November 04, 2004

W. 43rd St. Revisionism Watch

In calling the president, Mr. Kerry abandoned a threat to contest the election result in Ohio in deference to a decisive popular vote victory by a man who four years ago won the presidency with less than 50 percent of the popular vote. [emphasis added]

Adam Nagourney, writing in today's New York Times.

Er, that's not right Adam. Kerry, in his graceful concession speech, said as follows:

I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And therefore we cannot win this election.

Kerry conceded because he could not win the electoral college--per his own admission and the bare-bones facts--not in "deference to a decisive popular vote victory" writ large.

This isn't just nit-picking. It's important--given the barely concealed innuendo underpinning that spin. After all, Nagourney's copy strongly suggests that Bush stole the election from Gore--but, now come a Democrat's turn, nobility reigned and election results weren't contested--in "deference" to the popular vote margin. Nothing of the sort occurred. As I said, Kerry conceded because he could not win the electoral college. He conceded with grace--and I was proud and grateful to him for it. But his concession was born of cold, hard realism--not some grand magnanimity that was crudely lacking during Florida 2000.

Posted by Gregory at November 4, 2004 02:02 PM

Somebody ought to document and hyperlink all the Sore Loserisms dished out in the press this week, next month, and over the next 4 years. It would be fun to watch.

Posted by: 29 at November 4, 2004 02:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Not to mention that even in the closer 2000 election, Bush didn't contest New Mexico (that was won by a more narrow margin than Florida) and other states that Gore won my margins smaller than Ohio. Nobody mentions the nobleness of that.

In response to 29, the "Sore Loserisms" will no doubtedly be chronicled in Ann Coulter's next book. She should title it that and give you credit!

Posted by: Easycure at November 4, 2004 02:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

While I am gratified and relieved by Bush's victory, the thought of at least four more years of MSM misrepresentations, slights and snide commentary barely disguised as "reporting" is already dispiriting.

Hopefully there will be a backlash, preferably within the market, against this kind of nonsense. I've become convinced that these institutions literally need to fail before they can begin to fix themselves, which is why I cancelled my subscription to my local DNC talking points "newspaper."

I suggest others do the same.

Posted by: Tim at November 4, 2004 02:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I notice Adam fails to mention Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole with less than 50% of the popular vote. He only rec'd 49.2% of the popular vote in 1996.

Posted by: LCVRWC at November 4, 2004 03:05 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

While I agree Nagourney misrepresented the reason for Kerry's concession, I found no strong (or even subtle) suggestion that Bush stole the 2000 election. The closest passage I found was where he factually pointed out that Bush won the 2000 election with less than 50% of the popular vote. That's a far cry from suggesting he stole it.

Could you quote the passage to which you referred?

Posted by: Paul at November 4, 2004 03:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yes, but I am hearing this morning from a lot of my fellow Bush voters crowing about the popular vote and flashing the red-blue map. I think that we're in danger of falling into the same intellectual vortex that the Gore people have been caught up in. Namely, no matter how many red states or red counties there are, real estate does not elect presidents. That's why we have the Electoral College. Kerry, for all his faults, understands that. Good for him, and by extrapolation, good for us.

Posted by: Daniel at November 4, 2004 03:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Clinton got even less in '92 when he won with 43% of the popular vote.

Posted by: Jeff at November 4, 2004 03:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

paul: perhaps my choice of words could have been better. on the one hand; kerry is nobly portrayed as conceding merely b/c bush got the popular vote (erroneously, as you admit, as the deciding factor for kerry was ohio not the popular vote). in contrast, and in immediate juxtaposition to the above misrepresentation, adam nagourney states that bush didn't get 50% of the popular vote in 2000. implication (suggestion, perhaps subtle rather than strong, now that you've prodded me): that bush was not the legit victor in '00, ie 'stole' the election, through the florida machinations--while kerry, above the fray, didn't drag the country through such turmoil--in 'deference' to a popular mandate. we are left wishing that bush would have been as magnanimous as kerry--which lends itself to a sense of an illegitmate or 'stolen' 2000 election. but my use of the word 'strongly', in hindsight, is perhaps a tad aggressive.

Posted by: greg at November 4, 2004 03:33 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Adam also forgot that Clinton only received 43% in 1992, making him the only 2 term president to never have a majority. The DNC, shortly after the election, published a forgettable fluff piece entitled "Mandate for Change." If a plurality can be considered a mandate, what about a true majority?

Posted by: jaded1 at November 4, 2004 03:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

None of my fellow conservatives here are "crowing" or gloating at all. We are deeply relieved at dodging the Kerry bullet but, interestingly enough given the vitriol of the liberals in this election, none of us really feels like rubbing it in. I think the seriousness of the alternative has hit home, and the reaction around here is more like the way you would feel if you narrowly missed a bad accident.

