March 19, 2011

Warren Christopher has died.

He was 85. I most remember him from his role in Florida recount in the 2000 election:
Mr. Christopher came under criticism at the time, and later in “Recount,” the 2008 HBO dramatization of the Florida vote dispute, over a lack of legal and political aggressiveness against Mr. Bush’s legal team, led by a former secretary of state, James A. Baker. The movie, in particular, portrayed Mr. Christopher as overly concerned with the niceties of the law while Mr. Baker was waging a bare-knuckled campaign on all fronts.

Mr. Klain said that was an unfair characterization. “Like all dramatic portrayals, they sought dramatic tension by exaggerating people’s personalities,” he said on Saturday. “People often confused Chris’s reserved style and personal sense of propriety with a lack of fierceness on behalf of his client. That would be a mistake.”

He said it was Mr. Christopher’s decision to challenge the Florida result, even as most Republicans and some prominent Democrats were urging Mr. Gore to concede. “People don’t remember how controversial that effort was. Without Chris’s stature and credibility, I’m not sure we would have gotten as far as we did,” Mr. Klain said.
I remember Christopher solemnly intoning: "We need to count all the votes." It was a mantra. And the other side had its mantra. James Baker would say: "The votes have been counted. They've been counted and recounted." Chez Althouse, we were for Gore, so Baker's "votes  have been counted" line drew hoots of derision. Analyzing the litigation calmly, afterward, I accepted the soundness of Baker's point. These were ballots designed to be read by machines, the ballots had gone through the machines twice, and there was no showing that the machines had malfunctioned. Switching to human readers introduced much more ambiguity and risk of deviousness than accepting the verdict of the machines. The machines, as they processed each card, didn't have political preference and awareness of which side was being helped.

The criticism of Christopher— that he was too nice and too proper — fails to take into account that he was arguing on the side that would strike many people as scarily chaotic and power-grasping. Baker was arguing for the security of the result delivered by machine.  Baker's attitude of belligerence was used to argue for ending the struggle. Transpose the Baker attitude onto the Christopher side of the argument — struggle, chaos, litigation, and the unknown. Would it have worked better than Christopher's mild demeanor?

90 comments:

Big Mike said...

I recollect that the Gore team found a legalistic way to disqualify as many votes from overseas military as possible. It strengthened my already a strong feeling of contempt for Democrats. If they were going to "count all the votes" then why not the soldiers who were risking their very lives for the United States?

Carol_Herman said...

Skinny dead man walking. And, now I can no longer remember back to why his name even rings a bell.

But Florida? The big gun was David Bois. And, hands down, James Baker won the contest.

Baker was called in because things were turning into such a mess for Dubya.

2000 had two lousy, unappealing candidates, running for the presidency. When the contest was over, Gore had lost his own state of Tennessee. (We've had 44 presidents, and none of them had lost their home state.)

Because Tennessee went for Dubya, it left the fight in Florida. And, that was the first time I ever saw Americans who were more enthused for the republican candidate than they were for Gore!

Gore lost because there was no support for him coming from anywhere across America. Gore lost even though he had the media to his back. And, yes, WHO is president makes all the difference when it comes to Supreme Court Appointments.

There are no "slam dunks" in presidential politics. Let's hope in 2012 that the republicans do better than picking another Bob Dole (who said, in 1996, that it was his turn to run.)

And, an oy from memories of 1992. If Sarah Palin peels off to do an independent run, all bets are off that a republican candidate can win.

Back in 1992 no one had heard of Bill Clinton.

Ricardo said...

"Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser." (Vince Lombardi)

PaulV said...

The error of recounting punch ballots increase with each recount as the ballots deteroiated. Democrats biggest error was going for partial recounts in areas they hoped to regain votes. This mistake caused them to run out of time. It was mistake to use older people with vision problems who were more likely to damage ballots. Why didn't SCOFL take a hit for their bumbling?

Maguro said...

"Too darn nice and principled" is one of few ways it's permissible to criticize a liberal politician, so it's not surprising that HBO chose that route to build "dramatic tension.

