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Sunglasses from Arsenio Hall ShowCampaign for the Future

This area of the permanent exhibit tells the story of the campaigns. It includes a video of highlights from the 1992 campaign, a timeline, a collection of political buttons from both campaigns, and other campaign memorabilia.

When Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton decided to run for President in 1991, incumbent President George H. W. Bush was polling at 90% approval ratings and was seen by many as unbeatable. He was up against several other candidates in the Democratic primary, but came in second in the New Hampshire primary, then swept primaries in southern states on Super Tuesday, emerging as the front-runner and ultimately defeating his opponents. In the general election he faced President Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot. Governor Clinton was the first baby boomer to be nominated for president. He was seen as youthful and energetic and presented himself as the candidate of change, addressing issues such as the economy and health care. On Election Day, he won 32 states and the District of Columbia, getting 370 electoral votes to Bush’s 168. In 1996, President Clinton ran for re-election, promising to “build a bridge to the 21 st century.” This time he was challenged by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas and, once again, Ross Perot. He won the election with 379 electoral votes.  

Highlighted Object from the Exhibit: Sunglasses worn by Bill Clinton on the Arsenio Hall Show.  Donated by Paul Begala

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