The Bush Administration
Decisive in acting abroad, Bush failed to evolve a domestic program that addressed a persistent recession starting in 1990. That year, despite the recession, he and congressional leaders agreed to a deficit-reduction package that raised federal taxes, thereby breaking his "no new taxes" 1988 campaign pledge. He also failed on his promise to be both "the environment president" and "the education president" and angered many women by naming Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court and continuing to support him despite allegations of sexual harassment. Concerned about the economy and demanding change, many conservatives backed columnist Pat Buchanan's challenge to Bush's renomination while moderates rallied to the independent H. Ross Perot. Also focusing on the nation's economic woes and promising change, Bill Clinton, governor of Arkansas, beat several rivals in the Democratic primaries and chose as his running mate Tennessee senator Al Gore. Capitalizing on a slumping economy, the Clinton-Gore ticket won 43% of the highest voter turnout (55%) since 1976 and 370 electoral votes.