What If ... Gore Had Won in 2000?

News at Home

Mr. Steinhorn, professor of communications at American University, is co-author of the book, By the Color of Our Skin: The Illusion of Integration and The Reality of Race (Dutton, 1999). He is a member of the board of HNN.

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History often turns on simple twists of fate, so imagine how our political narrative would play out today had a few hundred votes changed hands in Florida two years ago ...

Handwringing intensified among Republicans after the 2002 mid-term election as the nation rallied behind wartime president Al Gore and the Democrats took control of the House, Senate, and the majority of the state houses.

With Democrats in Congress now poised to enact health care, prescription drug, and environmental legislation, and with President Gore's approval ratings at historic highs because of his leadership after September 11, Republicans find themselves on the defensive with few policy initiatives, a divided leadership and no presidential bully pulpit to press their case.

Privately Republicans are seething over President Gore's exploitation of national security issues during the campaign, particularly the way he questioned the patriotism of Republicans for opposing his version of the Department of Homeland Security bill. Republicans are also angry that Gore, after saying the war on terrorism requires his full attention, criss-crossed the country on Air Force One -- at taxpayer expense -- to campaign for Democratic candidates.

Further troubling Republicans is how the president, after asking for bipartisan support in the war on terrorism, has turned war and national security into a partisan issue.

But Republicans realize they can't raise these issues for fear of attacking a popular wartime president. Even fiery conservatives such as FOX's Bill O'Reilly and talk radio's Rush Limbaugh have felt the need to mute their criticism of the president.

Concern among Republicans that the reverberations from September 11 may leave them without power for years to come has prompted a fair amount of soul-searching and finger-pointing in the party. Moderates are attacking conservatives for obstructing Gore's homeland security bill and his popular proposals on health care and the environment, while conservatives accuse moderates of blurring the differences between the parties and giving the Republican base no reason to vote.

With House Speaker Dennis Hastert giving up his leadership post after losing the House and the very partisan conservative Tom Delay assuming the Republican reins, Democrats have even more reason to cheer. An image of disarray and hard-right leadership will, Democrats believe, further erode the Republican appeal.

Nor does it help Republicans that the man who thought he should have become president, Texas Governor George W. Bush, now registers high unfavorable ratings in the polls. Voters especially remember Bush's harsh negative campaign attacks against President Gore's character, and they repeatedly cite his arrogance for dragging out the Florida election and refusing to accept that Gore won the popular vote by more than half a million votes.

Before September 11, Republicans assumed that the public would chafe at Gore's intensity and preachiness, but Americans now excuse these qualities and even find them endearing because they see how his determination helped heal the country's wounds and how he led our armed forces in Afghanistan.

Republicans never imagined that Gore would be so admired and his administration would turn into such a political juggernaut. But who could have imagined September 11 and its profound impact on our society and culture?

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Mike Reynolds - 12/26/2002

Yes it was quite funny. Imagine, Gore rushing to concede the election to Bush only to withdraw his concession less than an hour later. You just can't make this kind of thing up, because it you did, no one would believe it.

Dave LaCourse - 12/25/2002

Sorry, I doubt Gore would be the same. Remember how the Democrats were polling when to vote on Iraq? Before the election? After? How should the resolution look? Holding up Homeland Defense for Union issues?

Sorry, but the left in the country still remembers the stain of Vietnam, and their base is therefore anti-war. Launching a few missiles for show seems to be more their style, as is sending monetary bribes to North Korea (worked great, huh?), and cheap talk in the Middle East. And they had chances to get Bin Laden, but didn't want to pick him up from the countries offering him like the Sudan.

The same? I disagree. The Clintons' loathed the Military, and said so. Gore was there for eight years. Did it rub off? Fortunately, we won't have to know as he won't run until 2008.

One more point: rebuilding Afghanistan after we remove a dangerous, threatening government is very different than tinkering in many other non-threatening nations. Not the same, once again.

Dave LaCourse - 12/25/2002

The fact is that a wrongly removed voter can still get a ballot that is put aside as a contested ballot. So if he or she is proven to be eligible, then their ballot could be counted.

