December 13, 2000
7:37 PM   Subscribe

Bush and Gore’s last speeches of the 2000 campaign are great signposts to how the next administration will run.
posted by capt.crackpipe (24 comments total)

 
The whole thing sounded like those in power circling the wagons (we need to work together, etc...) so that the rest of us don't get completely pissed off and trash the whole thing, Supreme Court and all. Partisan politics is fine, but not when the power of the whole government is at stake.
posted by jkottke at 8:01 PM on December 13, 2000


so that the rest of us don't get completely pissed off and trash the whole thing

Lord knows, nobody is capable of independent thought and free will. Spoonfeed me, baby!
posted by ethmar at 8:11 PM on December 13, 2000


Was it just me and my viewing companion, or did Gore appear to be trying to stifle a laughing fit throughout the last half of his speech? We wondered if someone was putting jokes in with his speech on the teleprompter... Or if Lieberman was making faces at him in the back.

Of course, the entire thing seems just ludicrous enough to be laughable... "You know that guy that we just spent $XGazillion and over a year fighting tooth and nail against? Well, I should now support him because of what the court says, and so should you..." I know it is important to maintain the united strength of the country and all, but their sudden friendliness, best wishes, and support for one another makes them seem more disingenuous than ever.
posted by champignon at 9:29 PM on December 13, 2000


In what possible scenario would we "trash the whole thing"? What does that mean? What is this civic apocolypse you imagine? People would start hoarding arms? Fewer than half of us would vote? People will become less informed?

Even if tweedle-dee and tweedle-asshole had been utterly unconciliatory tonight, each telling the other what they really thought, what would the concequence have been? I just don't understand the alleged crisis they averted by their being polite. I don't understand how the power of the whole government was at stake. What: If the public has enough reason to be cynical and disgusted with government, the government goes flaccid?

Yes, this sucks. But it's not the end of our government, nor did it ever threaten to be so.
posted by luke at 9:30 PM on December 13, 2000


I just don't understand the alleged crisis they averted by their being polite.

They narrowly averted breaking the politician's mandatory Oath of Hypocrisy. The consequences would have been unthinkable...once that barrier between truth and the public has been breached, there's no telling what might leak through!


posted by rushmc at 9:54 PM on December 13, 2000


I don't know, they both seem like such nice fellows. Of course, just outside my window, it looks as if the whole neighborhood is packing up and moving to Canada.
posted by leo at 11:41 PM on December 13, 2000


Bush’s speech was rambling and full off mismatched metaphors: “...we must seize this moment and deliver.”

Gore’s speech was graceful and funny. I thought two statements were particularly telling.

“...I do have one regret: that I didn’t get the chance to stay and fight for the American people over the next four years, especially for those who need burdens lifted and barriers removed, especially for those who feel their voices have not been heard. I heard you and I will not forget.”

“Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it.”

The second is interesting because he obviously accepts the ruling, otherwise he wouldn’t have conceded. So, the second part of that sentence is meaningless. The first part is either abject frustration, or he’s already planning his next move.
posted by capt.crackpipe at 12:06 AM on December 14, 2000


While it is obvious Gore prepared for his speech, he didn't have the same wooden, boring, monotone sound in his voice that he usually has. It almost seemed somewhat spontaneous and as if hadn't been vetted by dozens of aides and focus groups worrying that it might offend someone. A pity he couldn't have spoken like this during the campaign or the debates.

I think the interesting part of the speech is who wrote them and I think this reflects how each of them would/will govern. Gore wrote most of his, with the help of outsiders of course, he seems like he would be a more 'hands on' President.

Bush didn't write his speech (I doubt the Republicans or Daddy would let him). He probably waited for the speech writer to give it to him, give it a once over, read it out, and he's finished. I see a great flaw in how Bush will govern, he is the sort of person who is too dependent on others for advice, I feel he couldn't evaluate the information he is given and would be unable to make informed decision himself. His advisers tell him he should do this, he is most likely to say ok, and do it. He is like a puppet president (I can see the corporations grinning with glee).

You only need to look at what some of Kennedy's advisers were telling him to do during the Cuban Missile Crisis to see why this kind of leader is not a good idea.
posted by jay at 12:38 AM on December 14, 2000


The palpable sense of relief that seems to wash over a defeated man can be seen in Bob Dole and Neil Kinnock in the UK. Both men recall being told countless times AFTER the election "if only you had been this relaxed I would have voted for you". When will a major politician try to be honest and genuine, if only to see if it works.