PaulV said...

Big Mike, that "legalistic way" was a violation of law as well as immoral.

shoutingthomas said...

Chez Althouse, we were for Gore, so Baker's "votes have been counted" line drew hoots of derision.

So, per lucid, when did you formally declare as a right-winger?

Big Mike said...

@Paul, my point exactly.

vbspurs said...

Ann Althouse wrote:

These were ballots designed to be read by machines, the ballots had gone through the machines twice, and there was no showing that the machines had malfunctioned. Switching to human readers introduced much more ambiguity and risk of deviousness than accepting the verdict of the machines. The machines, as they processed each card, didn't have political preference and awareness of which side was being helped.

Simple. Easy-to-understand. Logical.

I have been given potent ammunition for those attempt future political harrangues with me.

Cheers,
Victoria

EDH said...

Not the most scintilating presence on the national stage.

The way he seemed to doze-off, probably not the first time they had to put a mirror under his nose.

shoutingthomas said...

The big gun was David Bois.

David Boies.

I used to work for him.

vbspurs said...

RIP Warren Christopher.

Have you noticed how male Secretaries of State are unusually sartorially natty? It seems almost a prerequisite, though of course, all diplomats tend towards elegance.

Cheers,
Victoria

EDH said...

vbspurs said...

Have you noticed how male Secretaries of State are unusually sartorially natty?

AprilApple said...

The democrats learned a lot about close elections. Because the left felt cheated, it inspired them to become cheaters. Al Franken's election was all about "finding" votes and finding ballots and ballot machines in the trunks of cars.

Lucius Septimius said...

"he was arguing on the side that would strike many people as scarily chaotic and power-grasping"

We're seeing that party in action now in Wisconsin. Create chaos; grab power.

Hey ... it worked for Lenin, right?

Fen said...

"We need to count all the votes till we win. Then we stop the recounts."

Big Mike said...

@April, you've never been to Chicago, have you? Finding ballots in trunks is old hat to Chicago Democrats.

PaulV said...

NYTimes again forgets the SCOTUS 7-2 vote that stopped vote and the federally set date of 12/12 when state legislature was given opportunity to name electors if none had been chosen by then. The law was adopted after the 1988 election was stolen from Grover Cleveland.

WV: tearman Cry a tear man!

mythusmage said...

I'm not really sure how to go about it, but I have to wonder how the voting would've gone had Ralph Nader not been on the ticket. No Nader to siphon off some of the Democratic vote.

We go on and on about how Bush stole the presidency, but I have to wonder at Nader's role in the debacle.

WV: radser Yes, I am a radser I am. :)

Fen said...

"Yes, I know that yesterday we didn't count dimpled chads for Bush voters. But today we're hand-counting Democrat strongholds, so we'll change the rules and count dimpled chads".

Lucien said...

We should get over the idea that a perfect vote count can be accomplished, and that if you count ballots n times, the nth count will be better than counts n-1, n-2, etc.

Accept that the count is an estimate, and that races where the difference is within the margin of error are inconclusive.

Lucius Septimius said...

I've always wondered what the final popular vote would have looked like had they counted the absentee ballots in California.

And let us not forget the folks in the Florida panhandle who didn't vote because the MSM called the election in FL before the polls closed.

edutcher said...

SCOFL was packed with partisan Democrats who wanted to interpret the law to benefit the Living Redwood.

The Bush people wanted the law enforced as written. In that context, SCOTUS didn't have much wiggle room.

When the Lefties didn't get their way, as in WI, they threw the inevitable tantrum.

vbspurs said...

EDH wrote:

Have you noticed how male Secretaries of State are unusually sartorially natty?

LOVE IT, thanks EDH! Look at the late General Haig, man, wow. Rock those pre-1930s-sized pinstripes, Alex!

Bob Ellison said...

'Chez Althouse, we were for Gore, so Baker's "votes have been counted" line drew hoots of derision. Analyzing the litigation calmly, afterward, I accepted the soundness of Baker's point.'

Your personal reality-mugging seems to be a slow process. Mine is too.

vbspurs said...