But I do think we need to rally for the next four years. The MSM problem is out there, and I think we need to be on their case, every story, every time.

I also think we need to start working on the 'good libs'---the people who really do think the Democratic Party has something to offer. If we can isolate the nut cases and crackpots and hatemongers, we can open the tent to the well-meaning liberals who have based their opinions on the false "information" of the MSN. I don't think the spite and malice arm of the Democratic Party really represents most of the people who voted Dem, and maybe we should start reaching out to the well-meaning but misinformed. The blogs have a huge role to play, but we have to keep the heat on the MSM and try to find a way to reach the masses.

Posted by: Calandria at November 4, 2004 03:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Let's remember 2000 real quick: Gore wanted a recount, but only of specific (ie democratic) counties. The Bushies said "wait!!!!"...If you are going to recount, you must recount all votes, from all counties. The Florida State Courts denied the Bush aregument. That is how the recount ended up in the Federal courts. It should be noted that the Florida Supreme Court had a heavy Democratic presence.

The republicans claimed 14th Ammendment/Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution in it's arguments when the case hit the federal courts.

Posted by: MikeMac64 at November 4, 2004 04:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Tim, per your reference to the DNC leaning newspapers and MSM, I quit taking the local newspaper because of the lack of decent reporting of the election news....all good news for DNC and almost nothing for the Republicans. I have also stopped watching almost all MSM and switched to FOX news and the internet.

You and the others are absolutely right - they simply must be brought to a point of actually reporting instead of trying to influence important elections, etc. Guess I will have to begin spot checking them again.

I strongly believe that Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and possibly Peter Jennings are at the stage where they must retire or change they ways drastically.

Posted by: Sue at November 4, 2004 04:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I also have cancelled my subscription to the local "DNC talking points" newspaper. I get all my news via the web and TV.

Posted by: charles at November 4, 2004 04:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Of course Kerry conceded due to "realism" --- but it was also, I believe, affected by the popular vote. Had the popular vote been different, he might have decided to hold on a bit longer, just on the tiny chance something might shift. Edwards apparently did want to do that. But, I think, Kerry, realizing the chances were very small, also calculated in the popular vote and came to what was a fairly obvious decision.

Posted by: Mitsu at November 4, 2004 04:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I read at CQ that there were some calls made between the parties and they agreed to sample 20K provisional ballots to see how they would break. Only after seeing that the break would actually favor Bush and that in reality there was no way he could win, he agreed to concede.
Maybe true, not confirmed. But didn't Kerry poll everything? Just like Gore, and Clinton, there decisions are based on polls, and we know how reliable and unwaivering, those are.

Posted by: vanderwall7 at November 4, 2004 04:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I suspect that Kerry was also thinking ahead to 2008. If he had come out as a sore loser, he would have killed any chances of a second try.

As it is, I think Hillary will see that he doesn't get a second shot. The fight between those two in the primaries should be fun to watch.

Posted by: Claire at November 4, 2004 04:28 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kerry cannot get the nod again. No one in the national party (Democrats) will allow another Massachusetts liberal get the nomination. Ther are 2-0. JFK (the real JFK) wasn't a liberal. First the Duke (Dukakis), now Kerry. We in Masachusetts are embarrased.

In '08, I wouild look for Hillary as the frontrunner. Look for Edwards too. Maybe he'll surface by then. Dean may try again. And of course the Reverend Al.

Any other up and comers? We'll find out soon. The campaign starts today, right.

Posted by: MikeMac64 at November 4, 2004 04:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, surely the fact that Bush had a several-million vote lead in the popular total played a major role.

Posted by: praktike at November 4, 2004 04:51 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I've been enjoying reading Micheal Moore's last day missive.... It's a treasure trove of hatred and lies.

I wonder if he has even been able to get out of bed the last two days...All kidding aside i feel strongly that Moore did much more to help Bush win the election that help Kerry...something about hoist by his own petard comes to mind!!!!

Posted by: Ken M at November 4, 2004 04:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

All the sentiments seem to be running to the need to be conciliatory to the dems and reunite our country for the common good, etc. I think most of us would like to, but is that possible when the MSM has dedicated itself to keeping that division as deep and acrimonious as possible. Kerry may have lost, but it is the MSM that will have to be defeated.

