March 24, Presidential Losers: Bob Dole and Ross Perot
Bob Dole and Ross Perot, 1996
In spite of scandals swirling around the Clinton White House involving financial dealings back in Little Rock and allegations of a hibbidy-bibbidy nature regarding Bill himself, the Clinton presidency was very popular. The economy was improving, and Roseanne had finally been cancelled, so people were feeling upbeat. In his re-election, Clinton's margin of victory widened, and Republican challenger Bob Dole earned even fewer electoral votes than George Bush had. Only Ross Perot remained steady, with a solid zero electoral votes. Perot was as goofy and paranoid as ever, but even these presidential qualities failed to energize voters. As for Dole, it seemed almost miraculous he could energize himself. He was no older than Reagan had been - who was? - but he lacked the vim and vigor to make using Grecian Formula convincing. One pundit said every time he saw Bob Dole, he realized there was an empty coffin in Transylvania. There was a couple of minor campaign scandals, the first when the Peoples Republic of China illegally contributed to the Democratic Party (They figured since we owed them so much money, they deserved a say in the election.) and the second when vice president Al Gore may have an accepted illegal contribution from a Buddist temple, but the money was returned and the nuns took the Fifth, so no harm was done.