The Election of 2000: Close,
Chaotic, and Unforgettable
It began as a referendum on the Clinton Administration. It featured Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, running against George W. Bush, the son of the former president Bill Clinton had defeated in 1992.
The early favorite was Vice President Al Gore. It was his election to lose. The Clinton years had been a period of prolonged economic expansion, the most sustained in modern American history. The federal debt had been reduced substantially, unemployment was the lowest in decades, consumer spending and confidence was high, and the stock market reached record levels. The economic worries that had paved the way for Clinton's victory eight years earlier no longer were of concern. There was peace on the international front.
Gore was an able, experienced candidate, well-funded and seemingly well-prepared for the presidency. In political terms, early projections (which proved to be accurate) were that the Democrats would carry the two most populous states, California and New York, usually considered the keys to winning. He faced in George W. Bush a candidate inexperienced in national politics, personally unfamiliar to the American public, and one who had been in public office a total of five years when the race began.
It was to turn out to be one of the closest, hardest fought, and most contentious elections in modern history. The results were not to be