on March 13, 2003, terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda bombed the Brooklyn Bridge (during rush-hour traffic), the New York Stock Exchange, CitiGroup Center, the Forum for International Cooperation building, and the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank (the latter two were in D.C.). Gore immediately led the nation in a moment of silence for the estimated 2,000 victims, and was initially seen as successfully handling the situation.

 

AL GORE APPROVAL RATING - April 2003

Approve: 84%

Disapprove: 15%

Not Sure: 1%

 

An investigation into the attacks was launched, and when it concluded in September of 2003, it showed that the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, and that the Saudi government had possibly contributed funds to the mission indirectly. President Gore met with King Fahd, and when Gore made it back to the States, he gave a speech where he said that any funding the Saudi government had given the terrorists was unintentional and indirect. However, he warned the Saudis that the US was going to start doing reconnaissance and possibly even drone strikes on terrorist targets in Saudi Arabia, and that if the Saudi government refused to comply, "US-Saudi relations might be irreparably damaged." Both King Fahd and Secretary of State Carol Moseley Braun adamantly opposed US military involvement in Saudi Arabia, but Gore ignored both of them and started putting drones, along with 4,000 ground troops, in the country in December of 2003. This prompted Secretary Moseley Braun to resign (she was replaced with Richard Holbrooke). Moseley Braun then embarked on a crusade against her former boss, drawing large crowds of people and speaking out against military involvement in Saudi Arabia.

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Secretary of State Carol Moseley Braun speaking at the FIC shortly before her resignation

In January of 2004, an American drone accidentally killed a Saudi soldier, causing the Saudi government to suspend diplomatic relations with the US, and they also enacted a new oil embargo against the US. Oil and gas prices skyrocketed, and gas lines made a return for the first time since the 1970's. The average gallon of gas in the US cost $3.17, up from $1.72 in June of 2003.

 

AL GORE APPROVAL RATING - JANUARY 2004

Approve: 22%

Disapprove: 76%

Not sure: 2%

 

Gore's reelection chances seem slim, and there are murmurs of potential primary challenges to the President. Secretary Moseley Braun has said she will not challenge the President, but there are others who might...

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WESLEY CLARK TO PRIMARY PRESIDENT, OTHERS CONSIDER BIDS

the Washington Post, January 4th, 2004

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Ret. Gen. Wesley Clark has announced today that in light of recent "foreign affairs blunders," as he called them, on the part of the Gore Administration, he will challenge the President for re-nomination. Several other Democrats, such as Gov. Howard Dean and Sens. John Edwards and Bob Graham, are also considering challenging the President in his own party's primaries. This is a bad sign for Gore, as it shows that not only is America conflicted over his Presidency, but so is his own Democratic party.

On the Republican side, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich maintains a wide lead over his only challengers, Gov. George W. Bush and Sen. Lincoln Chafee.

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Iowa Caucuses Stun Gore Camp

the New York Times, January 25, 2004

Last night's Iowa caucuses were a bad sign for President Gore. He won them, but with only 75.1% of the vote in a caucus the Gore campaign was sure he'd get 90% of the vote in. Primary opponent Gen. Wesley Clark got 21.7% of the vote, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich got 3.2%. The Clark campaign is ecstatic about this, and is "looking forward" to New Hampshire and Super Tuesday.

On the Republican side, Newt Gingrich beat George W. Bush 63.8% to 35.5%, with Lincoln Chafee getting 0.7% of the vote.

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After New Hampshire Primaries, Edwards In, Chafee Out

the Atlantic, January 29, 2004

The New Hampshire primaries were an absolute disaster for President Gore. The President only won 53.8% of the vote, while Wesley Clark took 43.2% and Dennis Kucinich got 3%. The fact that a political novice almost came within 10 points of the sitting President of the United States should strike fear into the heart of the President.

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Citing President Gore's poor performance in New Hampshire, North Carolina Senator John Edwards has announced that he will challenge him for the Democratic nomination. Polls out of his home state show that Edwards could beat the President there by as many as 10 points, though that primary is almost 80 days away.

In other news, Newt Gingrich won 45% of the primary vote in New Hampshire, Bush won 44.1%, and Lincoln Chafee won 10.8%; however, the Senator has withdrawn from the race due to dismal prospects for future primaries.

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Dean's In!

the New York Post, February 26, 2004

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Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has announced that he is jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination, challenging President Gore. Gen. Wesley Clark and Sen. John Edwards have both given the President a run for his money as of late, with Clark coming within 3 points of winning Arizona a few weeks back. It may be too late for Dean to get on the ballot in some Super Tuesday states, but he may be able to have an effect on the later primaries.

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Bush Out, Gingrich is Presumptive GOP Nominee

the New York Times, March 18, 2004

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Gov. George W. Bush of Texas has officially dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination following a disappointing string of losses to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is now the presumptive Republican nominee. Gingrich is now searching for potential running mates. He is allegedly looking for a young Washington outsider with little to no political experience to balance out Gingrich's old career politician look.

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Clinton, Sidelined in Gore White House, Distances Herself From President

the New York Times, April 15, 2004

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Vice President Hillary D. R. Clinton is reported to have been mostly ignored by President Gore over the past 4 years. Clinton was allegedly promised a fairly active Vice-Presidency when she was approached by then candidate Gore in 2000 about being his right-hand woman. On NBC Nightly News, Clinton told Tom Brokaw on Tuesday that "I don't support everything [President Gore] does, and in fact I take issue with a lot of it." This has fueled some speculation that she will not be on the ticket should Gore win renomination, though she later told Brokaw that she will "absolutely" be on the ballot come November.

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@President Garrett Walker Bill died back in the 60s or.something right? How is Hillary's surname Clinton?

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3 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

@President Garrett Walker Bill died back in the 60s or.something right? How is Hillary's surname Clinton?

No, that was one of my other timelines. Bill was governor of Arkansas from 1979-1989, Attorney General of the United States from 1989-1993, Secretary of State of the United States from 1993-1997, the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 1996 (you even made a joke about his running mate, George McGovern), and Second Lady of the United States from 2001-present.

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