Looking back on the throbbing gristle of the last decade ...
If there is a secret history, I suspect it'll say the core Right wing strategy has been to cut off supply lines to the Left: unions, public schools, colleges, the press...etc. This includes intellectual supply lines. This strategy has worked to the extent that voicing honest Left-wing rhetoric in the American mainstream is political suicide, leaving honest Leftists/Liberals the choice of staying on the fringes or entering the the mainstream and going down in flames like McGovern and Dukakis.
Clinton, no honest Leftist, outsmarted the bastards. He out-Reaganed Reagan and snuck into the White House under false colors (when an honest man would've flown his true pinko colors and honestly lost).
This is why the Right hates him -- (goddamnit, we cheated you fair and square; y'aint supposed to cheat us back!); that, and the fact Clinton represents the faction that felt that, in the Vietnam war, the USA was the bad guy. (Old wounds, dontcha know.)
Once in, Clinton had the choice of going down in flames as a one-term President fighting for his true convictions or watching out for his own ass and selling everybody out while getting blow jobs....and, of course y'all know what happened.
Gore probably figured he wouldn't sell out once he got in. He didn't get the chance because (A) he ran a shitty campaign (B) G.W. Bush stole the election -- more properly, some fatcats paid for it. It's pretty damn obvious that, way back when, some folks with a lot of money decided Bush would be President no matter what it cost.
So, to recap, Clinton stole the towels, Bush stole the election.
We live in interesting times.