""The events of Election Day 2000, encompassing the night of Tuesday, November 7 and the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 8, are among the most extraordinary in American political history. Yet they came after a presidential campaign of the most humdrum character, in which no political issues were seriously discussed. The consensus among political pundits and pollsters was that Bush, then governor of Texas, held a narrow but significant lead over his Democratic opponent, Vice President Al Gore.++++++ ++++++
As in 1998, however, when predictions of major Republican gains in the midst of the impeachment crisis failed to materialize, it appeared as the votes began to be counted that the political establishment had underestimated the popular hostility towards the right-wing program of the Republican Party, founded on tax cuts for the wealthy and the slashing of domestic social spending.
Gore won many of the big industrial states with relative ease, including Michigan and Pennsylvania. The Democrats were sweeping the northeastern states and were expected to win the Pacific Coast, while Bush carried the south and southwest, the Rocky Mountain states and Ohio. It appeared that the election would be decided by Florida’s 25 votes in the Electoral College.
Just before 8 p.m., several US television networks called the outcome in Florida for Gore, based on their exit polls of voters compiled throughout the day. The Bush campaign reacted immediately, breaking with precedent and putting the candidate before television cameras to denounce the network projections and declare his certainty that Florida—where his brother Jeb was governor and the Republicans controlled the machinery of state government—would end up in his column."""
The networks backed down, rescinding their call for Gore and declaring the outcome in Florida still undecided. Then, in the early hours of Wednesday, Fox News became the first network to call Florida for Bush, thereby declaring him the victor in the election.
Heading the decision desk, where the network reviewed vote totals and polls to arrive at projections, was John W. Ellis, a first cousin of George W. Bush. Ellis unilaterally called the election for Bush before any determination by the Voter News Service, the consortium of leading newspapers and television networks, after a 2 a.m. telephone discussion with Bush and his brother Jeb.
When the other networks followed suit, pronouncing Bush the winner, Democrat Al Gore telephoned his concession to Bush. But on the way to make his televised concession speech before an audience of supporters in Nashville, Gore received a phone call from campaign aides who advised him that the numbers in Florida showed the race too close to call. Gore telephoned Bush again and retracted his concession. """
The Florida 2000 scandal should remain in the minds of rational progressives everywhere--and semi-rational demopublicans for that matter. The evidence strongly suggests fraud and tampering in Jeb Bush territory (not the case in Ohio 2004--BushCo's narrow victory matched the official exit polls, tho' maybe not RFK Jr.s). Hunter S Thompson was convinced that fraud had occurred, as were many reporters, including the WSJ, hardly a "liberal" institution. That Bush's cousin and Foxnews apparatchik John W. Ellis called the election for Dubya before the counting had been completed also should trouble us-- at least those who believe in Democracy, liberty and justice for all, and other sentimental BS (then to the committed machiavellian--rightist, or left--why have a fair vote anyway? Commit fraud when needed to advance your goals). Or to those who take 'THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS" seriously (hope that doesn't hold, paysanos). The fraud may have extended to the