Off-topic, but did you realize that from a certain point of view, the entire history of American presidential elections from 1980 to the present can be seen as a repeat of the history of the same country's elections from 1932 to 1968?
- A President finds himself weakened by a bad economy, and loses his bid for re-election to a challenger who promises to restore confidence to the nation (Hoover losing to Roosevelt; Carter losing to Reagan)
- The new President proves popular, though his policies are controversial (Roosevelt, Reagan)
- The popular President is succeeded by his Vice-President, who is less popular (Truman, Bush I)
- After years out of the White House, the opposition party finally recaptures the Presidency with a moderate, likable candidate (Eisenhower, Clinton)
- The new President's party loses the Congress in the second year of his presidency (Republicans lost the Congress in 1954; Democrats lost the Congress in 1994)
- After two successful terms, the President is succeeded as a candidate by his Vice-President (Nixon, Gore), running against a callow candidate without a great deal of experience who comes from a powerful and influential family (Kennedy, Bush II). Unable to fully capitalize on the popularity of his predecessor, the Vice-President loses an extremely close race, whose results are hotly disputed (1960, 2000).
- Early into the new presidency, an event occurs that scares the world, brings the nation together, and seems to give the ruling party an obvious advantage on national security, though some argue that the ruling party may not have handled the situation very well (Cuban Missle Crisis; September 11, 2001)
- The ruling party holds onto the Presidency in the next election (1964, 2004).
- A big-spending Texan president (Johnson, Bush II), whose party controls the House and Senate, runs up a big tab and gets the country into a war that becomes highly controversial, with controversy raging over the reasons for the war and over the question of whether it is winnable (Vietnam, Iraq II).
Sure, some things don't match up (the Kennedy assassination has no parallel now, thankfully). But there's a lot of stuff that does match up.
This explains why I'm tradesporting on Al Gore to be President in 2009. Apart from the fact that I think he will run, and win, history just seems to be on the side of the Vice-President who barely lost in a year ending in 0.