In 1996, on this day President Robert Joseph ("Bob") Dole was elected with his running mate Jack Kemp, ending Bill Clinton's bid to become the first Democrat since FDR to gain re-election to the White House.
43rd President of the United States
January 3, 1997 - January 3, 2001When 1996 began it seemed incumbent president Bill Clinton would have a better - than-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.
A new article from Althistory WikiaThough Buchanan would make strong showings, they were ultimately trounced by Dale 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 choosing Kemp caused Clinton's original 8 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 led bump back up to 5 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 adminstration 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.
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 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 4 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 resons not to run for re-election. First Lady Elizabeth Dole briefly considerd running but soon drooped the idea. The Republicans nominated Vice President Kemp with Florida Governor Jeb Bush as his running-mate. Since the economy had soured under Dole, Kemp won the election with 52 percent of the popular vote and 300 electoral votes.
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 renominated 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 4 years.
2006 Mid-Term Elections
Republicans gain seats in both houses brining their total to 61 Senate seats and 259 House seats.
The Republican's nominate Vice President Jeb Bush with Arizona Senator John McCain 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.