General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

Hypothetically speaking, IF Al Gore had taken the Oath of Office of the Presidency of the United States on January 20, 2001 instead of George W. Bush, who do you think would be President today?

Asked by dalepetrie (17923 points ) July 6th, 2009

No wrong answers, just want you to draw a line from point a to point b. I think there are just too many factors to come up with a good answer, but think of it as fiction…write the history from 2001 to today. Let’s assume that how this happened was that Gore had insisted on a full recount in Florida instead of cherry-picking counties, and because Florida law mandates a state financed recount if a candidate requests it when the difference is less than 1/2 a percentage point, Harris and Jeb Bush were powerless to do anything about it, and as several newspapers subsequently showed when they did their “what if stories” in the aftermath of Bush v. Gore, Gore won the recount, Bush conceded and Gore assumed the office. What decisions would he have made environmentally, economically, and on foreign policy? Would his decisions have prevented 9/11 or would they have made it worse. Would he have been re-elected and if not, who would have been. Would we have ever gone to war in Afghanistan? Iraq? North Korea? Iran? What would the political and economic landscape have looked like in 2008. Would there even have been a thirst for a guy like Obama or would he still be a Senator? Would America have tired of Democrats after 12 consecutive years, or 16? Would McCain still still have won the 2008 nomination? Would Bush have defeated Gore in 2004? Would Clinton have run in 2008 and would she have won the nomination? The Presidency. How do you think it would have unfolded?

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50 Answers

westy81585's avatar

WAY too many variables to answer it. Could Gore have prevented 9–11? Would he have reacted differently? War in Iraq still happen? Economic differences? World politics change? Would Gore do well overall, or bad? One term or two?

Too many questions to answer this.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

There’s no way to say with any certainty.
the question asks for a prediction of a 9 year period based upon a single historical change.

casheroo's avatar

Okay well this is just my not very educated in politics guess..

I’m guessig 9/11 would have still happened, but I believe it would have been handled much better. We wouldn’t have reacted so irrationally, I think Gore wouldn’t have allowed something to start that he didn’t feel was justified, or if he did allow it he wouldn’t have let it go on for so long. I believe Gore would have truly helped our country, and concentrated on the US. He would have been reelected.
I think it might have screwed up the 2008 election though, because from what I’ve seen, there’s a republican after a democrat, and that means whoever ran in 08 would be a republican (this is just guessing) I would not have liked that, but maybe the country wouldn’t have been in such shambles so it wouldn’t be such a dire need for a democrat president.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

My line from Point A to Point Infinity

Alternative Universe 2000–1

OK, Gore is in office. He has a slight majority in both houses of Congress. His first 100 days would have a heavy emphasis on mitigation of global warming and renewable energy. 9/11 would probably still happen, although the response would have been very different. The US would probably still have been involved militarily in Afghanistan, but I doubt that there would be any direct involvement in Iraq. That would keep many hundreds of billions, or even trillions of dollars inside the US, prevent the US from going further into debt, and possibility increase the overall surplus left over from the Clinton Administration. Over the protests of Republicans and Big Oil, Gore starts a “Manhattan Project” type program for alternative fuel vehicles, affordable solar panels, and much more.

2004—Since there is no war in Iraq, no Great Deficit, and a no tax cuts for the upper income bracket or tax increases for the lower, there is no groundswell of opposition to the Republicans. John McCain runs and wins in 2004. And yes, after 4 years of McCain, there would again be a thirst for someone like Obama.

dalepetrie's avatar

@westy81585 and @The_Compassionate_Heretic – I totally agree with you, I don’t think I can do it myself…too many variables…I’m just interested in what people can imagine and how they factor those variables into their assumptions as the dominos fall.

@casheroo & @Yetanotheruser – great answers both.

I think anyone who attempts to answer this question deserves a GA from me even if I don’t agree with their assumptions.

AstroChuck's avatar

Another hypothetical question from dalepetrie?
Possibly Joe Leiberman <gulp!>

dalepetrie's avatar

@AstroChuck – bite your tongue (unless you have someone you’d rather have do it for you).

tadpole's avatar

i reckon gore would have been a success….he would have put a big emphasis on the environment because that is who he is….foreign policy would have been much more conciliatory and less aggressive in tone…i don’t think the iraq war would have happened..i even think it is possible that due to the different tone of the administration that 9/11 might not have happened….i think that generally there would have been less emphasis on war…
i think he would have been re-elected….but because people seem to always get sick of an administration that has been in power for a long time, i think that whoever had stood for the democrats in 2008 would have lost….i don’t see that there is any guarantee that you would have uncovered Obama…..i don’t think that McCain would have been the winning candidate in 08….i think Hilary could well have been the democrat candidate…actually maybe she could have won…depends on the republicans and who they chose…i have no idea who this prob would have been…
economically i have no idea what would have happened..would we have had the crunch because the seeds were sown before 2000…maybe something could have been done to avert it…a different perspective in the white house might have changed things…

whatthefluther's avatar

My head is spinning from everything to consider, but just think….so Gore/Lieberman do a fair enough job to eke out re-election in 2004 against Bush/Cheney. They continue to do a fair job, but the economy is flat and Americans sense that a change may be good so they elect by the slimmest of margins with a Florida recount the decider, Jeb Bush/Palin over Lieberman/H. Clinton. Just imagine the VP candidate debates, if one could call it a debate! OK, now my head is really spinning! I have to get off this one…......

