In a way, the tragic events of 9/11 played right into the Administration’s hand.
Although Bush’s presidency was only in its seventh month, he was something of a lame duck when the twin towers fell. He had no clear mandate from the American people. In November, he’d lost the popular vote, and had only garnered enough electoral votes to claim victory by convincing the Supreme Court to accept the results of a questionable Florida election and vote count. The majority of American voters had not voted for him, and a sizable number thought he’d stolen the presidency.