2000 United States presidential election

54th quadrennial U.S. presidential election

The 2000 United States presidential election was the 54th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 7, 2000. Republican candidate George W. Bush, the governor of Texas and eldest son of the 41st president, George H. W. Bush, won the election, defeating Democratic nominee Al Gore, the incumbent vice president. It was the fourth of five presidential elections in which the winning candidate lost the popular vote, and is considered one of the closest elections in US history.

George W Bush, 2001
Al Gore, 1994

Quotes about edit

  • Consumer activist Ralph Nader scoffed Wednesday at suggestions that his presidential campaign merely drains liberal votes from Democrats, saying that shrinking either major party is "exactly what we want." He pointed to studies of the 1996 election when he was on the ballot in California, and said he drew almost as many Republican voters as Democrats. "Our two parties are basically one corporate party wearing two heads and different makeup," Nader said. "There is a difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but not that much."
  • Hoping to boost Ralph Nader in states where he is threatening to hurt Al Gore, a Republican group is launching TV ads featuring Nader attacking the vice president. The ads by the Republican Leadership Council will begin airing Monday in Wisconsin, Oregon and Washington, all states that are part of Gore's base and where Nader is polling well. The group plans to spend more than $100,000 at first and hopes to raise more over the weekend. While the ads boost Nader, they are a clear attempt to help Bush. Nader was in Iowa to announce his presidential bid as a Green Party candidate. He made his name as a consumer advocate and his campaign is a hard-core liberal assault on monied interests and what he sees as corporate control of the political system.
  • George W. Bush spoke to the nation for the first time as president-elect tonight, declaring that the "nation must rise above a house divided" after one of the closest and most disputed presidential elections in United States history. Speaking from the podium of the Texas House of Representatives, precisely 24 hours after the United State Supreme Court ended a five- week-long dispute by halting a recount of Florida's disputed votes, and thus preserving Mr. Bush's razor-thin lead, the 54-year-old governor devoted his entire speech to themes of reconciliation. "Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests," he said, "and I will work to earn your respect."
  • Was it appropriate for the Supreme Court to intervene in a dispute that almost always was left up to the states, even over federal posts? Given that there was a specific constitutional amendment and a specific federal statute dealing with contested presidential elections—and both of those provisions dictated that Congress alone should be the arbiter—did the justices adequately justify their decision to step in? (The 12th Amendment and the Electoral Count Act of 1887 spelled out the details; in drafting the latter, Congress specif­ically decided the court should play no role.)
  • Bush v. Gore is the Supreme Court's worst example of recklessness since the Dred Scott decision in 1857 that said Congress lacked power to ban slavery in the territories. Several justices realized how bad their ruling was. Justice Antonin Scalia reportedly told a colleague that the equal protection reasoning about Florida procedures was "a piece of shit."
    Scalia, being Scalia, never indicated he regretted it, instead advising critics, "Get over it!" His justification for court intervention, he told an interviewer, was that "we were the laughingstock of the world—the world's greatest democracy couldn't conduct an election." Somehow Scalia—the great constitutional textualist—omitted to cite where in the Constitution he had unearthed a "laughingstock of the world" clause that allowed the court to ignore explicit text that left to Congress the resolution of electoral disputes for the presidency.
  • The Florida Division of Elections announced the next day that Bush had won the state by 1,784 votes. However, this margin was so small that Florida law required a machine recount of the state, which reduced Bush’s lead to 327. The presidential choice on about 170,000 ballots could not be read by machine. Of these, 60,000 were “undervotes” — for instance, the voter had not fully punched through the ballot’s relevant perforated box. The remaining 110,000 were “overvotes,” in which the voter may have voted normally for Bush or Gore but also wrote in their name. The Gore campaign requested a recount by hand in four heavily Democratic counties. The Bush campaign sued to stop this. The Gore campaign’s efforts then disappeared for the next month into a mind-numbingly complex legal process, overflowing with ballot-design and deadline minutiae that no normal American could follow.
    Meanwhile, the Republican Party conducted a nationwide PR campaign with a message Americans could follow: that Gore was a pathetic sore loser who simply would not accept that he’d been defeated. Much of the national media eagerly adopted this frame.
  • Secretary of State Harris declared George W. Bush winner of Florida, and thereby president, by a plurality of 537 votes over Al Gore... Over 50,000 voters wrongly targeted by the purge, mostly Blacks. My BBC researchers reported that Gore lost at least 22,000 votes as a result of this smart little black-box operation. The first reports of this extraordinary discovery ran, as you’d expect, on page one of the country’s leading paper. Unfortunately, it was in the wrong country: Britain. In the USA, it ran on page zero – the story was simply not covered in American newspapers. The theft of the presidential race in Florida also grabbed big television coverage. But again, it was the wrong continent: on BBC Television, broadcasting from London worldwide – everywhere, that is, but the USA. Was this some off-the-wall story that the British press misreported? Hardly. The chief lawyer for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission called it the first hard evidence of a systematic attempt to disenfranchise Florida’s Black voters. So why was this story investigated, reported and broadcast only in Europe, for God’s sake?

External links edit