And for those who claim "Nader", let me rant for a while.

Nader is a prick. A clueless narcissist who believes that a few people's suffering is allowable if the "greater good" of three party politics is served. Well, it sure as hell ain't him who's suffering and the simple fact is if he had come out and had a stop bush campaign then the environmental damage and widening race/income divide which is going to be inflicted in the next four years would not have happened.

It took us in the UK, 18 years of horrendous right wing policies before the two opposition parties clued up and decided that the lesser of two evils is an option when the greater is truly evil indeed.
posted by fullerine at 2:45 AM on December 14, 2000


Nader is a prick...please...stop it already.
Nader was the only one who had a clue. That's why he got my vote. And again, its not the responsibility of the 2-3% that voted for Nader to 'correct' the 48% who voted for Bush's 'mistake'.
We've had eight years of the left pandering to the mythical 'middle' at the expense of true progress and both Gore and Bush are bought and paid for by corporate interests who's only concern is their agenda.
If you had cancer, you might have to take strong medicines that make make you feel shitty. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. But I bet you just wouldn't do sit tight and accept things as they are.
Not without a fight.
If this election taught us anything, it is that we have an obligation-a duty-to take more than a passing interest in our government and our communities.
Faith withour works is dead. The works for us here in America start with educating ourselves on what is going on. Then comparing that with our morals and values and then doing something about it if we disagree.
Lesser of two evils is small-minded thinking. What is wrong with asking for more?

Sorry-I've been drinking Blackthorn all night...

posted by black8 at 3:20 AM on December 14, 2000


Lesser of two evils is small-minded thinking. What is wrong with asking for more?

Look what happened to Oliver Twist.

But yeah: Jim Naughtie summed up Nader as a "humourless man of principles", which captures the paradox of the thing. I do hope he's off to Alaska right now to set up the human shield against the drillers.
posted by holgate at 4:12 AM on December 14, 2000


When will a major politician try to be honest and genuine, if only to see if it works

When their image consultants, advisors, spin doctors et al. tell them they have a chance of winning that way.
Or when hell freezes over.
posted by Markb at 5:44 AM on December 14, 2000


Dubya's says, "I was not elected to serve one party, but to serve one nation. The President of the United States is the President of every single American, of every race and every background. Whether you voted for me or not, I will do my best to serve your interests, and I will work to earn your respect. "

Empty words as usual. He will serve the interests of every single American that is white, Christian, heterosexual...
posted by quirked at 6:22 AM on December 14, 2000


All I meant by my comment is that there's been a lot of talk lately, both here in America and abroad, that our system is somehow flawed or broken and needs modification. The powers that be like our government just the way it is, and their comments (and I'm talking about Gore, Bush, and all the other Ds and Rs they interviewed on TV last night) about the system working just fine seems like a lot of damage control to me. From their perspective, anything changing would be a bad idea...they don't want to get that particular stone rolling downhill.
posted by jkottke at 8:09 AM on December 14, 2000


I thought it was exceedingly weird that Gore was grinning and giggling like that. I thought it was totally inappropriate.
posted by acridrabbit at 8:10 AM on December 14, 2000


If you had cancer, you might have to take strong medicines that make make you feel shitty.

"Ralph Nader: Strong Medicine That Makes You Feel Shitty."

Good luck with that slogan in 2004.

I thought it was exceedingly weird that Gore was grinning and giggling like that. I thought it was totally inappropriate.

I suppose you were hoping for 10-15 minutes of abject, inconsolable sobbing?

The reason Al Gore's speech was received so well was that concession speeches are always warmly received, and it didn't contain any advocacy of political positions. If Al had given that speech in the campaign, he would have by necessity included some political subjects, and people would have found reasons to hate it.

I thought it was a great, tragic, emotionally moving speech. But I voted for the guy and I think the election was stolen from him, so I would have probably viewed any speech by Gore that way. I thought it was the right choice to avoid any mention of his win in the popular vote, the unfairness of the Florida situation, or any of that stuff. Dole was also great in concession. It's been a long time since someone did a "you won't have me to kick around any more" speech like Nixon.
posted by rcade at 8:46 AM on December 14, 2000


>>Look what happened to Oliver Twist.

