At our client dinner last night in NYC, our guest speaker Bob Novak told us his sources in the Gore campaign know it will be fruitless to pursue the Palm Beach County complaints of confusion. The only conceivable remedy for those who believe they mistakenly punched Pat Buchanan's name when they intended to hit Gore's would be a re-election. Then, would you allow voters who did not vote November 7 to cast ballots? It is a rat's nest. No, says Novak, Gore's lawyers are at the moment eyeing Broward County, where there are 4,000 ballots in Gore country where elderly voters did not press down hard enough on the punches to record the vote -- but where a hand-recount with magnifying glasses might be able to detect the indentation. With the Associated Press now saying the 67 counties have completed the recount and Bush still leads by 327, votes the expectation is that uncounted overseas ballots still coming in will add to that lead. This morning's New York Times and Washington Post both urge Gore to concede and not continue with legal challenges if the Florida Secretary of State certifies Bush the winner. The Times sympathizes with the Palm Beach Gore voters but says "the problem is that potential remedies, such as a new election in Palm Beach County, seem politically unsound and legally questionable." Bob Novak, however, believes the Gore people have the bit in their teeth and are prepared to go all out to prove that their man won. Of course, if Bush is certified and Gore does not back down, Bush will ask for recounts in the states which he lost by small margins. Here is the Times editorial:
A Fateful Step Toward Court
The Times also reports there are rumblings in Congress that the lame-duck session next week to complete work on the budget be delayed to early December, hoping the air will be cleared by then and produce a healthier atmosphere for bipartisan compromise.
At last evening's dinner, I began to discuss the potential of a Gore presidency, if that somehow comes about. As Gore would be the first Democratic President in history to come into office with a Republican Congress (Clinton was already in office when Congress changed hands), I said that I expected it would easier for Republicans to deal with than Clinton. If it begins to appear things are moving in that direction, I will expand on that theme in a paper next week.