Stewart was first elected president in November 2000. On March 17, 2004, his vice president Spaulding Burke was killed in a supposed limousine crash (staged by The Franchise). He died on the Maryland Beltway around 5:40 PM, when said limo spun out of control, flipped into oncoming traffic and was hit by a southbound tractor trailer. Burke's chief of staff, two aides and driver (a secret service agent with a suspicious Austrian background) were also in the car and killed.
Stewart was a prime candidate for re-election in 2004, when he was rivaled by Frank Morgan and cloning was essentially the #1 topic of debate. He chose to eventually legalize cloning, but not become overly-concerned about the issue. Daniel Morris was also made his vice president in April 2004, after corrupt congressmen voted him in, favoring his anti-cloning views (also staged by The Franchise). There was a growing concern over Albino assassins targeting pro-cloning politicians all over the world, including Stewart's own secretary of interior Jimmy Macklin who survived an assassination attempt on Mardi Gras (again, organized by The Franchise).
Stewart's campaign was working well - his votes climbed from 42% in May (tied with Morgan) to 63% in October (a 43% gain on Morgan). On December 25, 2004 (Christmas), his votes far outnumbered any candidate. One of his potential rivals, Colorado senator Chad Bingham Sr., had recently lost his youngest son. He was later called to make reassuring public statements after two Baghdad men died of radiation poisoning, suggesting that Iraq was in possession of loose weapons grade plutonium (the most significant threat since the Cuban Missile Crisis). Come February 2005, Frank Morgan was catching up to Tom Steward, only 20% less votes than him, particularly favored by Nevada voters. His success carried on through August, and it seemed unlikely that Stewart would be president unless he made traction in some rural areas.
On September 22, 2005, Stewart was on a flight back from Los Angeles when the White House was attacked. Secret Service reported Daniel Morris and another unknown man dead, as well as an explosion in the Oval Office that triggered indoor sprinklers (the final effort by The Franchise before they were taken down - the unknown man was albino hitman Mark Parchezzi