President Bob Dole was elected in 1996 with his running mate Jack Kemp, ending Bill Clinton's short four-year term as president.
President Bill Clinton gives way first in the 1995 government shutdown. As a result, Clinton is seen as a weaker president and Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole are seen as strong leaders.
1996 Presidential Election
When 1996 began it seemed incumbent president Bill Clinton would have a even shot in the upcoming presidential election. An economic boom in the USA was largely attributed to Clinton by the public, that combined with his folksy and down to Earth appeal had given him higher than expected approval ratings. The Republican Primaries saw three strong contenders for the Presidential Nomination: Senator Bob Dole, Pat Buchanan and the respected writer Steve Forbes.
Also expected to contend was Texas billionaire and former presidential candidate, Ross Perot.
Though Buchanan would make strong showings, they were ultimately trounced by Dole who went on to become the nominee. Dole then used the expected fiscal conservative stance when compared to Clinton's economic platform.
In June, Clinton was caught off guard when Ross Perot decided he would drop out of the race. Perot quickly made a speech in which he professed having little hope in achieving a win come November. This exit of a conservative leaning vote splitter came to Doles advantage giving him a boost in the polls. Clinton tried to dilute this effect by running a string of adds on national television attacking Dole’s ability to lead. Many elderly voters were offended by the adds believing them to be an attack on Dole’s age.
Clinton's attack-add gaffe and Perot’s exit aided Doles campaign and concerns combined with the positive reaction of Dole choosing Kemp caused Clinton's original eight-point lead to evaporate.
The Republican National Convention took place from August 12 to 15. It was seen as a great success for the party. Kemp gave an energetic speech where he promised to bring a new wave of conservatism to Washington.
Dole gave a lighter, but well received speech where he promised to fight for the middle class through tax cuts, and proposed less intervention in a more secure world with a more humble policy.
Near the end of August the Democratic National Convention was held. It was highlighted symbols of economic growth and peace for America’s future. Clinton and his running mate Al Gore, saw their lead bump back up to five points.
The Presidential Debates followed, Dole won the first narrowly. Clinton was attacked routinely during the debates and was forced to go on the defensive and downplay questions about attacks on Dole. The second debate was a clear win for the president, while the third went again narrowly towards Dole.
For the first time in the campaign the Dole-Kemp ticket took a lead.
The Vice-Presidential debate was much closure with both sides declaring victory. Kemp stated that Dole was a true leader with a record and a clear economic plan while Gore was associated with "The failed health care debacle." Gore counterattacked staunchly.
As Election Day came closure the Clinton campaign released "ads" which were designed to show off the Clinton/Gore administration had done for U.S abroad through great foreign policy achievements. The also released an ad showing the disagreements Dole had with Kemp.
The Dole team quickly struck back attacking president Clinton on a wide range of topics.
The polls became even as the election neared. Ultimately Dole/Kemp, with a coalition of red states edged Clinton winning with 279 electoral votes. Dole was officially the oldest candidate elected to the Presidency. America prepared for the dawn of a new administration. This period was called the “Dawn of the Dole.”
As part of his "growth plan" Bob Dole instituted one of the largest tax cuts in American history. This yielded the expected results. The economic growth seen under the Clinton administration more than doubled, and unemployment decreased to less than four percent. The budget deficit closed.
In 1999 after talks fail to resolve the crisis in Kosovo and end the genocide President Dole supports NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in spite of some opposition from Democrats and even a few conservatives.
The Democratic Party nominated Bill Bradley with Bob Kerry for his running mate. Dole decided for health reasons not to run for re-election. First Lady Elizabeth Dole briefly considered running but soon drooped the idea. The Republicans nominated Vice President Kemp with Texas Governor George W. Bush as his running mate. Since the economy had soared under Dole, Kemp easily won the election. Had Dole ran for reelection, he would've won in a landslide, according to pundits and recent polling.
Kemp's First Term
President Kemp increased the tax cuts of the Dole administration. He also pushes a program through Congress to create a Flat Tax of 15 percent.
2001 Terrorist Attempt
In August of 2001 President Kemp receives a document titled "Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike in the United States". He immediately orders an investigation, and heightened security at airports and prominent buildings. At the beginning of September 10 people are arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism. A plot is revealed that would've targeted the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and the White House. President Kemp asks Congress for authorization to go to invade Afghanistan.
In October the first American forces arrive. Within a few months the Taliban had been defeated. While there is an insurgency in Afghanistan President Kemp concentrates American forces there and Afghanistan has a stable, democratic government by 2004.
The Republican Party re-nominated Kemp. The Democrats in an attempt to appeal to the moderates, nominated Senator Evan Bayh. However, Kemp won by a landslide due to a mostly positive experience over the last four years.
Kemp's Second Term
President attempts to reform Social Security but is blocked by the Democrats. Kemp and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal earn high praise for their handling of Hurricane Katrina.
2006 Mid-Term Elections
Republicans gain seats in both houses bringing their total to 61 Senate seats and 259 House seats.
The Republican's nominate Vice President George W. Bush with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as his running mate. The Democrats are in disarray and nominate New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson with Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as his VP. That November, Richardson does better than expected but is unable to overcome Bush's commanding lead. The Democrats make gains in the congressional elections but the Republicans retain both houses.
President Bush is confronted with a deficit (the first since 1999) thanks to a slow economy.
President Bush orders an invasion of Iraq in March, 2010 in response to Saddam Hussein's almost complete nuclear program. It takes just 21 days to capture Baghdad and Bush's approval ratings rise to 71%. Saddam and his two sons are killed in an air strike in May, 2010. Although some fighting remains, President Bush declares "Mission Accomplished" on November 1, 2010.
2010 Mid-Term Elections
The Democrats makes small gains in the House but gain none in the Senate.
In February, 2011 President Bush told the Americans that Libya was very close to developing nuclear weapons. European leaders called for an invasion and NATO and Congress have authorized an invasion if Libya does not give up its nukes by April 1, 2011.
2012 Presidential Election
2012 Presidential Election
President Bush saw a narrow lead in late 2011 and early 2012 over democratic front runner, Joe Biden. Bobby Jindal gave the media plenty to talk about after he messed up a speech in January 2012, forgetting his own name. Bush told Ed Henry at a press conference on February 3rd, 2012 that Vice President Jindal had stayed up all night, discussing foreign policy with Secretary of State John Bolton. This helped the Bush/Jindal campaign, giving them a nine-point lead over Biden.
2012 Presidential Debates
President Bush faced off against Joe Biden in Troy, Ohio. Bush discussed tax policy and social issues while Biden attacked the incumbent Republican president on his response to terrorism and his eagerness to send troops. Bush narrowly won the debate.
Vice Presidential Debate
Vice President Jindal and former first lady Hillary Clinton faced off in Charlottesville, Virginia. Clinton went after the many gaffes of Vice President Jindal and his apparent incompetence. Jindal stuck to the issues and that debate was considered a tie.
Bush/Jindal won the south as expected and took New Hampshire, Michigan, Oregon and New Jersey. The Bush campaign won 348 to 190 electoral votes. He was projected the winner at 12:38 AM.