Lamar Alexander

President Alexander

Andrew Lamar Alexander (born July 3, 1940) is an American Republican politician, and the 42nd President of the United States, serving between 2001 and 2005.

Although the public anticipated a Democrat victory on the 2000 elections, Alexander surprisingly won over Democrat candidate Al Gore, and continued the previous eight year's Republican governing. However, Alexander had a much less strict policy than his predecessor, George H.W. Bush, and under his reign, tensions loosened up both inside and outside the US.

Alexander was partly responsible for the end of the "Second Red Scare", and erasing the strict counter-terrorist and anti-communism laws made under the Bush regime. Under his reign, "greylists" against left-wing intellectuals and artists ceased to exist, albeit the right-wing atmosphere remained until the election of John Kerry.

Alexander held a non-interference foreign policy with the Soviet Union, holding a distance between the two superpowers, but never opening direct antagonistic approaches. The biggest diplomatic crisis during his presidency was the Garry Kasparov affair in 2003. Chess master and political fugitive Kasparov sought refuge in the US, and the Soviet government urged the US to give him out to them. Alexander faced a hard choice: if they give Kasparov out, the worldwide public would see the US as serving the Soviet Union, while not giving him out would risk an open conflict between the two superpowers. Finally, Kasparov got the right of asylum in the US, which ended up in a break of diplomatic relations with the USSR. For a short while, US ambassador was recalled from Moscow. Fortunately, the events did not lead to more serious consequences.

In economics, Alexander continued the conservative policies of the Reagan and Bush-era, and did not manage to venture into reforms.

Alexander have run for presidency on the 2004 elections, however he was largely defeated by Kerry. Many factors contributed to his defeat, including his unpopular politics on both sides (Republicans claiming him to be too mild, Democrats complaining because of his inability for reforms and changes), Kerry's much better public image and campaign, and of course the overall Democrat support, as many people wanted to end the 12-year Republican reign, and longed for changes both economically and politically.

After the end of his term, Alexander mostly retired. He published his autobiography, On the Front in 2007, mostly dealing with the details of his presidency.

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