[Look how smooth, unlined, almost feminine are the hands of Henry Kissinger. Warren Christopher's and Alexander Haig's look like longshoremen, comparatively]

Jay said...

it was Mr. Christopher’s decision to challenge the Florida result,

And that was a horrific, partisan, childish act.

vbspurs said...

General Colin Powell is elegant, too, normally. So not sure what happened [is happening] here.

Simon said...

shoutingthomas said...
"So, per lucid, when did you formally declare as a right-winger?"

I don't think she did (or is); I think it was more that she was excommunicated by the left.

AJ Lynch said...

Did the recount cause today's virulent schism between libs and cons? Or did it just get it to bubble to the surface sooner?

Conserve Liberty said...

FWIW I was riding a shuttle from a business meeting in Beaver Creek, CO to Eagle Airport during the early days of the recount.

A young fellow passenger in the row before mine, conversing with a seatmate, said a little too loudly, "They just need to count ALL the votes."

I couldn't resist saying, "They have been counted. Twice."

"But," he replied, "They haven't been counted the right way yet."

Amy Jenista said...

I have been lurking quite a while, now. Re-found the site when my baby clicked on my Althouse link in my toolbar.

I have a question: What does "WV" stand for?

Thanks in advance.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

The recount debacle was the single most damaging event to the United States since Watergate. There was simply never any justification for Gore's hissy fit. Christopher was the architect. Their actions made it clear that the success of the Democrat party is far more important to them than the lawful transfer of power. Shame on you, Ann, for failing to see this at the time.

Bob Ellison said...

@Carol_Herman's post is very good. All should read it.

Gore's loss was peculiar. Only a terrible candidate could have managed it.

PaulV said...

wv = word verification-letters you enter to post

EDH said...

vbspurs said...
"General Colin Powell is elegant, too, normally. So not sure what happened [is happening] here."

From that picture, it looks like Powell is suffering a spastic colin.

vbspurs said...

Amy, as Paul indicated it's the word verification one needs to type to send the reply. Many of us have noted how creepily prescient and topical the WV bot is, almost like it's our very own Oracle of Delphi. Analogies can also be made to 2001's "HAL" computer.

So, sometimes, we share the wv's with others, so that they may share a bit of a slap-tickle too.

wv: ruddi (ruddi! ruddi!)

Cheers,
Victoria

Bob Ellison said...

Here's my question: why does one vote matter? If fifty million voted for Bush and fifty million plus one voted for Gore, does that one vote matter more than the other fifty million? This seems to be the conceit of the commentariat, especially since Bush v. Gore.

It's a sad fact of democracy that the individual vote dwindles to uselessness.

[Amy: "wv" stands for "word verification", as in the thing you have to type to get your comment posted.]

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I have a question: What does "WV" stand for?

Word verification. The silly word blogger makes you type to prove you're not a robot. They seem to have an algorithm that makes them approximate real words, and sometimes they can be funny or apt.

wv: peonny-- what Democrat fiscal policies are leading us to

YoungHegelian said...

The "far too nice and polite" Democrat in a struggle with an amoral right-wing is a standard meme in the squish-lefty world, and it got yet another airing in this obituary

I've always found it amazing that the moderate left maintains this self-image of "niceness" with such determination, since no one else who tussles with them ends up thinking they were "so nice" about it.

WV: preater.....rerum seriem

Henry said...

WV stands for West Virginia, currently leading UK 12-10.

ken said...

Here in South Florida one still hears that Dubya was selected by SCOTUS. Nevermind that later media recounts showed Bush won every time. And don't forget that Gore side wanted selective recounts in dem strongholds. Perhaps Algore might have pulled it out anyway had those elderly NY Jewish transplants in Palm Beach county not voted inadvertently for Buchanan. Thank God for some serendipity there. The dem designer of the infamous butterfly ballot endured harsh criticism after the fact. Another interesting tidbit was fact that lower court liberal judges showed some integrity by interpreting the current election laws and didn't try for ex-post facto rules changes as the FL. Supremes did. As far as actual crimes go, I seem to recall that Chicago still stuffed ballot boxes for Gore, students in Milwaukee voted several times each and in some cases there were more votes tallied than voters registered. I assume in Philly that meant the usual dead and buried still managed to vote yet once again. Here in Fla. there was some research into people voting absentee in several states. You know, voting in NY or NJ and also in Fla.
Naturally liberals don't desire to lose any votes due to some kind of Voter ID law. So now what prevents the big Zero from just legalizing illegals through executive order? One of my friends insists that many blacks he talks to who go to church have had it with Obama. That remains to be seen. How many points does a complaint media add to O's vote totals?

