Kevin Spacey as Ron Klain and Denis Leary as Michael Whouley in "Recount", directed by Jay Roach.  The film will premiere on HBO on Sunday May 25 and repeated on the following night.  (Photo: HBO Films)

Eight Years Ago, In A Land Not So Very Far Away . . .

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel

May 22, 2008

Do you remember what happened eight years ago on November 7, 2000 and in the 36 days that followed in the recount battle in Florida between then-vice president Al Gore and then-Texas governor George W. Bush? 

Below are some essential materials to get you reacquainted with the events of 2000 in this 2008 U.S. presidential election year. 

The 2000 U.S. presidential election was one of the most extraordinary events to occur in American politics in many years.  There have been divisive fights on the convention floor in both the main political parties in the U.S. during some prior presidential campaigns over the years to be sure, but the 2000 election in the state of Florida, where critical turning points such as then-governor Jeb Bush's Florida governor's government payment of $4.3 million to private company Data Base Technologies to engage in the wholesale purging from the voting rolls of up to 100,000 legally-registered law-abiding black voters in Florida, complicated and unclear ballots in predominantly democratic voting Florida districts, the turning away of black voters in many parts of Florida and the unusual, controversial and unprecedented U.S. Supreme Court decision Bush v. Gore, which the Court in a 5-to-4 decision exercised a dangerous federal jurisdiction over state affairs by ruling that the Florida Supreme Court erred in its decision to allow the recount process in the state to continue -- all of these factors and others contributed to turning around the election, handing the 25 electoral college votes of Florida to Mr. Bush and thus awarding the Texas governor the keys to the White House in what would be a fateful, one-time only High Court decision binding only in this unique and singular case.

Jay Roach's marvelous film examines all of these events in an excellent political drama that is riveting and thrilling to watch.  The Popcorn Reel film review of "Recount" is here

"Recount" premieres on HBO cable in the U.S. on May 25 at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time and is repeated on May 26 at the same time.  The film will play throughout June on the pay television channel.

Here are the reading materials and links to audio, documents and news stories from The New York Times, The Guardian, The British Broadcasting Corporation, U.S. News, Public Broadcasting Service, Cable News Network, The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, The Washington Post, and the actual U.S. Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision which was made on December 12, 2000.

Other recommended sources: The book The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, by Greg Palast (see chapter two, "Jim Crow In Cyberspace"); documentary films "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Unprecedented: The Story of the 2000 Presidential Election". 

Countless other books and documentaries have been written and made about the 2000 U.S. presidential election.


The Election In Quotes, November 8, 2000  (BBC News)

Lead Story on the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election by Richard Berke, November 8, 2000  (The New York Times)

R.W. Apple's Analysis, November 8, 2000  (The New York Times)

Cries Of Foul Play In The Sunshine State, November 9, 2000  (The Guardian)

The Timeline In The Aftermath of the 2000 U.S. presidential election -- from November 12, 2000 to December 13, 2000,  (U.S. News)

The Definition Of A Chad, November 23, 2000  (BBC News)

Florida Vote Counters Under Pressure, November 23, 2000 (BBC News)

Transcript Of The Oral Arguments Made Before The U.S. Supreme Court on December 1, 2000  (The New York Times)

The Controversial U.S. Supreme Court Decision Bush v. Gore -- Including The Equally Important Dissenting Opinions), December 13, 2000 (PDF File)

"The Day America's Judges Became Politicians", December 13, 2000  (The Guardian)  

Governor George W. Bush's Acceptance Speech, December 13, 2000  (CNN)

Online NewsHour: Election 2000 Coverage  (Includes audio of Gov. George W. Bush's acceptance speech made on Dec. 13, 2000), December 18, 2000  (PBS)

BBC News State By State 2000 U.S. Presidential Election Results Clickable Map

Complete CNN Election 2000 Coverage

CBS News Coverage of Election Night 2000 - PDF, January 2001

"Jeb Bush Grilled On Voting Irregularities", January 12, 2001  (The Guardian)

"Recount Shows Gore Had Won", March 12, 2001  (The Guardian)

"Media Recount: Bush Won The 2000 Election", April 3, 2001  (PBS)

Covering Election 2000: A Media Watch Special Report, August 21, 2001  (PBS)

The 2000 Presidential Election Report, November 2001  (U.S. Commission On Civil Rights)

Democracy Counts: The Media Consortium Florida Ballot Project, August 2002, PDF  (The Washington Post)


MSNBC News Coverage on Florida Vote, November 8, 2000

"Unprecedented: The Story of the 2000 Presidential Election" (2004 Campaign edition) - first 10 minutes

"Outfoxed": Interviewee Discusses U.S. News Mainstream Media Networks' Error In Prematurely Calling The 2000 Election


Vice President Al Gore's Concession Speech, December 13, 2000


"RECOUNT" materials


The Popcorn Reel Film Review: "Recount"

Go to the HBO "Recount" website

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