Ok, I wasn't going to get into this one, but I just wanted to say that regardless of when the economy began to tank, I blame one guy for the situation we're in - Alan Greenspan. There were clear indicators that the economy was slowing significantly, and a few months before the election he chose to ignore those indicators and leave interest rates alone when he almost certainly should have lowered them. And it was his previous raising of interest rates that started the slowdown in the first place.
Now, if Greenspan were a liberal Democrat, I probably wouldn't defend Clinton on this issue. But I found Greenspan's inaction at that time suspicious at best. Looked to me like he pulled a Sandra Day.