tadpole's avatar

wow jeb bush instead of dubya…. you guys aren’t really that accepting of the family dynasty idea are you?...and how does jeb measure up in comparison with dubya…

Blondesjon's avatar

With the help of some badly timed coincidences and a couple of very obscure, federal laws, Carrot Top would have taken the Oath of Office this year.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon – who would be his running mate, Judy Tenuta?

Blondesjon's avatar

@dalepetrie . . .No. Emo Phillips would get all John Hinckley Jr. on his ass.

His Vice President would have been Sinbad. Who in turn would run in 2016 and be soundly trounced by a Daniel Tosh/Demetri Martin ticket.

mzdesigns's avatar

tuff question, hopefully anyone but McCain/his toy pet Palin, but now looks like she gonna make a go for next time around sigh what has politics come to

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@mzdesigns How awesome would it be if politicians put the same effort into solving the world’s problems as they did into their electoral bids?

mzdesigns's avatar

yea really, indeed.

alive's avatar

McCain/Palin would be running the show today.

(historically elections are like a pendulum, back and forth, dems, repubs, dems repubs. so if a dem had won, he would have made enough people angry to vote for a repub. GW is partially the reason why the dems had a good shot in the house, senate and presidential elections)

mzdesigns's avatar

thats a scary thought.

mzdesigns's avatar

I beleive its called G.R.I.P. ‘Get Rid of Incumbent Politician’

kenmc's avatar

I don’t think much would have been different except that in 08, the Reps would have been pushing change like school-yard drug dealers instead of the Dems.

The Republicans and Democrats are two factions of what’s basically the same bastards running the show.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon – well all I know is when the Gaffigan/Cho ticket comes up (what would you say, 2020, 2024?) I’ll be the first in line at the polling place.

kenmc's avatar

If we’re talking hypothetically, then I would much rather have the Bill Hicks/Dave Attell ticket voted into office.

mzdesigns's avatar

anything but McCain/Palin.

dannyc's avatar

Certainly a republican. I would think 9/11 would still have happened, and thus Gore would be under intense pressure to respond. He would not have invaded Iraq, but Afghanistan would be a huge problem. Another attack would have occurred, and America would swing right again. I believe McCain would have won the ticket, but with a different running mate. probably Lieberman. The recession would have happened, but not as severe. The end result would be not too dissimilar from today insofar as America’s position. It is the people who drive the agenda, in the end. Just as your Constitution espouses.

mzdesigns's avatar

Ive still wondered to this day, wasn’t it a “republican” in office when 9/11 occurred yet its passed off as not happening on their terms

pikipupiba's avatar

@Yetanotheruser And spending trillions on useless projects puts us less in debt than if it had been spent on a war?

tadpole's avatar

@pikipupiba useless projects? is the environment not the biggest problem to have ever hit mankind….if we don’t solve this one rapidly i really think we are all down the plughole…it’s gotta be worth a try compared to bush’s eagerness to spend zillions on unnecessary wars….iraq here…

tadpole's avatar

isn’t McCain just incredibly old? i can’t believe that if the Republicans had spent 8 years outside of office whilst Gore was in, they wouldn’t have found someone better, maybe a bit younger, more dynamic…

as regards your elections, you do seem to spend a fortune and put a huge emphasis on who is better at the campaigning…if bush was a poor campaigner would he have been anywhere near elected….

pikipupiba's avatar

If I’m not mistaken I would swear you just called the environment a problem ^^^^^^^^

But anywhoooooooo…

Yes, I would say spending $100,000 of TAXPAYER money on door bells is a waste.

