Waiting for the Florida Recount

by Charles Walker

NOV. 8 — There hasn’t been such national attention focused on a long count, since Tunney beat Dempsey, or was it the other way around? In any event, the presidential race is not likely to be resolved before late Thursday, beating the delay in the Kennedy-Nixon contest — decided, so say many, by then Chicago Mayor Daley’s control of the Windy City’s cemetery vote, giving another meaning to the phrase, “No rest for the wicked.”

Some TV pundits say that if the Florida recount produces a margin of victory that is so narrow as to force election officials to wait for the overseas absentee ballots, that could add as many as 20 additional days to the wait for a final vote count and certification.

Still, it might not be over then. Reportedly, Bush was planning a court challenge, if he won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college vote. Perhaps that will be Gore’s final move. A court challenge by either of the candidates, or by Florida voters who were flummoxed by the harebrained design of one major county’s ballot, could delay the inauguration for months.

At this time, it’s within reason to anticipate that Clinton may once again be hosting the traditional children’s White House Easter egg hunt. Whether a certain newly elected senator is able to get away from her day job to be at his side remains to be seen.

P.S. A little noticed discrepancy in the Florida vote count has come to light. Earlier today, James Harris (presidential candidate of the Socialist Workers Party) was credited with 10,477 votes (on AOL.COM; also reported by CBS News). That was “more than five times the Florida margin between Gore and Bush,” one observer pointed out. Later today, Harris’s official vote total had dwindled to only 589. It’s not clear what happened, nor is it clear whether Harris’s vote count will be further reduced. [It was. To 500. — The Editors.]

P.P.S. When Dan Quayle was asked his opinion about Bush’s DUI, he reflected and asked, “DUI? — How do you spell that?”

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NOV. 9 — Some folks are worried that former secretaries of state Christopher and Baker will not resolve the Florida vote brouhaha. Not to worry. There’s a Plan B: An overseas commission of experienced diplomats has agreed to fly to Florida at a moment’s notice. The commission co-chairs are said to be Ehud Barak and Yasir Arafat (though not necessarily in that order).

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Angry Democrats vow to retaliate against Ralph Nader. One group seeking revenge on Nader for “spoiling their hopes and dreams” has said it will take no prisoners. Topping its hit list is a proposal for as many Democratic politicians as possible to get behind the wheel of a Corvair!

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One newspaper editor with literary aspirations captioned a story about the Florida recount, “Waiting For A Dolt.”