In November of 2000 America found itself excited about the prospects of a new president. We had become fatigued from eight years of the Bill Clinton White House, hallmarked by scandal - an affair and obstruction of justice. Election Day was abuzz with citizens rushing to the polls. This election was going to be close and people could feel it.
In the evening of November 7th I settled in to watch the television projections. Around 7:50pm (Eastern) something strange took place. Before the polls were closed in Florida the networks declared Al Gore to be the winner of the state. Florida was considered to be an important battleground where neither candidate was expected to win by a large margin. This was a significant defeat for candidate Bush, signaling a loss to his supporters who were still standing in voting lines.
Ten minutes later the networks added to Gore's victories by declaring him the winner of both Pennsylvania and Michigan. These projections assured that he would soon become president.
As a Bush voter this was not only disappointing but seemed peculiar and out of place. My instincts told me something was not right. Later that evening candidate Bush expressed the same concern, questioning the networks' apparent eagerness to declare Gore the winner of Florida.
Two hours later, at 9:54pm, the networks could no longer justify their false projection. They retracted their claim.
By 2:17am, with nearly all other states projected and Bush leading in electoral votes, the networks projected him to win Florida and thus the presidency. Al Gore called Bush to concede the election.
By 3:50am, however, the real tabulations were becoming clearer and Bush's lead in Florida had dwindled to within a few thousand votes. Although he was still leading in the state tabulations, the networks again retracted their claim, thus seemingly preserving the state for Al Gore.
George Bush won Florida on Election Day, never falling behind Gore in tabulations. However, Florida was prescribed by law to recount the votes because the margin of victory was so small.
What followed over the next month was a brutal and confusing series of legal manipulations. Al Gore proceeded in a quest to prolong the election process. He sought manual recounts in his favored counties, hoping to churn new votes and overcome Bush's small lead. Ultimately he was unable to do so, running out of time to implement even more legal maneuvers.
Al Gore and the media changed the natural course of events that would have rightfully declared Bush the winner within a few days.
Prior to the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, the election dispute was among the most gripping and divisive political events of our time. The events in Florida were part of a grand scheme, an elaborate and desperate game designed to undermine the victory of President Bush.
Though there is much blame to go around for the confusion (poor media coverage, wishy-washy canvassing boards) few people recognize the intentions and behavior of Al Gore, the man who couldn't accept defeat and proceeded in a quest to overturn a legitimate election.
In this article I examine the Florida dispute in order to demonstrate the scope, folly, and irresponsibility of Al Gore and the Democrats. I will attempt to alleviate much of the confusion and perception surrounding the dispute. I will also advance my theory that the events in Florida could very well have been a pre-meditated effort.