Hagar said...

Since this is a law professor's blog:
My understanding is that the post mortem conducted by NYT & Ass. concluded that the only way Gore could have won was if the Bush team had got everything they wanted, and then it was still only a slim chance.
OTH, if the Gore team got everything they wanted, Bush would have won Florida by a much larger margin.

Not only do elections have consequences, but so do your choices of legal options!

Henry said...

Let me be the first to point out that Warren Christopher was Jimmy Carter's lead negotiator in the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

Make of that what you will.

EDH said...

The heck with Warren Christopher, Knut the polar bear has died.

According to one report, he was found floating in the water in the zoo's polar bear enclosure on Saturday. A cause of death is not known, but tests are expected to be performed Monday.

No doubt another victim of global warming!

Greg's Blog said...

I'll take 85.

LilyBart said...

I remember Christopher solemnly intoning: "We need to count all the votes."

Funny, I recall the Gore team working hard to disqualify military votes. Count all the votes indeed.

cubanbob said...

Gore never could have won. His candidacy was a referendum on a third Clinton term and Clinton was never as popular as the democrats delude themselves that he was. had Clinton been that popular and Gore by extension, Gore would have won by a landslide.

Nixon had far more class than Gore and with better reason to have challenged the election (which he didn't).

Gore wanted to cherry pick the counties to have the ballots recounted. Naturally they were heavily democratic leaning counties. Bush's argument was simply, count all counties. It was Gore's delaying of a total statewide recount that forced the issue to the US Supreme Court due to the impending deadline of the electoral college. Bakers was right. The machines counted the ballots twice and twice Gore lost. Another point lost was the blatant bias of the FL Supreme Court (all liberal democrats) who decided to change the election rules that required the counties to recount using the methodology they had in place for that election and instead allowed a new set of rules for the election that just took place. Hence the attempt to divine hanging chads, dimpled ballots and other tossed out as invalid ballots as properly cast ballots. In short to manufacture ballots for Gore. It was low, deceitful and dishonest which is typical for democrats. Can't win honestly, steal the election. Just as it is being attempted in Wisconsin.

vbspurs said...

Gore lost his home State of Tennessee.

End.
Of.

Browndog said...

My recollection is that Team Gore did not want to count "all" the votes, but re-count "some" of the votes-

and by "count" they meant deciding arbitrarily.

dimpled pregnancies thwarted by the High Justices.

vbspurs said...

The late Warren Christopher with his worthy adversary, and also former Secretary of State, James Baker.

Carol_Herman said...

If I understand this, now, the threat wasn't sent "here." It was found by a Google search. And, was uploaded to a site I had never heard of. Did Jim Shankman ever believe you'd even see it?

Now, what you've done is put the information here. Where so many people came and saw the diatribe. (For those of us who come here often, we also know Meade climbs the white oak tree out back.) Which, if a whole group of people came with baseball bats ... to throw onto your lawn ... Wouldn't he see them coming a mile away?

"Dealing with threats" will be our new language. It's going to appear wherever you have Tea Party people congregating ... even though in spite of all their work Obamacare passed ... Americans want to remain secure in their knowledge that they are free to assemble. And, the kooks (nor the Hari Krishna's), can come at them to aggressively push them in their faces. Most of the time we expect to see the police, and police barriers up. Done very professionally, too.

I also don't think "IN YOUR FACE" is going to attract voters to candidates. In America, there's always the "sympathy vote" reaction, as well. Waiting to see what's up ahead.