Leonard Steinhorn - 12/23/2002

Good question. But I have no reason to assume he wouldn't have reacted similarly. And besides, he probably would have been getting similar advice from the military and the foreign policy establishment. Remember, after September 11 a consensus developed across party lines about how to respond. I can't imagine any Democrat or Republican veering too far from that consensus. On issues like this, it's important to ratchet down the partisanship and remember that Bush, Gore or almost anyone else, whether conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, would probably have acted much the same way. Also remember that September 11 turned many assumptions on their head. Bush is now doing precisely what he said he opposed in the campaign -- nation building. That's because nation building, at least in Afghanistan, is now part of our post-September 11 consensus.

We used to have a tradition of bipartisan foreign policy -- the partisanship was supposed to stop at the water's edge, as the old saying goes. On the surface, with all the bickering these days, it seems as if that bipartisanship has vanished. But take away the politics and many of the differences are matters of degree, not kind, and as I see it there are more overriding similarities than differences between the two parties. Within that consensus framework, Gore probably would have responded not all that differently than Bush.

Gary Chaffins - 12/23/2002

But that assumption is a whopper. Why do you assume that Gore would have reacted the same way as Bush? I do not!

Leonard Steinhorn - 12/23/2002

With all due respect, you're asking for another article, one that focuses on policy, not politics. My point is this: today the Republicans are triumphant, the Democrats demoralized, and Bush deified despite whatever shortcomings he has. With a simple twist of historical fate, we'd be living the Gore narrative today. And the article you'd like is impossible to write anyway -- we simply have to assume that Gore would have responded to September 11 in a way not too dissimilar to what Bush did, which after all is the source of Bush's political power today.

Barrett Archer - 12/23/2002

I thought I was going to get a good analysis of what might have happened differently if Gore had won in 2000. Would we be on the road to war with Iraq? Would we have gone after Afganistan? Would Gore has pursued a different path in the Middle East? Unfortunately, the author doesn't dig into any of those very interesting issues. He just switches the names of Bush and Gore. Let's get a bit more creative here, people!

Robert Harbison - 12/21/2002

Really? How did I misrepresent?

""Specifically, the purge system disproportionately impacted African American voters who are placed on purge lists more often and more likely to be there erroneously than Hispanic or white voters.""

""The evidence shows, moreover, that an official of the Division of Elections encouraged representatives of the DBT Online to employ an error-laden strategy that resulted in the removal of a disproportionate number of eligible African American voters from the voting registration rolls.""

And I could quote much more of the article. The language of the article necessarily has to be conservative, otherwise it would accuse the administraation of a sitting president with massive fraud.

Tom Kellum - 12/20/2002

The Duke of Basil has been doing the Limbaugh so long, he's bent over backwards and can't straighten up.

Your racist party stole the election in 2000, just as they did in 1980 (Poppy & Casey in Paris doing treasonous deals with the enemy), 1968 (Treason in Paris, starring Anna Chenault), 1972 (Watergate), and their other "victory" featured Poppy Horton (1988) doing the A C L U McCarthy. You proud of that?

Rust Limbaugh apologized to Mrs. Clinton. Do you agree he should have?

Feel better now that Bill Frist (R-Medicare Fraud) is going to replace the latest outed GOP racist, Sen. Lott (R-Corp.Welfare & CCC)?

