In a tightly contested three-way race, Reform Party candidate Ross Perot defeated incumbent Republican president George H.W. Bush and Democratic nominee Bill Clinton, becoming the 42nd President of the United States of America, as well as the first third party candidate to ever win a presidential election in the United States.
Upon his inauguration on January 20, 1993, Perot put forth measures to help the nation balance its federal budget, as the White House had been running record deficits for many years. In 1994, these efforts paid off, as the government recorded its first budget surplus since 1970, and the national debt began to shrink. Analysts project that the United States will have paid off all of its national debt by 2012, thanks in no small part to the Perot administration.
While the U.S. government was able to free itself of its dependence on other nations, the economic boom of the 90s gave way to a prosperous nation, thanks to the influence of the internet in job creation. As the U.S. felt a tidal wave of new jobs coming in, Perot's protectionist policies also recovered many jobs that had been previously outsourced by corporations.
Contrary to the 1992 election in which Perot won only 37% of the popular vote, his moderate appeal and successful policies won him 48% of the vote in the 1996 re-election against Republican candidate Bob Dole and Democratic candidate Al Gore, safely carrying him to a second term that oversaw stronger economic expansion than ever before. Perot's firm opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act and various anti-abortion legislature that reached his desk won the support of many Democrats. His popularity was propelled even further by the successful elimination of known terrorist Osama bin Laden, who Perot was alerted of before a planned, devastating attack on the World Trade Center.
Perot left office on January 20, 2001 with job approval exceeding 70% in several polls. He was succeeded by Joe Biden, a Democrat who continued the trend of fiscal responsbility in the government, carrying out Perot's legacy as a reform candidate.