Plus, the good news is that this is the Internet. And, the Internet LINKS.

That this story has legs is in your favor. Ed Morrisey once had a blog of his own. But he left to go to Malkin's site.

I love this site so much I'd hate to see you take it down. (Meade climbing trees? Now, that's a heart stopper.)

Phil 3:14 said...

Victoria;
Have you noticed how male Secretaries of State are unusually sartorially natty?
Can I then assume you're not a fan of Madeline's pins?

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, my. I tried writing about WHY our voting system gives the winner to the person who gains at least above 50% of the cast votes ... and blogger went and chewed it. (And, my clipboard only held my previous post.)

So, sorry.

But I wanted to point out that our system, designed by our Founding Fathers, took into consideration that they HATED the European models. And, they rejected the parliamentary system, outright.

Yes. A parliamentary system allows for really extremist parties to win a few seats. And, when the body gets together and needs votes to pass something ... these lunatics become real players.

Our system prevents this.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The other big omission in the Gore team's position was that "count every vote" never included the ballots that had been accepted by the machine count, only those that had been rejected. In other words, they implicitly, and inconsistently, assumed that those no-good machines did a perfect job of counting the non-rejected ballots.

Phil 3:14 said...

2000 has supplanted 1960 as the "stolen" presidential election. So I guess that means we have another 30 years to debate this.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race

shiloh said...

