Let's Press to Certify Gore
"If it turns out that Al Gore wins the popular vote nationally, there will be intense pressure in this country to have him become the President. Most people think the guy with the most votes wins. Recounts are as much an art as a science. You have experts, consultants, who go around the country doing recounts. If the recount came out on behalf of Bush and Bush had lost the popular vote nationally, they would go to court, there'd be another recount. It would become endless. And the political pressure would mount very quickly to, to certify Al Gore as, as the winner."
- Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on NBC, early morning after election night, November 8.
Gore Should Win Big
"Why is this election so close? When you look at this objectively and as people looked at it six months ago, the incumbent party dealt a very strong hand here. We have full employment in the United States, we have unparalleled prosperity in terms of wealth created, we have low interest rates, we have low inflation, we have few perils to our nation overseas. So you were dealt a very strong hand coming into this election, and yet it's still close. Why?"
- ABC's Charles Gibson to Al Gore, November 6 Good Morning America.
"We have a name candidate, viewed as better qualified and more experienced, better able to handle key issues, linked with a period of unparalleled prosperity, against a governor with no national, no international experience. This would seem to be a mismatch, why is it still a tight race?"
- CBS's Bryant Gumbel to Jack Kemp on The Early Show, November 7.
Clinton, Genius of the Boom
"The question that could well haunt Gore for years to come is why he chose to throw out the baby with the bath water. Policies initiated in the Clinton White House helped to produce the greatest economic boom in U.S. history. And there were notable successes in other areas as well, and in many of them Gore played an active and critical role. Should he lose, many Democrats would never forgive him for not running vigorously on the record he helped to build and for failing to draw a strong contrast between that record and the one he and Bill Clinton inherited eight years ago."
- From November 6 "Dan Rather's Notebook" commentary previewing post-election spin, posted on
Empathizing with Gore, Not Bush
"You've been part of an administration that one can argue has presided over the greatest economic, sustained economic boom in the history of the country. But here you are in the last week of the presidential campaign, in which even by your own estimate you're locked neck and neck with the other guy. Why is that?....But surely sometime at night the two of you talking, you must have said, maybe one to the other, 'Why is this happening to us?'"
- Dan Rather to Al and Tipper Gore in taped interview shown on the November 1
CBS Evening News.
"Let me read you a couple of quotes from the New York Times and give you an opportunity to respond to their view of the campaign. One, most of this is direct quote: 'Most citizens know that Vice President Gore wins in a comparison with Mr. Bush on experience and knowledge.'.... Let's talk about your tax program. Do you agree or disagree with the premise that the tax cuts that you proposed, about 40 percent of them will go to the wealthiest one-and-a-half to two percent of the people in the country?"
- Rather to George W. Bush, taped for the same show.
No Compassion If GOP Wins
"He might not have this kind of atmosphere if you have a Republican Senate and a Republican House of Representatives, because the Democrats would not have much of a voice at all, and there's some concern that the 'compassionate conservative' George Bush would suddenly become the 'harsh conservative' that has been characterized by some as the leadership of this Congress. Does this become a much more conservative city on November 8th if it's an all-Republican city?"
- ABC's Cokie Roberts to Sen. Trent Lott after Lott predicted a President Bush would not generate the current "bad atmosphere," October 29
Speaking of Compassion...
Bob Novak, reading text of his "Outrage of the Week," a Democratic phone call from a woman to Michigan voters: "'The air in Houston is so filthy that my two kids are frequently not allowed to go outside for recess. Governor Bush has accepted $1.3 million from corporate polluters, and he's allowed them to keep polluting while my kids suffer.' That's a smarmy and disgusting tactic for a campaign for the nation's highest office."
Time's Margaret Carlson: "I love that ad!"
- October 28 Capital Gang on CNN.
Driving While Biased
"He is not running for father of the year, he is running for President of the United States, and when people apply for jobs in the government, it is incumbent upon them to disclose this kind of information."
