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Bill Clinton, as a president was a major paradox in and of himself. People loved him, yet they hated him. Americans, as a whole loved the prosperity, and capitalist growth that was brought by Clintons years in the Oval Office. They loved the stocks ownership, the money, the way our country was flourishing. Clinton was very good at what he did soothing lines drawn between parties, even going so far as to sign a Republican-sponsored welfare bill. He moved the country from right to left, and back again.
Clinton was a talented politician, yet he missed the opportunity to be an exceptional president. The biggest paradox may be Clinton becoming the focal point for the revival of ideological politics; people wanted the government to be a friend, not an enemy, whilst many people saw Clinton as the flailed president. Clinton did a lot of good, but he also made many mistakes, that made many people see him as a failed president.
For every American that liked Clinton, one didnt. Many of those who didnt see eye-to-eye with him were the uneducated, rural white males. Moreover, this then, sets the stage for the 2000 election.
Clintons vice president; Al Gore had the best shot at winning the democratic presidential nomination simply for being vice-president. Whatever the reason, being the vice president seems to be one of the single most advantages when running for president. Not only did Gore have connections with powerful democrats; he had Clinton backing him. Gore was in the publics eye as vice-president, and people generally agreed that he had been an excellent vice president.
Gore was also favored by democrats at a high rate of 73% of the American public.
Just as Gore became the Democratic favorite, Bush soon became the Republican favorite, largely due to a famous name, a remarkable network of supporters, and a positive role as Governor of Texas. The statistics of the votes he won in Texas were incredible. Not only was he the first to be re-elected in 24 years, a wide variety of people voted for him—blacks, Hispanics, liberals, even democrats. Bush stood out because of his fairness, and his ability to take a more neutral position on major social issues, yet still stand firm.
While the Green party seemed like an unlikely threat at first, it was soon to be seen that it was picking up more attention from the public than expected. It wasnt until February 2000 when Ralph Nader won the partys presidential nomination that it became apparent that he might pose more of a threat to the main candidates (Bush and Gore) than originally believed.
Once the election began the media helped to frame it, by using a story line or central organizing idea by causing attention to only some. Only some aspects of the story- it offers an answer to a question. When a campaign story is framed, a reporter can pull opinions to the forefront of a readers mind. Due to framing, Bush was seen to have the look, the confidence, the vitality, the intelligence, and the political power to win. On the other hand, Gore was seen as a Clinton shadow, hurt largely by the scandal associated with Clinton. Gore had a difficult time linking himself to the capitals growth and prosperous economy of the Clinton years.
One the day of the election it became obvious that the election was going to be to close to call. Oddly enough, this remained true even after America had casted all its votes. As the media went back and forth from Bush to Gore, politicians were quickly demanding recounts. Florida, which in the end would determine the outcome of the presidency, participated in recount after recount. Gore had won the popular vote, yet Bush had won the electoral vote. Gore then demanded recounts in several counties, claiming the vote counts had been carelessly done. The medias continues coverage of legal battles, court decisions, and recounts made Gore out to be a manipulative candidate with a merciless hunger. Due to the medias timing, using strategic frames the closing days of this never ending election they gave many late deciders very little, meaning less information with which to pick a president for America.
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