Did the recount cause today's virulent schism between libs and cons? Or did it just get it to bubble to the surface sooner?
~~~~~


Most "pundits" ;) agree it was when Robert Bork was (((borked))) :) in 1987.

>

Nixon had far more class than Gore

hmm, comparing Nixon w/Gore. Interesting deflection lol as Gore won the national popular vote and Nixon didn't. Also interesting Nixon got (49.6%) in 1960 and yet only (43.4%) in 1968 as he won by default.

And yes, Gore lost his own state so it's hard to feel sorry for him, his god awful campaign grasping defeat from the jaws of victory notwithstanding.

btw, whatever happened to Nixon ~ oh yea, he resigned in disgrace!

Quite classy ...

Lonetown said...

Can anyone doubt the Florida recount damaged the country deeply?

cubanbob said...

@shiloh yes Nixon had more class in 1960 than Gore did in 2000. Naturally being a dishonest leftist, as if there is any other kind, you conflate two distinct events, the circumstances of his election being stolen and the circumstances that lead to his resignation.

Nixon had an election stolen from him but chose for the good of the nation not to contest it. Gore on the other hand lost an election and tried to steal it and failed. His interest over country. A grifter is what Gore was and is. And even in 1974 Nixon had more class than Gore.

At least Nixon had enough ingrained morality that he couldn't lie with a straight face, something Clinton, Gore and Obama had and have no problem doing.

Rialby said...

"Analyzing ... calmly, afterward, I accepted the soundness of [his] point."

Sounds like a recurring theme in your life Ms. Althouse.

Voting for the The One and the Goracle were the biggest mistakes of your life.

vbspurs said...

Phill 3:14 wrote:

Can I then assume you're not a fan of Madeline's pins?

Assume away, Phil. In a sense of fairplay, I didn't much care for Sarah Palin's mammoth-sized US flag pin either. Not because it was OTT in sentiment, but because she got it at Wal-Mart, and thus was made in China.

cubanbob said...

@shiloh if you going to judge by plurality don't forget to include Clinton who won in 92 by a plurality.
As for Gore getting the majority of the popular vote, so what? What counts is the majority of the electoral votes, not the fraudulently cast ballots in Cook County, Philly, St. Louis and several other of the usual democrat vote fraud areas. But since you can't win on the facts you dissemble and change the topic.

shiloh said...

cubanbob

You are indeed entitled to your revisionist history of the '60 election if it makes you feel better.

Indeed as this is what AA's conservative blog is all about ie makin' Reps smile!

btw speaking of honesty, Nixon just before he became the only president in American history to resign in total disgrace for violating his oath of office ie the U.S. Constitution!

Interesting how a Dem dying leads to Nixon lol but all things are possible at AA's blog, eh.

and cubanbob I wasn't judging anything, just stating a fact ie Nixon got 49.6% in 1960 and (8) years later could only manage 43.4%. But hey, at least he got the most votes, something cheney/bush couldn't attain in 2000.

carry on

yashu said...

The "far too nice and polite" Democrat in a struggle with an amoral right-wing is a standard meme in the squish-lefty world, and it got yet another airing in this obituary

It's one Obama resorted to recently (not for the first time), along with the inveterate "don't forget how blessed we are that you have Me as your president." Via Ace of Spades, Obama at a recent fundraiser:

“The first time around it’s like lightning in a bottle. There’s something special about it, because you’re defying the odds. And as time passes, you start taking it for granted that a guy named Barack Hussein Obama is president of the United States,” Obama said. “But we should never take it for granted.”

“I hope that all of you still feel that sense of excitement and that sense of possibility, because we still have so much more to do.”

“I know that sometimes people may get frustrated and think, you know what, Obama is being too nice and we need to get in there and take it to them. And there will be times where that’s important,” the president said...

“As important as our political labels are — Democrat and Republican — as many tough fights as we’re going to have, part of what made 2008 special is we brought the country together.”

For sure, O has been far too nice with your enemies, those hostage takers of the American people. But America's Politico (wherever he is) will back me up: Obama's 2012 campaign-- WTF 2.0-- is shaping up nicely.

Ann Althouse said...

"Since this is a law professor's blog:
My understanding is that the post mortem conducted by NYT & Ass. concluded that the only way Gore could have won was if the Bush team had got everything they wanted, and then it was still only a slim chance.
OTH, if the Gore team got everything they wanted, Bush would have won Florida by a much larger margin."

The only way Gore came out ahead was by counting something he never asked to count: overvotes. The dispute was over the recounting of undervotes (and what counted as an undervote). One of the things that was found unequal about the final recount order was that undervotes were treated differently from overvotes (and some overvotes were included in the 3 already-completed recounts that were to be included in the total).

Basically, Gore would have asked for whichever thing had the most votes for him, if only he had known which category that was, and the state supreme court was keen on giving him that. If he had gotten to the presidency by that route... it would have been incredibly ugly.

In retrospect, I think the machine recount should have been the end of the line.

Ann Althouse said...

"Voting for the The One and the Goracle were the biggest mistakes of your life."

How about voting for Carter in 1980 and voting for Mondale and Dukakis. (Also McGovern.)

William said...

I think of the Hardy poem about "the deadest thing alive enough to have the strength to die' when I think of Gore and his failure in Florida. Christopher was the physical embodiment of that line.

yashu said...

I voted for Gore too-- the first presidential election I voted in-- and I too was dismayed at the result. 4 years later I voted for Bush.

Jay said...

Also interesting Nixon got (49.6%) in 1960 and yet only (43.4%) in 1968 as he won by default.

Actually stupid, Nixon won an electoral college landslide in 1968 with 301 votes.

But facts really aren't your friend.

cubanbob said...

@shiloh it's not my revisionist history, it's just the facts. They maybe not to you liking but they are the facts. As for 68, what a horrible year and lets hope we never have another such year. I never said the Nixon didn't win an outright majority in 68, he win a plurality in a three man race like Clinton did in 92. Yes he resigned in disgrace, no one disputes that but unlike Clinton his disgrace did not result from actions for his own personal good but in attempting misguidedly in acting in what he perceived was for the good of the nation. There were communists involved in the 72 democratic campaign, there were Americans aided and abetted the enemy. Not to excuse Nixon but hardly as low rent as Clinton in turning the secret service into a pimping service for him (and similarly for JFK).

shiloh said...

How about voting for Carter in 1980 and voting for Mondale and Dukakis. (Also McGovern.)
~~~~~


AA, since as you say, you've made a lot of mistakes in your life. Why should "we" heed your political opinions now.

solo estoy diciendo

Are you much older and wiser now ;) voting for Obama (2) years ago notwithstanding.