J. Merrett - 12/20/2002

The butterfly ballot which so confounded people and supposedly led to miscast votes was designed by the Democratic Supervisor of Elections and approved by the local committees of both major pasrties. Every claim of actual interference with access to the polls turned out to be fraudulent. Your claim turns (not exclusively, but necessarily) on the proposition that it is not only appropriate but necessary to engage in post-hoc mindreading of people who failed to actually cast votes or who cast two votes for the same office(using the same equipment they used the _last_ time they voted). Furthermore, the punchcard ballots are not invisible to the voter. The vote is cast by punching out a numbered perforation on the card. The number on the excised perforation appears on the voting guide beside the name of the corresponding candidate. Anybody clever enough to get to the precinct or to request an absentee ballot could easily ensure that he had cast the votes he wished to cash. Furthermore, absentee ballots under the punchcard system consisted of - guess what - the same punchcard used at the polls, but with a separate sheet listing the candidates and the corresponding numbers, rather than the booklet guide into which the cards were inserted at the polls; it is measurably more tedious and difficult to cast an absentee punchcard ballot than to vote at the polls. If it were true that the punchcard system were disenfranchisingly difficult, a far greater percentage of absentee ballots than of poll-cast ballots would have been spoiled. That is not the case. People who were too dense, lazy, or rushed to make certain that their franchise was exercised are the only people whose votes were uncounted. Bad things often happen to the dense, the lazy, and the rushed. These things are not the fault of the rest of humanity.

It is my personal opinion that a ballot which cannot be used effectively by stupid people is far less grievous evil than being governed by the choices of those people.

But back to the question: why do people harp on the manifestly irrelevant issue of the popular vote?

Basil Duke - 12/20/2002

Thumbie, my dear, your cheese has slipped completely off its cracker. What is with this leftwing Limbaugh fetish? It's warping into another McCarthy-esque witch hunt. "Are you now or have you ever been a Rush Limbaugh listener?" Nahhh, just kidding. Sounds more like a big, heaping mess of sour grapes for y'all. Your collectivist race and class hustling is blowing back in your face, you lost the presidency, you lost congress and now you've lost your minds. Buck up, little buckeroo; Christmas is just around the corner. Who knows? Mebbe Santa's got a new brain to go with the dignity starter kit he's got earmarked for your naughty little stocking.

Tom Kellum - 12/20/2002

Your Vulgar Pig Boy apologized to Mrs. Clinton, but you wouldn't have the manhood to do that, would you Mr. Leaf Blower?

Your ignorance is exceeded only by your mean-spirited, ungentlemanly display of right-wing fanaticism.

Why do you people worship such loathsome blowhards as RL to emulate and take your marching orders from?

Tom Kellum - 12/20/2002

The Democrats didn't use taxpayer money to deny 1,000's of voters the right to vote based on falsely labeling them "felons."

I've done my homework. Mr. Hustler thinks listening to right-wing wackos like Rush Limbaugh is sufficent to inform his propaganda and misstatements.

One way you can always tell you're dealing with one of the lower-priced brand right-wingers is their unwillingness to acknowledge the truth. Even the Vulgar Pig Boy apologized to Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Hustler. Was he right in doing so?

Bill Heuisler - 12/20/2002

Mr. Kellum enjoys exhibiting ignorance and using cute names, but this is a history site. Kellum's acquaintance with history seems vague to the point of disconnect.
He says: (Republicans)"...tricking people into voting against their own economic interest, suppressing votes, scaring voters away from the polls, and outright stealing the election like they did in 2000."
Economic Interest?
Clinton promised a "middle-class tax cut" and delivered the largest tax increase in history. He added to the insult by initiating an Income Tax on older voter's Social Security.
Surpressing Votes?
Where? The black-majority precincts are all controlled by Democrats. Democrat-hired lawyers successfully surpressed the votes of thousands of service men and women by challenging and invalidating legitimate votes in Fleet Post Offices.
Scaring Voters?
Show us one photo. Produce one police report.
Stealing the Election?
The only theft in 2000 was Republicans' right to vote in the Florida Panhandle and the suffrage of Soldiers, Sailors and Marines in the Armed Services of The United States.
The Civil Rights Commission found no evidence of Kellum's claims and that complete lack of evidence has been widely reported.
Cute names are not impressive. Mr. Kellum should put away his crayons and do his homework.
Bill Heuisler

Basil Duke - 12/20/2002

For gawd's sake, take your Clinton knee pads off and stop debasing yourself. Your side tried its standard election day crap, got tripped up, and now you're crying 'foul.' Typical whining from the eternal cry baby party. Snot-faced children didn't get what they wanted. Get over it, thumb sucker.

Tom Kellum - 12/20/2002

It's just part of the job, Mr. leaf. As you can see, these boards are smothered in right-wing lies, half-truths, and propaganda. So, I'm here to try to be of help to those few who might be open to being reasoned with.

