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The Economy, Stupid

In 1980 and again in 1984, the American electorate voted Ronald Reagan into office with gusto. In 1988, Americans had relatively little enthusiasm for either Democrat Michael Dukakis, governor of Massachusetts, or Republican George Bush, vice president of the United States. Nor was there wild enthusiasm in 1992, when the incumbent Bush was opposed by the youthful governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. However, during the Bush administration, the American dream seemed somehow to have slipped farther away. True, the world was probably a safer place than it had been at any time since the end of World War II (but it was still a dangerous world), and the United States had acquitted itself in the best tradition of its long democratic history by resolving the Persian Gulf War. Yet the electorate felt that President Bush habitually neglected domestic issues and focused exclusively on international relations. Candidate Bill Clinton’s acerbic campaign manager, James Carville, put it directly, advising Governor Clinton to write himself a reminder lest he forget the issue on which the election would be won or lost: “It’s the economy stupid.”


Democracy (1992 —) | Complete Idiots Guide to American History | Third Party Politics







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