Again, elections come down to choices or one can stay home ...

shiloh said...

btw, before I forget, may Warren Christopher rest in peace.

shiloh said...

Nixon won an electoral college landslide in 1968 with 301 votes.

Interesting irrelevant deflection as Clinton got (370) in 1992 and (379) in 1996.

take care

Chip S. said...

"Voting for the The One and the Goracle were the biggest mistakes of your life."

How about voting for Carter in 1980 and voting for Mondale and Dukakis. (Also McGovern.)


Shorter version: Voting for the Democrat is usually a mistake.

Roux said...

"He said it was Mr. Christopher’s decision to challenge the Florida result, even as most Republicans and some prominent Democrats were urging Mr. Gore to concede. "

IMO that put him in the same boat with the treasonous AlGore. AlGore will be seen as one of the worst politicians of his era.

Mrs. Wilberforce said...

Did you know that Madeleine A. wore a bee pin when she met Yasser Arafat? Such a tough touch that he gave her a butterfly pin in return. You can hear her talk to Katie Couric about this -- and more! -- here: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5351590n. As Katie tells us: "Like Mohammed Ali, she could float and sting."

GT said...

I used to work with Warren Christopher. Our politics were quite different, and this was long before 2000, but he was undeniably a great attorney. He could see around corners that 99.9% of other lawyers couldn't even recognize as corners. Relying on Chris was one of the view good decisions Gore made. A post hoc fictionalized account is not a persuasive counterargument or even example.

RIP.

blake said...

Actually, I'm not sure Nixon didn't demand a recount for the good of the country, so much as for fear of the fact that while they could expose the corruption in Chicago, the corruption in (then Republican) California would also come to light.

Nixon was scum; it's kind of fitting that he was brought down by stuff that others had done in his name, and kind of ironic that Kennedy had done the same thing to beat him 12 years earlier.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Voting for the The One and the Goracle were the biggest mistakes of your life."

How about voting for Carter in 1980 and voting for Mondale and Dukakis. (Also McGovern.)


None of them won in those years. None of them tore the country apart contesting an election. So those mistakes don't rank as your biggest. Unlike liberals, we judge based on results, not on intentions.

You didn't mention your 1976 vote. If that was also Carter, then that mistake ranks right up there. But I don't think it will rank anywhere near #1 or #2. As Professor Reynolds says, it looks like a rerun of the Carter years is the best we can hope for at this point.

I also want to say Al Gore missed a true opportunity. Despite tearing the country apart for over a month, his concession speech when he finally gave it may have been the finest speech I've ever seen. Very honest, very heart-felt, and very much in service to healing the country. If he could've held another election that day, he would've won over a lot of voters, me included. And if he could've maintained that tone for the next four years, he could've won the 2004 nomination, and the election.

But instead, he descended into rank partisanship of the worst sort. He could've had that most elusive event in politics: a second chance at the top of the ticket. But he blew it.

wv: draminar. Sort of a seminar, but with extra drama.

shiloh said...

He could've had that most elusive event in politics: a second chance at the top of the ticket. But he blew it.

It was easily his for the taking, but he didn't want it ~ MLS's own rank partisanship notwithstanding.

btw, shocking that any politician would be partisan.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

My day is complete: an insult from shiloh!

shiloh said...

MLS, you're welcome! :)

Fortunately my day's fortune is not determined by anything that happens at this blog.

btw, it wasn't an insult as much as a disgreement ie shocking that rank partisanship happens at Althouse.

My insults, as a rule, are a tad more pronounced and regardless, insults are pretty much wasted at a political blog ...

take care

Robin said...

What hasn't been mentioned is his near-destruction of the Los Angeles Police Department as the head of the Christopher Commission.

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

Carol_Herman said...
"A parliamentary system allows for really extremist parties to win a few seats. And, when the body gets together and needs votes to pass something ... these lunatics become real players. Our system prevents this."

Yep.

Lonetown said...
"Can anyone doubt the Florida recount damaged the country deeply?"

The SCOTUS dissenters didn't help matters either, as Althouse well-observed in her article on the case.


