Anyone but Bush. This was a popular and oft-repeated phrase during the twilight of our 43rd president's first term. People incensed by the war in Iraq, people offended at the idea of a plain-talking Texan representing America around the globe, and people horrified by the President's overt embrace of evangelical Christianity united behind the common goal of giving George W. Bush the electoral boot.
Unfortunately for this coalition of malcontents, the candidate chosen to represent the "anyone but Bush" sentiment was John Kerry and his now infamous running mate John "I did not have sex with that woman, nor father her baby" Edwards. After flipping and flopping their way through a tepid campaign, the Kerry/Edwards ticket lost the election by more than three million votes. Thereafter, President Bush made it clear that he interpreted his second-term victory an indication that he had accumulated tremendous political capital?capital that he intended to spend.