Posted by: digitalbrownshirt at November 4, 2004 05:07 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Sue, I think you're perhaps being a bit unfair to Mr. Brokaw and, by extension, the bunch at NBC. I woke up at 3:30 the morning of Nov. 3 and switched on the TV just to see where we stood. At that point, NBC (Brokaw) had the electoral votes 269 to 211 for Bush; in contrast, CBS (Rather) had the vote 249 to 242. I don't know how to explain such a disparity, but it does seem that one network was 'rather' more hesitant than the other to give Mr. Bush his due.

Posted by: Bernard at November 4, 2004 05:08 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Hillary's support for the war will make her look pretty good when Iraq and Afghanistan start to smell like roses. Edwards doesn't have a chance. His contribution was nil. Barak Obama, don't laugh, could be VP. He will have either established himself as a significant national figure by then or burned out entirely. Democrats already want him on the ticket. Competition for Hillary is Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden, the TV personalities. If Democrats decide that a Senator can't win, look for Ed Rendell, assuming he wins a 2nd term impressively enough.

Posted by: jj at November 4, 2004 05:48 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

My standard comment for the next four years:

Don't blame me, I voted for Kerry.

Posted by: dave buster at November 4, 2004 05:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I've surfed quite a few of the Democrat / Lefty websites and the bitterness and angry rhetoric is quite interesting and instructive. They are turning on each other and the finger pointing is fast and furious. None of them will accept that their single issue voter fringe views are not going to help their party win elections. Conversely, the GOP/ Righty websites are full of groups claiming that their voting bloc is primarily responsible for W's victory.

It brings to mind the old saying, "Success is the child of a thousand parents, and failure is an orphan".

George Bush's victory is the result of our party leadership talking the talk and walking the walk when it comes to the big tent philosophy of expanding our base and appealing to the mainstream but being tolerant of dissent from the McCain's and Spectors. With the race as close as it was, each voting bloc was critically important and we did it as a team and each of us deserve a share of the credit. Now we go out and convince the Zell Miller Democrats that they are actually Republicans and should register that way, or follow Zell and take their party back from the lunatic fringe. Either scenario is good for America.

Posted by: Westmont at November 4, 2004 05:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There were far fewer provisional ballots than the Kerry people had hoped. The total was only about 1,000 more than Bush's victory margin. Only if 100 percent turned out to be valid (83 percent were valid in 2000) and 100 percent were cast for Kerry could the result be reversed. Most provisional ballots are cast by new registrants. Based on voter registration patterns, it's likely no more than 60 percent of Ohio's valid provisional ballots will go for Kerry. Once the overseas military ballots are counted, Bush's margin may increase.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at November 4, 2004 06:21 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

hey, dave buster...
tried that one out during the Carter years. very cold comfort, I'll tell you that...
otoh, you've got a heck of a lot better prez (and man, and human being) than Jimmeh in office now. I suspect that other than typical MSM hysteria-driven events, you'll have a lot less occasion to use it than I did.

Posted by: rocat at November 4, 2004 06:29 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I think a Colin Powell Rudy Guilianni ticket will be unbeatable. If Cheney resigns I would pick Powell for VP, he is a leader and given what he is working with at foggy bottom done a heck of a job at state.

Posted by: Michigan Repulican at November 4, 2004 07:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

westmont...i hear you..i think the simple answer is the Rep's coalition was more principled and was focused on what it truly beleived..the dem's was not nearly as principled and had to run on a more "nuanced-heheh" campaign that did not
play well to many people, so you are seeing a lot of finger pointing because they all had to swallow alot of stuff they might not have really beleived to try to win the anybody but bush election...just my 2 cents

i have to say i'm emotionally spent and although gloating is a pretty low level activity, its about all i have in me right now. i can actually enjoy their pain because i think the attacks on what i beleive in were so contemptible that i want to just keep make sure i savor this moment i keep reading about the other side...saletan in slate is especially bitter and unimpressive. If his view is shared by other dems then they are going to continue this downward spiral....dailykos and dem underground are two others i am enjoying as well

it also heartens me to see PRESIDENT Bush get right into the saddle and get to work today, so i can afford to be weak for a couple more days!!!!


Posted by: Ken M at November 4, 2004 07:54 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I believe you all are missing a good bet - Phil Bredesden of my TN. He is extremely popular with Dems and Republicans alike here in TN. Whether the East Coast establishment Dems would let him have a shot is another matter. Apparently we are all idiots out here in God's country.

Posted by: Donna Swan at November 4, 2004 10:03 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Trivia correction:

One of the above posts says that Clinton was the only 2 term president never to win a majority. Well, it's an exclusive club, but it does have two other members: Cleveland and Wilson.

Posted by: Dan Fox at November 5, 2004 03:36 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The wily spin continues.

And lacking understanding of any kind (even tactical) they will continue to reap what they sow.

Without mercy.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at November 5, 2004 09:05 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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