Once Again, Novak Had it Right
Jude Wanniski
November 13, 2000


Memo To: Website fans, browsers
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Florida recount

Every year for the last 20, Polyconomics has had an autumn client dinner. In presidential election years, weve generally scheduled it a few days after Election Day, to get an early reading on the new administration and Congress. This year we invited Bob Novak, who usually knows more than anyone else in Washington what to expect out of national elections, because he has the best sources in both political parties. We were not disappointed when he showed up at the Yale Club in NYC last Thursday evening to give us the best read wed seen anywhere on what to expect in Florida and its recount. Here is part of the brief that I e-mailed to clients on Friday morning:

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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.

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For the last 15 years, Polyconomics has held a three-day client conference co-hosted by Bob Novak and Rowlie Evans, either in Florida, Puerto Rico, or Bermuda. Our upcoming event will be held at The Breakers in Palm Beach the first weekend of March 2001. Maybe the recount will be finished by then!