Florida Follies

  • Being from Michigan watching the coverage of last night’s election was a lot like watching a Detroit Lions football game — you just have to expect you’re going to see a lot of fumbles, poor clock management, and generally bad decision making. Why all the major networks decided to call Florida for Bush given the slim margin he had escapes me.
  • The most surreal moment with Florida was channel surfing between NBC and CBS earlier in the evening. CBS was the first network to my knowledge to acknowledge the early error and remove Florida from a solid Gore state to close to call, while NBC waited longer. So on NBC Tom Brokaw and company were wondering if it was possible for Bush to possibly win without Florida, while Dan Rather on CBS was simultaneously wondering if Gore could possibly make up the huge hole he had put himself in by giving Bush a shot in Florida. Bizarre.
  • Biggest surprise of the campaign: Pat Buchanan’s humiliating vote totals. He gets $12 million in matching funds and in many states he got beat by Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne. Buchanan is officially politically dead.
  • Second biggest surprise: everybody was talking about Ralph Nader’s role as a spoiler, shifting potential Democrats to the Green Party and winning the election for Bush. Note, however, that if Bush should lose Florida on a recount, Libertarian Party candidate Harry Browne’s vote total — roughly 18,000 — would be greater than Gore’s victory margin. Unlikely to happen, but possible.

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