During the 2000 cycle, there was a lot of controversy about whether Al Gore actually won the election. Ultimately, the Supreme Court determined that Bush won by less than 600 votes, though the nature of the recounts and the fact that Bush’s brother was the Governor of the state in question raised a lot of doubts. Due to the surrounding suspicions and the small margin of victory, it is entirely possible that Gore actually did win the presidency. This raises the question of what the US would be like had Gore actually become president.
9/11, But No War in Iraq
There remains no proof that any official had any intel on 9/11, and the event likely happens. One of the more unpopular things that George Bush did was start the War in Iraq due to faulty intelligence that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction’. However, given the aggressiveness of Dick Cheney, Bush’s Vice President and by all accounts his foreign policy head, it seems unlikely that most other politicians would have waged a war on a country based on the singularity of a single attack. However, it is entirely possible that Gore leads a push into Afghanistan, but does not stay there for an extended period of time.
Likely Re-elected, Implements Different Policy
Given the support Bush despite the war and the unlikeliness of a seated President losing an election, Gore likely wins a second term. He also enacts various environmental policy, including increased restrictions for Carbon footprints and enhanced measures to prevent global warming. However, Gore’s pushes on illegal immigration reform are likely unpopular because the demographics of America have not quite shifted to the point they are at today. Gore also likely chooses to not implement the Bush tax cuts, though it is very hard to predict what type of effect this has on the Economy. Similarly, Gore would likely receive a boost among the public from the way he handles Hurricane Katrina, reinforcing his status as a leader amongst crisis.
Economy: Lower Highs, Higher Lows
The likely effect of Bush’s tax cuts allowed for easier access to money and the creation of increased wealth during the periods of 2000-2007. Under Gore’s policy, the economy likely rises at a steadier pace. However, due to the inability to recognize the speculative risks of financial institutions and the lack of stability in the housing markets likely still lead to the financial crisis. Due to an economy built primarily on traditional economic measures however, the crisis is to a lesser degree.
However, after the financial crisis, Gore’s popularity drops right before the election. This makes it hard for any Democrat to win the election. Barack Obama is likely not even a candidate, as it is hard to represent a change moniker to one’s own party. Hillary Clinton is the likely Democratic nominee and would probably lose to an young and refreshing Republican star, such as John Thune or Bobby Jindal, or perhaps even Mitt Romney. At the 2012 elections, Hillary Clinton or John Kerry likely launches a campaign against the incumbent Republican President, and it’s anyone guess as to what happens in that scenario. One thing is for certain though, that if Al Gore wins, America is likely a completely different country than it is today.