After a day of dithering, when it seemed that every Democrat in America outside Gore's campaign was up in arms, Gore finally showed signs of realizing that fishing was afoot.
All day yesterday, the national Gore campaign seemed as comatose as it had been throughout the entire campaign. Meanwhile rank-and-file Democratic voters an local Democratic activists seemed to be on their own in grappling with the full extent of the illegal irregularities that robbed anywhere from 2,000 up to 20,000 or more voters of their intended votes.
Yesterday, the Gore campaign reacted as if there was nothing to do except wait for the recount--a recount that's automatic under Florida law, due to the narrow margin of victory in the race. Meanwhile, every other Democrat alive was agonizingly aware that the issue wasn't just a recount of the votes cast, but interference in the very act of voting itself.
Finally, it seems that the Gore campaign has come to its senses. Maybe.
Gore campaign manager William Daley sounded a new note today, as he announced that Gore had decided to fight the results of Tuesday's election in Florida, backing a legal challenge and demanding a recount by hand of ballots in four counties.
Speaking to reporters in Tallahassee, Daley said that the vice president would not accept the outcome or concede the election to Bush. “Technicalities should not determine the presidency of the United States; the will of the people should. Demanding an end to this election is not the same as demanding that the person who the people want as president takes office.”
A Rueters report said that this statement "took the United States into uncharted constitutional territory, deepening the uncertainty following Tuesday's election, the closest in U.S. history." It certainly took Gore into uncharted territory: the class of vertibrates. It was the first sign that Gore realized the nation was *already* in uncharted constitutional territory, and it was time for him to play catch-up.
“I am announcing that we will be working with voters from Florida in support on some legal actions to demand some redress for the disenfranchisement of more than 20,000 voters in Palm Beach County,” Daily said, in the strongest statement yet heard from the Gore campaign.