2004 Election: How Bush Almost Let It Slip Away

Most presidential elections are character- or theme-driven. This one was event driven. That's what happens in wartime. You can spin all the theories you want about how Abraham Lincoln won re-election in 1864, but if Sherman had not taken Atlanta, Lincoln would have lost.

In the election of 2004, events were once again in the saddle. Given how Bush's term started, the election should never have been close. After 9/11 and America's swift crushing of the Taliban, President Bush had the political world at his feet. Over the next few years, he could easily have coasted to victory, crowning his achievement with the equally astonishing...

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