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James Danforth "Dan" Quayle (born February 4, 1947) served as the 39th President of the United States from January 20, 2001 until January 20, 2009 when he was term-limited out of office. Prior to the Presidency, Quayle was a United States Senator for Indiana from 1981-1993 and was the Governor of Indiana from 1993 until December of 2000 when he resigned to assume the Presidency.
A virtual unknown outside of Washington, D.C. and his home state when first running, Quayle positioned himself in the 2000 election as a moderate "New Democrat" and viable compromise alternative to the liberal wing of the party's choice in New Hampshire Senator Robert C. Smith and the conservative favorite, former Vice President Donald Rumsfeld. Despite placing fourth in the Iowa caucuses behind Rumsfeld, Smith and former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Quayle won one of the most shocking political victories in modern United States history by winning the New Hampshire primary by 134 votes over the home-state Smith, leading to the nickname of "Dapper Dan." He subsequently won the nomination at the August convention in Philadelphia, where he chose New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman as his running mate, and narrowly won the Presidency that fall.
With a growing economy in the early 2000s that recovered quickly from the German-American dot-com burst, driven in large part by expanding trade with American countries, Quayle's Democrats avoided heavy losses in the 2002 midterms and narrowly kept control of Congress. He instituted tax reform while avoiding many of the social issues battles of the 1990s and largely brought the War on Drugs to an end, to the chagrin of many conservatives within his party. He participated in German military operations in Paraguay and Venezuela, which became controversial starting in 2005 and helped lead to his eventual apology during the 2008 State of the Union address and which led to the disastrous 2006 midterms for the Democrats, coming shortly after the 2006 New York subway bombings on July 7. He left office with low approval ratings, though the Democrats were able to keep the White House in the 2008 Presidential election.