Why did Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush?

Reagan won his 2 elections in a landslide, beating Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. George H.W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis in a landslide. So why did Bush get his *** kicked byClinton in 1992?

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  • 4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    You have to first understand that the Reagan years were the culmination of a tumultuous time in our history...by the end of the 1970s, after Vietnam, Watergate, economic stagnation and the Iran hostage crisis, the USA seemed to be turning on itself and many around the world wondered if it's time as a Superpower was finally coming to an end.

    By the end of Reagan's second term, not only had the nation's Superpower status been affirmed, we found ourselves the world's sole Superpower as the USSR crumbled. For generations raised to constantly fear the possibility of nuclear annihilation, there finally came an opportunity to heave a giant sigh of relief.

    With the end of those tensions, there was great elation (which led to Bush 1.0's first victory) but as with the end of any long stretch of adversity, there was also a great deal of fatigue.

    A large generation of younger Americans (myself included), raised by parents who survived the Depression and WW2, were tired of hearing the same old rhetoric about how we had to be "good Americans" and live a certain way.

    Up to that time, Presidents and Presidential candidates were like the father figures from old 1960s TV shows...They talked about "old values" and listened to Big Band music. They had gone to war and played football in college...

    Along came Bill Clinton who spoke the language of the 1960s and played the saxophone. He yucked it up on MTV and quoted Maya Angelou with late-night talk show hosts. Like so many of us coming of age, his was a mentality that was formed in the 60s and 70s, rather than the 40s and 50s.

    Ironically, it was Bush's "nice" side that cost him most. He was a hardened old Cold Warrior who was greatly respected among world leaders of his generation...but to younger Americans who never knew black-&-white TV, he appeared a tired, mild and uninspiring old man.

    Bush promised to maintain the course that won the Cold War...Clinton promised to look ahead to a new era, free from that "old" sense of obligation and guilt.

    For the nation, it was like a teen being given a choice between spending a weekend with a kind but stern uncle, or a cousin who roadied for a rock band and smoked weed with celebrity friends.

    • Lv 7
      4 years agoReport

      great answer much better than mine

  • 4 years ago

    He dialed into a lot of the country's anxiety over healthcare, and the economy in 1992, and clearly was a far better speaker than George H.W. Bush. The debates were pretty much one sided, with Clinton showing a tremendous gift for good communication, and then came the moment of moments:

    George HW Bush looked at his watch a couple times during the Richmond Debate.

    I was a Bush supporter, and did not want to see this.

  • 4 years ago

    A minor, cyclic recession hit. It was so mild, it was practically only a recession on paper. It was cyclic in the normal cycle of recessions, 8-10 years. However Clinton capitalized on it, getting people to react, not think about it with meaningless mantras like, "What's up should be down, what's down should be up."

    It worked to get people reacting to it. Clinton also capitalized on Bush's breaking his promise not to create new taxes. Bush made a very principled statement early on, "Read my lips! No...new,,,,taxes!" Bush had a bill, I believe a law enforcement bill, with a new tax on it. Bush fell on his sword for what he wanted in the bill. It didn't matter that Bush took responsibility and apologized.

  • Robert
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Ross Perot leached votes from what Bush would have gotten. Just like a GOP Candidate Not Trump will find out....

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  • 4 years ago

    "Read my lips, no new taxes" George H.W. Bush. Then he raised taxes, add that to the fact that it's rare for one party to hold the White House for three terms in a row.

  • Nick
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Because Americans are stupid, and their system is messed up. Reagan should have been allowed to run for three or four terms because he was the last decent president America had

  • 4 years ago

    Reagan won three election, H.W. won zero.

    He was a former spy who oozed his way into office.

  • 4 years ago

    The vote was split because there were 3 candidates on the ticket.

  • Thomas
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    "No new taxes!" And then he didn't veto a tax bill that did indeed raise taxes. Boot meet ***.

  • 4 years ago

    -Because Bush got Us into a War in Iraq ( Desert Storm ) with Saddam Hussein- that Nobody Wanted. -Sound "Familiar " ??! :o

    Source(s): History -repeating Itself.
    • Socrates
      Lv 7
      4 years agoReport

      This was NOT the sentiment of the Gulf War. Bush managed a overwhelming successful war. It was a feel good war in dealing with a tyrant while incurring very view casualties.

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