EIGHT years ago Carolyn and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the Democrat election night party at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.
When Florida was called for Gore, I shared the large crowds elation. When the networks changed their mind and put the state back into Bush’s column, I got depressed and went to bed, assuming the worst. Expecting to hear the confirmed result when I woke up, I was astounded to hear about events unfolding in Florida.
Naturally, we had expected to know who had won the election by the next day, and certainly by the time we caught the plane home. But the drama of the 2000 US election was to continue for far longer than our holiday.
The drama of that time, and the anger and frustration I felt at the final outcome, came back to me this evening when I watched the excellent HBO TV movie, Recount. I thought it an appropriate thing to watch while waiting to go to the election night party being organised by Glasgow South Labour Party tonight at Queen’s Park FC.
Watching the film has not put me in a good or an optimistic mood. How could a nation with such a proud democratic tradition allow a presidential election to be effectively stolen? The cynicism and duplicity of the Republican establishment was truly dispiriting. For me, the bottom line was always that while the Democrats thought every vote should be counted, the Republicans didn’t. That should tell you everything you need to know about the Bush campaign in 2000.
What will tonight bring? I’m hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. Friends mock me because I refuse to allow myself to believe that Obama has it in the bag. But you never know. We won’t have to wait too long to find out. And I certainly hope we won’t have to wait as long as we did in 2000.
There will be alcohol served this evening, hence my decision not to do a live blog. Iain Dale looks like his coverage will be entertaining, so I’ll be logging on there.
Speak with you tomorrow, when we’ll be facing either a bright new tomorrow or Sarah Palin as vice-president elect.