The HBO film "Recount" takes us all back to a time that most of us would rather forget. Those wild crazy and confusing days back in the autumn of 2000 when for some 35 days after the Presidential Election nobody knew who was to be our next and 43th President of the United States.
In the late evening of Election Day November 7, 2000 it looked like, with it being called by most of the news pundits on TV, that Vice President Al Gore had won Florida with its 25 electoral votes and just about clinched the presidency. In less then a hour later it was announced by FOX News that Florida was still up in the air giving Gore's opponent Texas Governor Gerorge W. Bush a new lease on life in him getting into the White House.
By the early morning of November 8, 2000 it was announced that GW Bush in fact had taken Florida and the presidency. But as the vote was examined, on internet news sites, by Gore's campaign workers it was noted that over 170,000 votes in the Sunshine State had either been thrown out or not counted at all! This made Bush's victory in Florida of about 1,800 votes, out of a total of over 6,000,000, over Gore look if not fishy a bit suspicious at the least!
Not all all conceding, which he at first did, Gore has his campaign workers go into full political guerrilla warfare mode in trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened to the missing 170,000 votes that, if they all were counted, would very possibly have given him the keys to the White House.
The film "Recount" canonicals the grueling 36 days after the 2000 Election that had the Republicans and Democrats slug it out in court as well as on the streets in trying to get their man to be confirmed as president. With the Republicans having their ace in the hole in Florida's Secretary of State Katherine Harris, Laura Dern, being the person to do the confirming. Harris is not only a Repubican but GW Bush's campaign manager, appointed by GW's brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in the state of Florida! So we all, Democrat Republican and Independent, knew just where her sympathies lie.
Heading the Gore team is disgruntled, he was canned by Gore earlier in the campaign, Ron Kline, Kevin Spacey, as well as former President Bill Clinton cabinet member Warren Christopher, John Hurt. Unlike the hard hitting and take no prisoners, or BS, from the Republicans Ron Kline his good friend and fellow Democrat party strategist Christopher wasn't exactly up to the task facing him. That's in Christopher opting in trying to be Mr. Clean instead of fighting the dirty game of politics that Kline was more then ready and willing to conduct. And at the same time what the determined and no holds bar Republicans headed by GW Bush family lawyer James Baker, Tom Wilkinson, was more then willing to pursue.
The grueling court battles over the vote count had Bush's lead of some 1,800 votes cut to just over 500 with the Democrats foolishly throwing away their, and Al Gore's, chance to win the election by opting in having the votes counted in only four of Florida's 67 voting districts. This had tens of thousands of possible Gore votes not only thrown away but disfranchising those who voted!
In an unprecedented move the US Supreme Court stepped in, with Baker and Co. urging, and settled the dispute by stopping the vote count, with some tens of thousands of Florida voters votes left in limbo! The Court of the Land declared GW Bush the winner with a whopping 537 vote over Al Gore in the state of Florida with the vast majority of the uncounted vote left uncounted! What made this decision so obnoxious was that the court declared that it's actions are only in regard to the 2000 Election, in getting GW Bush the presidency, and will never be done again even under the exact same circumstances! In short it was a one shot deal to get Bush Jr. elected before the vote count, that still had some two days left to be counted, went against him!
The Republican Party that always prided itself in championing "States Rights" went against that very principle by getting GW Bush the Presidency of the United States. With the Florida Supreme Court ruling in the Democrats favor in continuing the vote count Baker & Co. went over their heads in having the US Supreme Court overrule them. This in a "State Rights" case that they the US Supreme Court, who's job is only to interpret the US Constitution, had no business at all in handling!
P.S As for loser Al Gore he went on to bigger and better things. Gore ended up winning both a Nobel Peace Prize and Academy Award in his life long crusade to educated the American public, as well as people of the world, to the world-wide threats that face our planet in the very real dangers of "Global Warming".
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