- Katie Couric to Bill Bennett, November 3 Today.
"And yet the Bush campaign has continuously labeled Vice President Bush, Vice President Gore rather, in the past as deceptive, so why don't you think this is legitimate fodder for the campaign given some of the bombshells that the Bush camp has lobbed towards Vice President Gore?"
- Couric to DNC Chairman Ed Rendell, same show.
"What about for the Democrats, Paul? I mean obviously they are going to be very careful at least, that is what Chairman Rendell said earlier on this program, but they really don't want to talk about this. But is it appropriate fodder for the campaign and are they making a mistake by not bringing it up or not, you know, taking the ball and running with it just a bit?"
- Couric to Paul Begala, same show.
"Do you think the Democrats need to carpe diem [seize the day] when it comes to this drunk driving business?"
- Couric to Chris Matthews, same show.
"Governor Bush, as he said later in public, didn't want his daughters to know it. The problem with that explanation is that it doesn't quite pass the smell test. I mean, you were more worried about your daughters than the voters?"
- George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America, November 3.
"That is a very poor excuse. I too am a parent, and frankly, if you want to make the case you shouldn't drink and drive, that was a powerful bit of information that he should have divulged. Secondly, if we're going to use that as a good excuse, I don't think President Clinton wanted Chelsea Clinton to know what he was doing either."
- Newsweek's Eleanor Clift, Nov. 4 McLaughlin Group.
Shoot! Where's the Gun Ban?
"No matter who's elected, the prospects for any real progress aren't promising. Congress hasn't even been able to nail down an agreement on the need for background checks at gun shows. Bush won't force the issue. And there's little chance that Gore could wage a fight for gun licensing during a first term, let alone get it passed."
- Matt Bai in Newsweek, November 6 issue.
Gore Lies? That's So Harsh
Diana Olick: "George W. Bush wrapped up his tour of the West coast with some Halloween scare tactics in the form of a new Republican attack ad."
Clip of Bush ad on Social Security: "Remember when Al Gore said his mother-in-law's prescription cost more than his dog's, his own aides said the story was made up. Now Al Gore is bending the truth again."
- October 31 CBS Evening News.
"We just heard that ad which ends, 'Really?' about Vice President Gore. Does that go too far for you?"
- Diane Sawyer to Jeb Bush, November 1 Good Morning America.
Media Far Too Nice to Bush
"Less than eight years after the national press lamented that Bill Clinton came to the presidency with too many unresolved questions about him and his past, it could happen all over again if George W. Bush wins next Tuesday. On stories ranging from his failure to disclose his 24-year-old drunk driving record to substantive matters like the $1 trillion gap in his Social Security plan, an acquiescent press, perhaps feeling guilty about being duped by Bill Clinton, has let Governor Bush get away with entirely too much."
- "Outrage of the Campaign" from Al Hunt, Executive Washington Editor of the
Wall Street Journal, November 4 Capital Gang on CNN.
"I don't think there's any question that George Bush has been held to a lower standard on veracity and capacity than Gore has had to meet - throughout this campaign. And in that sense I think the press coverage has been more favorable to Bush than it has been to Gore."
- Time's Jack White, November 4 Inside Washington.
Evan Thomas Raw
"I hope Robb wins."
- Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas on the Senate race between GOP's George Allen and Democrat Chuck Robb, November 4
The Flight's On Hold
"'I don't want any more Bush Presidents,' the 75-year-old [Pierre] Salinger writes in the new Georgetowner newspaper. 'If Bush wins, I'm going to leave the country and spend the rest of my life in France.'"
- Washington Post "The Reliable Source" columnists Lloyd Grove and Beth Berselli on the long-time ABC News correspondent, November 3.
Publisher: L. Brent
Editors: Brent H. Baker, Tim Graham
Media Analysts: Jessica Anderson, Brian Boyd, Geoffrey Dickens,
Ted King, Paul Smith, Brad Wilmouth
Interns: Ken Shepherd, Jenny Jackson
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