That President Bush won the election is beyond argument. Did he win a mandate? As such things are normally talked of, the answer would be "yes." Yet, as
Andrew Busch reminds us, it is unfortunate that we talk in such terms. The mandate question reminds us that Woodrow Wilson and the progressives used this term first to argue that the president is given authority by the people because they elect him. Wilson and the other progressives were keen to go beyond the Constitution.
We should remind ourselves of our constitutional heritage: that the presidents authority resides in the Constitution, not in a plebiscite. Every presidential election should remind us of this massive fact.