LOL -- nice one. But the problem with Oliver was that he wasn't militant enough. Instead of saying "please", I think he ought to have remembered his Frederick Douglas: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand."
Oliver Liberation Front - no compromise!

>>Nader is a prick. A clueless narcissist who believes that a few people's suffering is allowable if the "greater good" of three party politics is served.

What gave you that impression? Who, exactly, will suffer under Bush who wouldn't have suffered under Gore? Serious question. Most Democrats have adhered irrationally to the dogma that Gore-is-better, without even attempting to justify it. I believe that Clinton was worse than Bush Sr. would have been. So there.

>>I do hope he's off to Alaska right now to set up the human shield against the drillers.

You really think that proposal has a chance of making it through congress?

>>It took us in the UK, 18 years of horrendous right wing policies before the two opposition parties clued up and decided that the lesser of two evils is an option when the greater is truly evil indeed.

Plausibly, Blair has been worse than Major would have been. Regardless, in any country, whether a "democracy" or a dictatorship, the only real force for progressive change is grassroots activism. At best, the electoral level only reflects what happens at the grassroots level. (At worse, ...)

Regarding the meaning of last night's rhetoric, I agree with jkottke. The consensus among the pundits that "faith must be restored in our form of government, etc etc" is the typical elite BS -- self-serving while a bit paranoid at the same time.
posted by johnb at 9:02 AM on December 14, 2000


I thought it was a great, tragic, emotionally moving speech.

I thought it tragic that "those who need burdens lifted and barriers removed" and "those who feel their voices have not been heard" were only worth mentioning by Gore on his way out and not through the course of his campaign.

Other than that, it dawned on me that here was the equivalent of the guy's farewell address and yet at least to hear the thing, it was no more inbued with emotional impact than all his other wooden monologues. I don't have a TV and was only listening to it on the radio but at least to my ear, it fell far short of an "I've been to the mountain-top" or even an "Old Soldiers never die..."
posted by leo at 9:20 AM on December 14, 2000


>>...and barriers removed

Um, I think he was referring to trade barriers ;)
posted by johnb at 9:32 AM on December 14, 2000


I thought it was exceedingly weird that Gore was grinning and giggling like that. I thought it was totally inappropriate.

I noticed it too. He'd probably just loaded up on the crank before he came out so he wouldn't break down in tears. Maybe now he'll join with Clinton and start the Albert Gore Junior Center for Decriminalization Policy Research.
posted by daveadams at 10:23 AM on December 14, 2000


(please not CBS doesn't seem to link well so excuse all the words....) I think CBS latenight had the best follow up to the speeches last night - from David Letterman's "top ten headlines we're likely to see in the next 4 years", # 2 "Katherine Harris Returns to Job as Ramada Inn Cocktail Waitress" , but my favorite from In the News with Craig Kilborn "Despite all the attention it should be noted voter turnout was low. Out of 200 million Americans, only nine voted. "


posted by jyoung at 10:58 AM on December 14, 2000


From their perspective, anything changing would be a bad idea...they don't want to get that particular stone rolling downhill.

I stand by my decidedly cheeky response to your original post.

If you don't like things the way they are, then do whatever is in your power to change them. But the entrenched powers that be aren't going to do it on their own. Why should they?

But judging from the high praise for TiVo going around, I see the Miltary Entertainment Complex™ has everyone right where they want them: on their butts, on the sofa, chugging brewskis and channel-surfing, and looking back on the shows they missed when all that good stuff conflicts with each other. :-)

There's a Zippy the Pinhead strip that's my all-time favorite that suggests that there can be no real "revolution" anymore. Why? Because the slightest hint of radical non-conformity gets packaged up and sold back to us as "entertainment".

There might be more than a shred of truth to that.
posted by ethmar at 11:04 AM on December 14, 2000


ethmar: completely. Bill Hicks was never more right about the state of American democracy than now. "The system works, people. Forget about everything you've seen over the past five weeks: drink beer."
posted by holgate at 12:48 PM on December 14, 2000


Back to the top here ... I'll never forget how Carter's departure for Georgia on Air Force One showed him with a bounce in his step and ten years of age removed from his face. (Of course, he'd had to deal with the Iran hostage crisis, not just a bitter campaign.)
posted by dhartung at 8:59 PM on December 14, 2000


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