I wish you didn't have such bad manners, but you do. Seems to be a trait shared by a lot of your fellow lambs.

Basil Duke - 12/20/2002

More worthless bile from Tom Thumb. Find another Shetland pony to abuse o great enlightened liar; you've flogged this one to death.

Tom Kellum - 12/20/2002

Lower your shotgun a notch, Basil leaf. Gore has announced that he won't seek reelection in 2004.

Course, that doesn't mean that the Republicans will be able to beat the Democrats without tricking people into voting against their own economic interest, suppressing votes, scaring voters away from the polls, and outright stealing the election like they did in 2000.

Basil Duke - 12/20/2002

Mr. Czervikjr - You must remember that in the minds of "progressives," a group of Republicans formed in accordance with their right to assembly is defined as a "mob" or a "riot," but when the Democratic party's professional agitators form their shaggy, multiple pierced battalions - whether protesting "for peace" or "against the WTO," they are merely exercising their constitutional rights.

Also, when discussing the droves of military personnel whose votes were obstructed by the Clinton Pentagon, bear in mind that while those folks don't count (literally and figuratively), because they were a bunch of mean ol' Republicans, the mythical community of "disenfranchised black voters" is all the proof any one needs to understand that Jim Crow rules the GOP and that Al Gore won. And if you take issue with this, you're racist. Get thee to a sensitivity seminar forthwith!

Tristan Traviolia - 12/20/2002

I read the Washington Post piece you provided a link for and I have to tell you that I would give your brief definition of its contents an "F". The article is an excellent piece of journalism and I thank you for the link.

Bill McWilliams - 12/20/2002

Nowadays, just because you get the most votes doesn't mean you'll necessarily get enough Electoral College votes to win the election. And, sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court has to step in to make sure the right candidate is declared/appointed/selected.

Tom Kellum - 12/20/2002

One reason why some Gore supporters are a little upset is that
the Republicans stole the election. You must be the only person in America who doesn't know about the thousands of people who were denied the right to vote in Florida, and the thousands of Jewish voters who were tricked into voting for Pat Buchanan. Still others are upset that the U.S. Supreme Court ratified the coup because they wanted to be able to call their President "Bunnypants."

J. Merrett - 12/19/2002

I have to guess that it is difficult to come by a copy of this document, because I keep reading references Gore's having "won the popular vote." Whether that's true or not, it is approximately as relevant as pointing out that members of the European Parliament favored Gore by 5 to 1, or that Gore outweighs Bush by 23 pounds. We don't elect Presidents based on the national popular vote. Why do Gore supporters keep making this pointless claim?

Josh Dazey - 12/19/2002

Wow. Callous disregard for facts. Blind partisanship. Ranting falsehoods in the hopes that through repetition they will eventually stick. Shameful race baiting. An inability to complete an entire rational thought. Hypocrisy a blind man could see (from the party of Bob Toricelli, Robert Byrd, James Traficant, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc...)And most of all, gutter scraping negativism. Does this mean that Carville's job is in jeopardy?

Josh Dazey - 12/19/2002

Anyone who claims that vote-counting cannot be conducted because their are too many people watching pretty much tips their hand. Furthermore, cherrypicking which news recounts to talk about as "proof," while ignoring any others, such as USA Today, or the Wall Street Journal, with contrary results is not being intellectually honest. Most importantly though, is that the intial article itself was not about who really won Florida. When the votes were counted, Bush won. When they were recounted, Bush won. When they were recounted again, Bush won. We could continue to recount to eternity and the fact that George W. Bush is in the White House and Al Gore is on Saturday Night Live would not be changed.

Rather than debating how to finagle the votes to favor Al Gore, the interesting question that is raised is how a Gore presidency would have handled the last two years. Perhaps bombing more aspirin factories in Sudan? What we know, based on 8 years of Clinton and Al Gore in charge of the country, is that G.W.'s course would NOT have been followed.

Dave LaCourse - 12/19/2002

Thanks for admitting that "overvotes" were needed. And acknowledging that I picked a balanced article showing both sides.

