• Clinton;
  • Gore;
  • 2000 election;
  • retiring presidents

There has been much debate about whether Al Gore made the proper decision to keep Clinton's profile low during the 2000 campaign. Some believe that he could have capitalized more on Clinton's high approval ratings and the strength of the economy during the Clinton presidency. Others counter that Clinton's character problems were so pervasive that by bringing him into the spotlight, Gore would have lost more votes than he gained. This article employs 2000 National Election Study data to analyze how voters viewed Clinton and what impact it had on their decisions. It also compares these data to similar data regarding previous presidents. The findings indicate that Clinton was an albatross for the Gore campaign, just as Truman was to Stevenson in 1952 and Johnson was to Humphrey in 1968.