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President Gary

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Adapted from the Official White House Biography

President Gary Adrian Condit

President Gary A. Condit
Garycondit
Order: 43rd President of the United States
President from: January 25,1999-
present
Vice President: Robert Kerrey
Preceded by: William Jefferson Clinton
Succeeded by: incumbent
Born: April 21, 1948
Woodland Junction, Oklahoma
Political Party: Democratic
Spouse: Carolyn Condit

Gary Adrian Condit became the forty-third president of the United States amid a time of tragedy and scandal.

The son of a Baptist minister, he was born in Woodland Junction, Oklahoma on April 21, 1948. In the early 1960s the Condit family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Condit's father, the Rev. Adrian Condit, took a position in a Baptist church. In 1967, at the age of 18, Condit married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Berry. During the same year, Condit's father became a pastor in Ceres, California, and the family moved west with him.

In 1970, Gary Condit received an associate degree from Modesto Junior College in California, followed in 1972 by a bachelor's degree at California State University, Stanislaus. That same year, Gary Condit won his first race for political office by winning a seat on the Ceres City Council and serving as Mayor of Ceres from 1974-1976.

Gary Condit served a six-year term on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, and in 1983, began serving in the California Assembly, where he was known as a maverick, unsuccessfully challenging liberal speaker Willie Brown and forming moderate alliances.

In 1989, he was elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred First Congress by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of United States Representative Anthony L. Coelho.

In Congress, he became known as an consensus-builder, working with Republicans after they gained control of the House after the 1994 elections. He was a founding member of a group known as the "Blue Dog Democrats," a group of conservative Democrats who often voted with Republicans on major issues like welfare reform.

Vice Presidency

Following the tragic death of Vice President Albert Gore in the crash of Air Force Two on March 26, 1997 as he returned from a summit in China, President Clinton (May 1) nominated Gary Condit to become the nation's 46th Vice-President, the second person to be nominated to fill a vacancy in the office since Nelson Rockefeller in 1974.

Gary Condit was confirmed by the Senate (90-10), and on August 10, 1997, took the oath of office in the Senate Chambers.

Presidency

Following the December 19, 1998 impeachment of President Clinton in the House as a result of the Whitewater scandal, and his refusal to respond to a Senate Summons issued in January, 1999, President Clinton was advised by key House and Senate Democrats to resign before what many saw as a certain conviction by the senate and his removal from office.

President Clinton resigned the presidency January 24, 1999, effective noon the following day. Vice-President Condit was sworn in January 25, 1999 at noon in a White House ceremony.

In an address to the nation before a joint session of Congress on January 27, 1999, President Condit called for healing and an end to divisive partisanship. He declared an end to "predatory politics" and said he would, "work with any of goodwill who wished to advance the cause of democracy and freedom."

Condit, a conservative Democrat, has worked well with the Republican-controlled Congress, and is credited with an extensive overhaul of the tax code, and passed the largest tax cut in American history during the One Hundred Sixth Congress.

As a former city, county and state official, President Condit has been especially passionate about eliminating unfunded mandates, those federal rules that dictate action to local governments but which provide no funding. One of the first laws enacted in the Republican-controlled 104th Congress was President Condit's unfunded mandates bill.

President Condit has continued to be a strong voice on key issues from balancing the federal budget to focusing on welfare reform and environmental issues.

2000 presidential election

Despite two serious primary challenges within his own party, President Condit easily won election to a full term as president in the 2000 general election. His running mate was Nebraska Senator J. Robert "Bob" Kerrey. Democrats made some gains in the House and Senate in 2000, but failed to assume leadership of either house.

First term

A June, 2001 poll rated President Condit one of the most effective and popular presidents in 50 years. He came to be known to the public as "President Gary."

Following the November 11, 2001 "dirty bomb" attack in Boston harbor, President Condit rallied the nation's armed forces against the Al Qaeda network and focused his attention on preventing another attack through the creation of the Intelligence Resource Center, which merged the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency into a single entity.

In March, 2002, President Condit launched a limited ground assault into Afghanistan to find those responsible for the attack. The war remains controversial. In August, 2003, he called for doubling the number of troops in Afghanistan to "get the job done."

Under the U.S. Constitution, a Vice President who ascends to the presidency can only run for re-election twice if he serves less than two years of the former president's term. Condit was sworn in on January 25, 1999, and served for less than two years of President Clinton's second term, thus making him eligible for reelection.

His agenda was sidetracked for over a year when, in May, 2003, controversy swirled around allegations of Vice-President Kerrey's wartime service in Vietnam.

2004 presidential election

President Condit and Vice-President Kerrey were re-elected in November, 2004. Democratic Party gains in the U.S. Senate allowed them to assume control of that body. Condit and Kerrey, both heavily favored to win their own election, heavily campaigned for Democratic candidates throughout the country.

Second term

As the Internet age dawned, President Condit shepherded legislation through the Congress requiring the cable industry to offer high-speed Internet to millions of poor Americans, and creating tax credits and grants to encourage Internet connectivity in rural areas. Both enjoyed strong bi-partisan support.


Preceded by
William Jefferson Clinton
President of the United States of America
January 25, 1999 - present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
Al Gore
Vice President of the United States of America
August 10 1997-January 25 1999
Bob Kerrey

See also


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