Please also note that Gore never asked for such a "restrictive" standard. He sought every dimple, scratch, ink smear, smudge, etc. Remember Palm Beach and Broward county recounts? Just watch those democrat-run counties keep playing with ballots over and over again to shake those chads loose.

So again, we go back to your trying to pick any standard that would have won it. But that was not the standard decided by the DEMOCRAT-run Florida Supreme Court either or other local courts (of course, they would change it to yours now that they know what the outcome would be!).

More problems cited here:

"The NORC team of coders were able to examine about 99 percent of them, but county officials were unable to deliver as many as 2,200 problem ballots to NORC investigators. In addition, the uncertainties of human judgment, combined with some counties' inability to produce the same undervotes and overvotes that they saw last year, create a margin of error that makes the study instructive but not definitive in its findings."


Funny how those totals changed after the election was decided.

That is why the Republicans finally started getting mad and protested. They saw people bending and twisting ballots, finding new ones all of a sudden, one Democrat got caught carrying a voting machine in their trunk (warm it up and correct those undervotes!), screwing the military vote (which overturns your 105 vote win with the one standard btw), etc., etc.

Gore cherry-picked those counties for a reason. Counting all the votes was never the objective.

When Bush was up around 2,000 votes, the fist automatic recount swelled Gore's votes by 2,200 while Bush gained only around 700. This raised instant questions, including by this Democrat.


"The probability of being struck by lightning is about one in a million," Carroll said. "The same person would have to be hit by lightning 30 times to compare with what we've seen in this recount."

And the process was only started. Ask me again yet I don't think Gore won. And why Republicans shouldn't have smelled a rat. Knock a chad out of Bush's ballot and create an overvote. Scratch the Gore section and make an undervote a "voter intent" for Gore. If they just had more time.

Gore lives on, in NJ and everywhere the rules are changed in the middle of the game, and where the ends justify the means like with the South Dakota voter fraud. You must be proud.

Bill Heuisler - 12/19/2002

Mr. Harbison,
When you provide references, you would be wise to read them.
The Post reprint of the Commission report stated clearly they found no evidence of deliberate fraud. But then they proceeded to accuse anyhow...with no evidence.
"No proof of intentional discrimination against people of color by any state or county officials involved in the administration of elections today or yesterday is required. Violations of the VRA can be established by evidence that the state's actions resulted in African Americans and other people of color being the right to vote under the "totality of circumstances."

"For example, if there are differences in voting procedures and voting technologies between white areas and people of color areas and the result of those differences is to advantage white voters and disadvantage people of color voters, then the laws, the procedures and the decisions that produced those results, viewed in the context of social and historical factors, can prove discrimination in violation of the VRA."

So, if there's a low black turnout it's whose fault? If there's ballot confusion in a black precinct it's whose's fault? Every majority black precinct in Florida is controlled and officered by Democrats from the County on down to the poll workers.
According to the report the Devil must've done it.

Strong arms? Not one photo. No arrests. Huge conspiracy, right?

Gore lost in spite of taking the vote away from our young men and women (some of whom are black, by the way) because their legal ballots were in a Fleet Post Office rather than a Land Post Office at deadline. Lawyer tricks to cheat young voters.

You didn't mention the Democrat Media's premature call.

Now read the Commission Report again; if it had rained a little heavier on a black precinct election day 2000, God would have been in violation of the VRA!
But Gore would have still lost.
Bill Heuisler

Al Czervikjr - 12/19/2002

Congratulations, Ms. Lobes. You manage to squeeze just about every tired old chestnut of a hyperpartisan Democrat into your paranoid, hyperbolic rant. However, despite the venom, your rant is remarkably free of any factual support.

>>It's been established in every way imaginable that, if all the votes had been counted, Gore won Florida by vastly more than "a few hundred votes".

Really? How, exactly, has this been established? and by whom?

>>If Republicans hadn't stolen the election by their yuppie/bureaucrat riot on the Dade County Election Bureau that stopped the vote counting there

The Democratic elections commissioner in Dade has expressly denied that this "riot" as you call it had anything to do with the decision. I guess you know more about the situation than he does, right?

