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United States

Yearbook 2004

USA. According to CountryAAH, the election year began with the primary elections ahead of the November presidential elections. President George W. Bush had no serious challenger among Republicans, but there were a number of candidates in the Democratic starting field. Somewhat unexpectedly, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean had sailed as the strongest name. Dean, who belongs to the Democrats' left wing, had in a relatively short time managed to get extremely enthusiastic support from many directions, much through the effective use of the Internet. However, when the first party was held in Iowa and New Hampshire in January, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry convincingly prevailed. When he then took home 16 of the 18 primary elections held in February, the matter was basically decided, and with "Super Tuesday" in March, Kerry definitely secured his nomination. The election of Kerry turned out to be a strategic move by the Democrats - he was not a big favorite for many, but was considered to have the best chance of defeating Bush. Kerry appointed John Edwards, the senator in South Carolina, as his vice presidential candidate.

2004 United States

2004 United StatesDuring the fall, Bush and Kerry were evenly balanced. Many felt that the electoral movement showed a significant polarization in American politics. There was a strong commitment to Bush, not least because of his efforts in Iraq. The critics also objected to the way in which the war against terror was handled, which the White House took as revenue for restrictions on civil rights and for unilateral action internationally. Many in the domestic politics were worried about increased economic gaps and far-reaching deterioration in welfare as a result of large tax cuts. The supporters found Bush's promises of tough grip on terrorists and for the freedom and democracy of the world reassuring. In addition, his values ​​conservative messages resonated with large sections of the population.

Bush won the presidential election even though voter turnout was high (about 60%), which is generally considered to favor Democrats. Republicans succeeded in mobilizing large groups of conservative Christians - in all eleven states that, on Election Day, also publicly voted on the issue of allowing marriage for homosexuals, the answer was no. Bush took home 286 of the electoral votes against Kerry's 252. Unlike in the 2000 elections, he also had the support of a majority of voters, 51% against 48% for Kerry. Republicans also strengthened their dominance in Congress. In the Senate, they received four additional seats, giving a total of 55 out of 100. In the House of Representatives, an increase of three gave a comfortable majority with 232 of the 435 seats. One of the election's major losers was Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, who was not re-elected. New minority leader became Nevada senator Harry Reid.

After the election, Bush replaced 9 of 15 ministers. Among other things, former security adviser Condoleezza Rice became new Foreign Minister after Colin Powell, and Alberto Gonzales replaced John Ashcroft as Minister of Justice. The military operation in Iraq continued without any solution in sight. The security situation soon became worse; the armed resistance continued even after an Iraqi government was set up at the turn of the year.

Bush decided in December to increase the number of soldiers from 138,000 to 150,000 ahead of the elections promised in Iraq in January. At the beginning of the year, the world was shocked by photographs of Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghurayb prison in Baghdad, who were subjected to sexual humiliation and other abuses by American soldiers. Prosecution was brought against a number of those involved and several were sentenced to prison. However, no high-ranking political or military leaders were held responsible for the abuses.

The tone hardened during the year against Iran, which together with Iraq and North Korea were included in the "axis of evil" that Bush defined after the terrorist attack in 2001. The United States accused Iran of having plans to develop nuclear weapons. Washington doubted an Iranian pledge to stop enriching uranium, which the three largest EU countries negotiated at the end of the year. The US leadership was also skeptical of the IAEA nuclear agency and critical of its chief Mohamed ElBaradei. Many considered that the development was similar to that which led to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. See Abbreviationfinder.org.

A commission appointed to investigate what preceded the September 2001 attack on the United States presented a critical final report in July. It pointed to the lack of coordination and bureaucratic hassle of the country's intelligence services. The CIA was also criticized for incorrect data on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Following a recommendation from the Commission, Bush decided in December to appoint a national security chief in charge of 15 spy organizations, including the CIA and the FBI.

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