Tag Archives: Florida recount

Trump goes ballistic … to what end?

I have to ask: Has the president of the United States lost what passes for his mind?

Donald Trump cannot contain his anger over the recount in Florida’s race for the U.S. Senate. Rick Scott, the Republican governor who is running for the Senate, clings to a narrow lead over the incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

Trump has joined the fight. He now says the recount should stop. He is accusing Democrats of trying to “steal” an election. Gov. Scott, too, is challenging Sen. Nelson directly.

I am in the camp of those who want to ensure that every vote gets counted.

What is so damn troubling is that neither man has a shred of evidence to prove anything improper, let alone illegal, in the vote count.

There appears to be plenty of incompetence, particularly in Broward County, which has a sordid history of election SNAFUs. Corruption? Fraud? Thievery? Where is the evidence?

Trump has managed with his hideous interference is undermine the integrity of our electoral system. He has cast doubt on the motives of those who are trying to sort through this mess.

The president needs to shut his pie hole! He needs to back off. He needs to let the Florida authorities slog through this effort without hectoring and haranguing from the president.

As for Gov. Scott, he also needs to stop flinging accusations around recklessly. He has no evidence, either, of “corrupt liberals” seeking to destroy the integrity of the system.

I’ll concede readily that Florida is exhibiting a jaw-dropping level of incompetence. I am not willing to buy into the idiocy being bandied about by Republicans — led by the president of the United States himself — that there’s an election robbery under way.

Arizona’s McSally loses, concedes, all is well and good

They’re fussin’ and fightin’ in Florida and Georgia. A Democratic candidate for Florida governor concedes, then takes it back while they recount ballots. A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, also in Florida, accuses his Democratic foe of fraud and election theft. The Democratic candidate for Georgia governor refuses to concede, even though the vote totals against her are piling up.

Meanwhile, way out yonder in Arizona, two candidates fought long and hard for a U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Jeff Flake, who didn’t seek re-election. It came down to counting mail-in ballots. The Democrat, U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, won by a narrow margin. The Republican, fellow Rep. Martha McSally, did the noble thing and conceded. She wished her opponent “success.” The fight was over.

Oh, but wait. McSally might have an ulterior motive in showing such grace. Do not misunderstand me. I applaud her for taking the path she took.

GOP Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey might be appointing a successor to Sen. Jon Kyl, whom Ducey appointed to succeed the late John McCain in the Senate, Kyl might not want to serve the full term. He might retire from the Senate yet again; he served there once already.

McSally might be positioning herself for an appointment. That’s the buzz out west. Whatever the motive, McSally’s quiet and dignified concession — juxtaposed to what we’re witnessing back east — is a refreshing thing to witness.

POTUS undermines, denigrates our electoral system

They’re still counting ballots in Florida, where election controversy seems endemic in a system that needs fixing.

But sitting on the sidelines is a guy named Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States, who is heckling state and local officials, accusing Democrats of trying to “steal” an election, suggesting widespread “fraud” where none exists and in general exacerbating an already-tense and contentious election.

Trump is doing a supreme disservice to the cause of free and fair elections, which are a hallmark of the nation he was elected to lead.

How about comparing this president’s conduct with another president who, as he was preparing to leave office, stood by silently while officials in the same state of Florida grappled with another — even more significant — electoral controversy.

Vice President Al Gore wanted to succeed President Clinton in 2000. He and Republican Texas Gov. George W. Bush fought hammer-and-tong for the presidency. It came down to Florida. The race was razor thin. Whoever won the state’s electoral votes would be elected president.

They launched a recount. Bush’s margin of victory narrowed to 537 votes out of more than 5 million ballots cast. Then the U.S. Supreme Court intervened. It ordered the count stopped. Bush won the state’s electoral votes. He took the oath of office in January 2001.

President Clinton stayed quiet through it all. When he was asked about the controversy, the president said he preferred not to get involved. The U.S. Constitution did its job without presidential hectoring, haranguing and harassment.

Yep, there’s a lesson to be learned about a previous president’s conduct during a seriously contentious time. The lesson will be lost on Donald John Trump.


Wedding plans prove to be, um, breathtaking

I am trying to catch my breath as I write these next few words.

Richard Ware, the high-powered Amarillo banker, is getting married this weekend. That isn’t news all by itself, except perhaps for Ware’s family and closest friends.

His fiancée, though, deserves special attention. Her name is Katherine Harris, whose name is quite familiar to the most avid political junkies.

Harris served as Florida secretary of state in 2000, when that year’s presidential election hung in the balance over the counting of ballots in the Sunshine State. Harris was the chief elections officer in Florida and she finally certified — after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s favor — that Bush would win Florida’s electoral votes.

The wedding will occur in Texas. I hear that Mr. and Mrs. Ware will live some of the time in the Lone Star State.

I’m not quite sure what to say about this. I am left to offer only that during her 15 minutes at the center of the political stage, Katherine Harris became one of the more polarizing figures in recent U.S. political history. Suffice to say she made plenty of foes as well as friends as she operated in the middle of a tremendous national political swirl.

I’m still breathless.

Gore re-enters the political arena


Former Vice President Al Gore has returned to the partisan battles, making a campaign appearance today alongside fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

His message to the crowd in Miami, Fla.? Every vote counts, he said.

He called himself “Exhibit A” in promoting “that truth.”


Yes, the vice president collected more popular votes nationally than Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 election. Yes, the recount in Florida ended with Bush tallying 537 more votes than Gore out of more than 5.8 million ballots cast in that state; then the U.S. Supreme Court — in a 5-4 decision — ordered the recount stopped. And yes, that meant Bush would be elected with 271 electoral votes, one more than he needed to become the 43rd president of the United States.

OK, but before we cheer the return of the Man Who Was Almost President, allow me to toss a bit of a wet blanket over the cheering section.

All the vice president had to do to win the election outright was to win more votes in his home state of Tennessee than Bush.

He didn’t. Gov. Bush collected more Volunteer State votes than its home boy. In fact, it wasn’t that close, as Gore lost Tennessee by about 80,000 votes.

I sympathize with Gore’s predicament, having been denied the presidency by a single vote on the highest court in America. If only he had won his home state, though.

If only …