For a proud son of a one-term President could there be a more humbling path to power than this? The candidate with perfect bloodlines comes to office amid charges that his is a bastard presidency, sired not by the voters but by the courts. "I will work to earn your respect," he said after Al Gore's televised concession, all but admitting it does not just come with the job when you win this way. But could anyone possibly use this to greater advantage than George W. Bush?
Even Democrats now say privately that Bush and his soft serums may be better suited to cure the disease that afflicts the capital. With a Congress almost perfectly bisected, Republicans thirsty for power and Democrats for revenge, Bush is the one holding the needle and thread. He has always said he would reach across party lines; now he has no choice. For the office he won, and for the tough job ahead, George W. Bush was the 2000 TIME Person of the Year.
Researched by Joan Levinstein, the Time Inc. Research Center