Also, the recounts since the election demonstrate that Bush would have won had all of Dade County (not just a more Democratic-leaning half of the County)had been counted. So, you are simply wrong as a matter of fact.

>>their illegal tactics to keep African-Americans from voting all over Florida

A serious charge...how about some evidence to back it up. We now know that all of the tales of police roadblocks and police dogs at polling places were outright fabrications.

>>their control of the incredibly partisan and unethical "Supreme" Court that handed down the bankrupt and ignominious Bush v. Gore "decision" and stopped the vote count statewide

First, SEVEN justices, including Souter and Breyer, held that the recount ordered by the FL S.Ct. was unconstitutional.
Second, as the media recounts demonstrate, Bush would have won a statewide recount under just about any scenario. Please identify even one scenario under which Gore would have won a statewide recount of the votes.

>>Instead, the charlatan Resident-in-Chief sits in our White House, squatting with his KKK...cronies

Wrong again. Robert Byrd is a Democratic Senator from West Virginia.

Robert Harbison - 12/19/2002

Nice Try Mr. Heuisler. The "disenfranchised soldiers" didn't register or send their votes in on time. Had the same happened to a group of voters from colleges you would have tried to disenfranchise them becuase they tend to vote democratic.

Republican "strong-arms" kept thousands of black voters (typically dem.) from getting into the voting precincts.

Republican voting officials also removed thousands of democrat voters from the rolls because they had a name similar to a felon.


Robert Harbison - 12/19/2002

This sort of sort of shameful post has no place on an academic board, and I hope that Rick will delete and and sharply rebuke you for posting it.


Robert Harbison - 12/19/2002

From the LA times article you cited:
"If Florida's ballots had been recounted using a restrictive standard that some Bush lawyers said they could accept, the study found that Gore would have won the state by 105 votes--as long as optical scanner overvotes showing clear intent were included."

And IF YOU REALLY want to get into this mess, what about the shameful rock throwing Republicans in Miami and Palm Beach?
You know the ones, they intimidated the LEGAL recounters into closing up their recounts and saying that Bush won their recount, even though they had not yet started the recount.

Tom Kellum - 12/18/2002

You know, Mr. Steinhorn, some of us feel that another "part of the problem with American politics today" is the casual acceptance of stolen elections ("need to just to move on"). The elections last month caused some of us who believe we engage in a "higher level of thinking" from time to time, to question just how legitimate those elections were. I don't recall seeing a single story in the conservative-owned liberal media about the implications of not having exit polling or any other "check" or way to verify the accuracy of voting results.

It doesn't take very much "higher level" thinking to conclude our politics have eroded to the point where our elections may be as corrupt as those in any third-world country.

Dianne Lobes - 12/18/2002

Gore DID win in 2000. There is no "what if" about it. It's been established in every way imaginable that, if all the votes had been counted, Gore won Florida by vastly more than "a few hundred votes". If Republicans hadn't stolen the election by their yuppie/bureaucrat riot on the Dade County Election Bureau that stopped the vote counting there, by their illegal tactics to keep African-Americans from voting all over Florida, and by their control of the incredibly partisan and unethical "Supreme" Court that handed down the bankrupt and ignominious Bush v. Gore "decision" and stopped the vote count statewide, Gore, the winner, would be President today. Instead, the charlatan Resident-in-Chief sits in our White House, squatting with his KKK, Skull and Bones, and corrupt corporate cronies, promoting a senseless war and spending our money rapaciously to increase their personal wealth. In actuality, everyone lost in 2000 - there were no winners.

Dave LaCourse - 12/18/2002

Gore did win the popular vote, but our country elects Presidents under the Electoral College vote.

Unfortunately, the final recount of the recount of the recount of the recount by the media found that George Bush won under almost all schemes of counting valid votes.


The only chance Gore had was if "overvotes" were counted as well, and under Florida law at the time, they most likely couldn't have been. Under new rules adopted AFTER the election, Gore might have prevailed.

