Four years earlier, in the 2000 election, Bush had won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote. Democrats were still furious that Bush supposedly had been “selected” by the Supreme Court over the contested vote tally in Florida rather than “elected” by the majority of voters.
By late 2003, Bush’s popularity had dipped over the unpopular Iraq War, which a majority in both houses of Congress approved but had since disowned.
Bush was attacked nonstop as a Nazi, fascist and war criminal. “Bush lied, people died” was the new left-wing mantra.
Talk of Bush’s impeachment was in the air. Democrats remembered that his father, George H.W. Bush, lost his re-election bid in 1992. They hoped the same fate awaited his son.
Neither presidential candidate Al Gore nor vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman from the defeated 2000 ticket wanted to run again in 2004. Sen. John Edwards was a charismatic newcomer candidate, but he was increasingly proving to be a smarmy empty suit.