Color photograph of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in front of the White House with black text at the top and white text at the bottom
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Bill Clinton was inaugurated as the 42nd President of the United States on January 20, 1993. Clinton was the first Democrat to be elected as President since Jimmy Carter in 1976, and is considered the first post-Cold War president. Clinton and his running mate Al Gore defeated incumbent president George H. W. Bush, winning 43% of the vote against Bush’s 37.4% and independent Ross Perot’s 18.9%.
Many attribute Clinton’s natural charisma, coupled with his informal but focused campaign, to his victory. His saxophone-playing appearance on the late night talk show The Arsenio Hall Show is seen as a turning point in his campaign, garnering him support among both minority and young voters. Clinton was considered a fresh and hopeful alternative to Bush, whose approval ratings went from nearly 90% during the Gulf War, down to below 50% by the end of 1991.