Bob Ellison said...
"Here's my question: why does one vote matter? If fifty million voted for Bush and fifty million plus one voted for Gore, does that one vote matter more than the other fifty million? This seems to be the conceit of the commentariat, especially since Bush v. Gore.

It's a sad fact of democracy that the individual vote dwindles to uselessness.
"

Do you realize the tension between these two paragraphs? Assume for a moment that the popular vote matters (it doesn't, but let's pretend). If fifty million vote for Bush and fifty million plus one vote for Gore, that one vote matters like this: Gore wins. But in that scenario, saying that the individual vote dwindles to uselessness simply couldn't be more wrong. Every single vote for Gore did matter--indeed, was of paramount importance, because every voter can be said to have supplied the margin of victory.

We have had so many painfully close elections in recent years that I would have thought a stake was driven through the heart of this "one vote doesn't count" stuff. It can, when the result is close enough.

Stan said...

Who on Gore's legal team was responsible for the decision, prior to the election, to disenfranchise legal military ballots? The Dems prepared a legal brief which totally misrepresented a Fla Federal District Court opinion which required county election boards to count military absentee ballots. The brief was taken on election day to boards which were in counties with a majority of Dem members by lawyers who instructed them that they were required to throw out the ballots. They threw out lots of ballots knowing that most of them were likely votes for Bush.

Fen said...

How I remember Warren Christopher:

"In the most shameful and painful act of the hand counts, the Democrats on the ground, and their operators from the Democratic National Committee and the state organization and the Gore campaign, deliberately and systematically scrutinized for challenge every military absentee ballot, and knocked out as many as they could on whatever technicality they could find or even invent. Reports begin to filter out. The Democratic army of lawyers and operatives marches into the counting room armed with a five-page memo from a Democratic lawyer, instructing them on how to disfranchise military voters. The lawyers and operatives unspool reams of computer printouts bearing the names and party affiliation of military voters. Those who are Republicans are subject to particular and seemingly relentless scrutiny. Right down to signatures on ballots being compared with signatures on registration cards. A ballot bearing a domestic postmark because a soldier had voted, sent his ballot home to his parents and asked them to mail it in on time, is thrown out. A ballot that comes with a note from an officer explaining his ship was not able to postmark his ballot, but that he had voted on time--and indeed it had arrived in time--is thrown out, because it has no postmark.

The Democratic operatives are ruthless, focused. As one witness says, "They had a clear agenda."

Received late Wednesday, an e-mail forwarded from a Republican who witnessed the counting of the Brevard County overseas absentee ballots.

It is 11:30 PM (Tuesday) and I have just returned from the count of absentee ballots, that started at 4PM. Gore had five attorneys there, the sole objective was to disenfranchise the military absentee voter. . . . They challenged each and every vote. Their sole intent was to disqualify each and every absentee voter. They constantly challenged military votes that were clearly legitimate, but they were able to disqualify them on a technicality. I have never been so frustrated in all my life as I was to see these people fight to prevent our active duty Military from voting. They succeeded in a number of cases denying the vote to these fine Men and Women. This was a deliberate all out assault on the Armed Forces solely to sustain the Draft Dodger and his flunky. These people must have a hard time looking at themselves in a mirror. . . . They denied a number of votes postmarked Queens NY, ballots that were clearly ordered from overseas, clearly returned from overseas, and verified by the Post Office that DOD uses the Queens post office to handle overseas mail, were denied because it didn't say APO, They denied military votes postmarked out of Jacksonville, Knowing full well it came from ships at sea and was flown into Jacksonville . . .

This is what you can expect from a Gore administration a further trampling on the Military and more trampling on your rights. . .

The attorneys there treated it all as a joke, and when my wife protested their actions she was told she didn't understand."

http://www.1215.org/lawnotes/lawnotes/greenwood.htm

vbspurs said...

GT, that was a fitting and decent anecdote about your ex-boss. Thanks for it. :)

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I realize that this thread is pretty well played out, but I just want to point out, as a Tennesseean, that Mr. Gore *did* win his home state.

He won Washington, D.C.

- Lyssa

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