(just 1 example)

dalepetrie's avatar

McCain was (and still is) old (72), but Republicans tend to move up the ranks based on who has paid their dues, Democrats tend to move up the ranks based more on a meritocracy. Loyalty and years of service are far more important to Republicans, whereas Dems will nominate whomever they think to be the best choice even if they haven’t “earned” it.

tadpole's avatar

@dalepetrie that’s interesting to know…..which is best i wonder, if you can’t combine the 2…

@pikipupiba is that sarcasm….and yes if they were special novelty doorbells if some sort you have my agreement there….!

dalepetrie's avatar

I think loyalty is a great characteristic, but it doesn’t make you automatically leadership material. To me there are leaders and there are followers, and it seems to me the most loyal are simply followers, not leaders. As for experience, there is a lot to be said for experience. But simply having done something for a long time only makes you good at it if you’ve been doing it right all along. Ideally a candidate will have the right ideas, will have the experience in implementing those ideas and will have a loyalty to the ideals of the party to the point where (s)he can’t be corrupted by power. Good luck finding THOSE qualities in a politician.

pikipupiba's avatar

@tadpole Does it really matter what kind of doorbells they are, the freaking (liberal) government spent MY money on ‘em!!!

tadpole's avatar

ok fair enough, can’t deny that governments waste money, but what’s your point on the environment?

pikipupiba's avatar

What the government is doing will ultimately have no effect on the environment. If they tax carbon(which is being voted on now), companies go somewhere else, we lose jobs, and the environment is no better off!

tadpole's avatar

maybe so…what do you propose? something radical needs to be done?

Blondesjon's avatar

If any of you folks still believe that either party base their nominations on anything other than electability and pandering I have a lovely old bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

dalepetrie's avatar

@Blondesjon – yes, completely based on electability and pandering, agreed. Just sayin’ that electability for a Republican equals loyalty and time served, electability for a Democrat equals potential and type of experience.

pikipupiba's avatar

@tadpole No, I’m saying that the government can’t do squat, true inovation lies in the individual.

tadpole's avatar

in which case it doesn’t matter who your president is? bush or obama? hmmm…i really don’t believe politicians are perfect..but i do think they can make some sort of difference…do you not vote?

pikipupiba's avatar

I just turned 18, so I can vote in the next election.

Yes, they can make a difference. By getting out of our way. The less the government restricts individuals and business with taxes and regulations, the more freedom and resources we will have to do what we do best: invent, discover, and learn!

tadpole's avatar

i have no problem with revolutions that begin at the bottom….are there really any other….i do think you can get help with the right leader as well…as i said, Bush or Obama/Gore, would you rather not have one over the other…..

pikipupiba's avatar

I would rather not have Obama/Gore, cause they can’t seem to keep their faces out of my business, wanting their share of what I worked hard for.

filmfann's avatar

9/11 would have been avoided because Gore would have responded to the Cole attack, the economy would be better because of his moving us towards environmentally sound technology, and Chicago would NEVER have won best picture.
Our current president would be Hillary Clinton.
instead, Dick Cheney had to kill off all the Jedi, and bring us into war

pikipupiba's avatar

Are you kidding me? “The economy would be better because of his moving us towards environmentaly sound technology”? How the hell would that make the slightest difference in the freaking ECONOMY? Is it because ‘environmentaly friendy’ laws are freaking expensive for consumers?

No drilling for oil!!!!!!! (we’ll just import it)

I truely believe that you are a moron on now. I’m not calling you one, I’m just saying that that is the stance I have on your mental capacity.

campbill's avatar

ManBearPig

filmfann's avatar

@campbill welcome to fluther. Lurve

Pandora's avatar

Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons. :)
Ok, so he’s not real but he has a good a chance as any other clown!

Jaxk's avatar

Just a few thoughts. (/11 would have still happened since it was in the mill long before Bush took office. There would not have been any retaliation for the Cole, that ship had sailed while Gore was still VP. The 2000 recession had already started so that wouldn’t have changed but it’s difficult guess what Gore may have done given the double whammy of the recession followed by 9/11. Raise taxes if the prevailing wisdom was in place and likely deepening the recession. The housing bubble had already had the seeds sown in the 90s and Glass-Steagal had already been gutted (‘99), and derivatives were already being traded so all the domino’s were in place. The tax hikes likely, would have pushed us into a full blown depression.

Iraq would definitely not have happened and it is likely the Afghanistan would not either. Probably another round of bombing and empty aspirin factory in the dead of night. Maybe one of Osama’s training facilities if we could get permission from a neighboring country. This would have emboldened Osama to take even more drastic measures to get our attention. Gore would have been fairly immune to such antics and we would be fighting a war on energy rather than a war on terror. Since are limited by the premise of the question to assuming that Bush lost (Even your beloved NY Times agrees he won) , we must speculate what would have happened in 2004.

In the face of an all out depression, it’s not clear that Gore would have been the Democratic candidate. More likely challengers like John Kerry, Howard Dean, and John Edwards (I doubt Hilary would have been ready) would have taken center stage. With a line up like that and an economy in shambles, the Republicans could have run almost anybody and been winners. Especially since an emboldened Osama, would have likely taken another shot. I think Daffy Duck could have won as long as he declared he was not a Democrat. At least that’s the way I see it.

talljasperman's avatar

Sadam Hussien.

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