Venue Shopping 2008 Election Winners Proves Gore Won in 2000

Back in the 2000 campaign, George Bush made a big point of Al Gore’s growing up in Washington, D. C. During the dispute over the winner of the election, the fact that Gore failed to carry his home state of Tennessee, which he represented in the House and Senate, was used politically to cast doubt on whether he really won.  If he couldn’t carry his home state, the logic went, he must have lost the election, so let’s ignore the 538,000 vote margin and stop counting in Florida and declare Bush the winner.

The line in 2000 was that Gore “should” have won by a much bigger margin, so because his margin was so close, he deserved to lose.  Also, he lost Tennessee.  Let’s not mention the Republican House staffers who went to Florida to demonstrate and disrupt election boards trying to conduct a recount.

During the dispute over the 2000 election, the Institute of Election analysis posited that it was good that Gore lost Tennessee, then he would have been under no obligation to give jobs in the national administration to his supporters from his former constituency.  Gore would then have been a national candidate, like Eisenhower.

One of the problems of presidential administrations is that the winner often populates his administration with long time supporters from his home state.  This not only strips his former state of much of its governmental experience and talent, but it introduces a parochialism into national decision-making that is often harmful. 

Kennedy’s staff was known as the Irish Mafia.  Lyndon Johnson filled his administration with cronies from Texas.  Carter brought a string of nonentities from Georgia. Reagan brought many of his former administration officials from California.  Clinton brought friends and officials from Arkansas, where he had been Governor for the past eight years.  Bush brought long time staff like Karl Rove, Karen Hughes and Alberto Gonzales from Texas.

This year, all the possible candidates are national candidates.  First of all, they come from the Senate and none have ever held executive political office, so they have no former administration officials.  Also, Clinton, McCain and Obama are all venue shoppers.

Clinton grew up in Illinois, lived most of her adult life in Arkansas and Washington, D.C. and has only lived in New York, the state she represents in the Senate, for the past eight years.

McCain was born on an American base in Panama.  The son of a career officer in the Navy, he attended 20 different schools before settling and going to high school in Northern Virginia.  After attending the Navel Academy in Maryland, he went to flight school in Pensacola, Florida.  After leaving the Navy he moved to Arizona.  When the issue of carpetbagging was raised during his first run for Congress, he said that Hanoi, where he was a prisoner of war for 5˝ years, was the place he had lived the longest.

Obama was born and lived in Hawaii.  Then he lived in Indonesia.  He went to college in California and New York, law school in Massachusetts, and then settled in Chicago.

Historical trends are interesting to discern.  In light of the 2008 race, Kerry made a strategic error by trying to hide the fact that he spent summers in France when he was growing up.  The United States has, however grudgingly, become an internationalist nation.  While the upper crust has their heads stuck in the traditional isolationism of the history books, the people who can’t afford college are actually being deployed to Kosovo, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, Japan, Korea and many other places around the world.

The American people voted for Gore, the national candidate in 2000; not Bush, the partisan hack from Texas who ran on a war platform.  But thanks to the Supreme Court, the first sentence of whose decision said, “There is no right to vote under the Constitution,” and whose Justice Scalia has defended that decision with the stirring words, “Get over it,” the nation is stuck in war and a collapsing economy.  If there is no right to vote under a constitution, yet the government formed by that constitution can stop-loss soldiers to ostensibly bring freedom and democracy to Iraq or can draft people to bring freedom and democracy to Viet-Nam, then the United States is a dictatorship and not a democracy.  It is slavery if people can be compelled to fight for rights for others they do not enjoy themselves. 

The very idea is absurd on its face.  The 15th Amendment to the Constitution prohibits denying citizens the right to vote based on race, yet, the Supreme Court held there is no right to vote under the United States Constitution.  It just means that the Supreme Court is just another corrupt bunch of political hack lawyers and Gore won the 2000 election.  Get over it.  War and economic collapse are the logical results of rigged elections.  Look at Zimbabwe.

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Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf