The irony, one of many, was that Bush came to office hoping to pare down U.S. global pretensions. Foreign policy realism was in vogue. When asked in the presidential debates what principles should guide U.S. foreign policy, the Democratic nominee, Al Gore, said it was "a question of values." Bush said it was a question of "what's in the best interests of the United States." Gore said the United States, the world's "natural leader," had to "have a sense of mission" and give other peoples the "blueprint that will help them be like us more." Bush said the United States should not "go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be," that this was "one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American."
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