But Gore screwed himself in the beginning because he tried to cherry-pick his 4 best counties and mine them for votes. His own sneakiness ended any chance to prevail. Funny how that happens!

If we really want to get into this mess, then don't forget to remember the shameful Democrat memo to invalidate military votes and others from oversees and the wrong calling of the state by the media for Gore BEFORE the polls closed in the Panhandle which suppressed the votes in these areas favoring Bush.


And I still remember watching live as three new bags of ballots were suddenly presented during the recount in Broward County, and the fit the Republican observer had by the unannounced surprise (he was forced to leave). I also remember that woman on the panel who would sometimes call a faint scratch on the ballot for Gore when the other Democrat and the Republican would call the same one for Bush. And remember the Palm Beach voting machine found in the Democrat's trunk? And the FL Supreme Court ignoring existing law repeatedly (NJ followed suit this year)?

Everyone on both sides of the 2000 election will long remember what happened. We could even go into how the Nader vote and Bush's surprise DUI story affected things too.

The fact is that none of this would have mattered if Gore had won his home state of TN (or even little WV).

To me, the bottom line is that the dumbest people in South Florida should not elect our President, and if you can't win your home state where the people are suppose to know you, you shouldn't be President either.

Voting is important. Therefore, read the ballot and double check it to make sure you filled it out correctly.

As for the premise of the article, I enjoyed it, but doubt it would be so easy for Gore and a few others to claim to be pro-military all of a sudden.

Leonard Steinhorn - 12/18/2002

Some of these comments on my piece would be amusing were they not so sad. I wrote this article to illuminate the pivots of history, to show how today's narrative would be different but for a simple twist of historical fate. I might have written the same article about Bush had Gore won two years ago. Unfortunately, too many readers are so steeped in their own partisanship that they're unable to appreciate any higher level of thinking. But I guess that's part of the problem with American politics today.

Bill Heuisler - 12/18/2002

Nice try, Mr. Harbison. Democrat lawyers disenfranchised thousands of soldiers and sailors; Democrat media discouraged thousands more Republican voters in the Panhandle by announcing a Gore win before the polls closed. Cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Philly, Boston and Baltimore have been turning out many thousands of dead voters and multiple-voters for years. Those Florida precincts with the voting problems were all Democrat-controlled and some problems resulted from faulty coaching by precinct workers to busloads of questionable voters. There's a precinct in East St. Louis whose turn-out exceeded its census. We all know it - wink, wink. Some big-city Democrat machines hold off precinct collections until upstate/downstate returns and then deliver needed numbers - wink, wink.
Stop the hypocrisy, Mr Harbison. Stop repeating falsehoods. Gore lost. The Dems deserved to lose and we're tired of the lies.

Steinhorn's essay simply takes history and changes names. For this approach, the reader must assume the reactions and beliefs of Gore & Co. would have been as complete and decisive as W's. Given the history and positions of both men that is unlikely.
In my opinion, we're lucky W is president or we'd be sending aid to Saddam, supporting Yasser, sending peace missions everywhere, apologizing for the Crusades and for being Christians and Jews.
Bill Heuisler

Mike Reynolds - 12/18/2002

Leonard , I hope you changed your underwear after your wet dream.

Robert Harbison - 12/18/2002

Not bring politics, and not to start a Bush Bash, but Gore DID win in 2000. He won the Popular vote, and if there had been full recounting of votes, he would have won Florida. So I don't think the "What if?" is all that implausible, unless you think that Bush would have won no matter what. What with massive amounts of money, Federal judges, the supreme court and his brother as Fl gov. all in his pocket, I guess it DOES seem implausible that Gore would have won.

James Wilson - 12/16/2002

Jokes are supposed to be funny. One of my friends wears the self-bestowed title "King of the Stupid Jokes." His crown is now yours. Since you know nothing about liberals, and far less about conservatives, one can only guess at your political bent. We laugh because it's funny and we laugh because it's true. There's nothing true, and nothing funny. There's nothing even possible. I've read lots of alternate histories and the idea is to be plausible. No point in practicing. You can't improve.