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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-24-2008, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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‘Recount’ recounts tale of 2000 Florida election debacle
By Jacqueline Cutler / ZAP2IT | Sunday, May 25, 2008 | Home - BostonHerald.com | Television News

The mark of great storytelling is that you know the ending but still can’t wait to see what happens.

HBO’s “Recount” (tonight at 9) is that rare movie.

This in-depth examination of the contested 2000 presidential election, which rocked the nation with its unprecedented uncertainty, uses actors to portray real people.

Kevin Spacey (“American Beauty”) leads the cast as Ron Klain, who was Vice President Al Gore’s former chief of staff and ran his presidential campaign. Though Spacey has long been upfront about his support for Democrats, this movie is nonpartisan. Both sides vetted the film, as did a team of journalists who covered the complicated vote.

Though there had been talk of making “Recount” a feature film, everyone involved said they wanted it to be on television so it would reach the most people.

“Part of it is just really practical,” Spacey said. “Look at the films that opened in the last five or six years with a political center. Not a lot of people showed up. Politics is too important for people not to see. This is not reliant on a good first weekend.”

Like most people, Spacey watched the drama unfold. Even people who read several newspapers a day and tried to keep up with hanging chads and confused voters do not know the entire story.

“No one knew,” Spacey said. “No one knew it would take as long as it did. (Klain’s) driving mandate was just: ‘Can we get all the votes counted?’ There is no question in my mind that he wanted a statewide hand recount.”

The Republicans, led by James Baker, knew they were in a street fight and acted accordingly. For the most part, though, this is not about personal lives. It’s about a foundation of democracy: having voters cast their ballots and having those ballots counted correctly. When those votes are not counted correctly, Americans are shocked and confused.

The first whiffs of a problem arise when it’s learned some elderly Florida residents accidentally voted for Pat Buchanan because the ballot’s layout was confusing. A series of mistakes is then discovered in voting machines and Gore’s camp starts asking for recounts.

“Nothing surprises except the detail,” said Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”), who plays political operative Michael Whouley.

Like Spacey, Leary met with the man he portrays, and Whouley’s intense intelligence impressed Leary.

“If I was running for office, he’s the guy I’d want on my side,” Leary said. “He has this memory that’s huge - not just for slights and offenses, but what to do.”

As spot-on as everyone’s acting is, Laura Dern (“Rambling Rose”) steals the movie as hopelessly confused and dreadfully made-up Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.

“She hides nothing,” Dern said of Harris. “She revealed all, and even the mask she created revealed the terror.”

It would be easy to see Harris as nothing but a voting rights-snatching imbecile. Yet Dern plays her so we feel sorry for this woman blatantly out of her league.

“To be playing people who, for all intents and purposes, people who lied, cheated and stole the election, I would literally be sick to my stomach,” Dern said.

As nauseating as some aspects were, Danny Strong, the screenwriter, knew it was a story that must be told. Strong (best known for his acting on such shows as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) read some 25 books on the 2000 presidential election. He interviewed every person shown in the film.

“People’s attitude was, ‘Who’s going to care?’ ” he said. “In Florida itself, the voting is so flawed. It’s not democratic. It’s not the values of our nation.

“This process is fundamentally flawed in its execution,” Strong said. “How can we make it better? In a weird way, I think the film inspires people to vote.”

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:29 PM
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How was Al Gore f**ked?

Let me count the ways...

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:33 PM
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And still he accepted it with grace.

And earned a Nobel in the aftermath.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:37 PM
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How was Al Gore f**ked?

Let me count the ways...
Actually, he really did lose Florida . . .

And, he f**ked himself. Y'think his own state mighta voted for him, huh?

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:39 PM
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It was an interesting movie. I had forgotten a few of the details.

I am sure that Ms Harris is just tickled at her portrayal.

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Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:41 PM
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Trust me when I tell you that the HBO flic paints an exceptionally vile picture of the process that unfolded, and an even more vile picture of the final resolution...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 08:53 PM
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Trust me when I tell you that the HBO flic paints an exceptionally vile picture of the process that unfolded...
From what I have read from the insider accounts that have been published, it seemed pretty accurate.

It was not clean on either side. In the big picture, pretty much everyone dropped to the lowest common denominator as far as character was concerned.

What I find most interesting in the timing of the movie. Florida provided an unusually flawed process for 2000. 2004, while better still had problems. In 2008 the Florida Democrat Party managed to FlusterCuck the Primary process with their little attention whoring primary schedule and rules breaking.

And now, on May 31 they go to the DNC Rules Committee, along with Hillary to try and present a case that they should be seated without consequence. This even though they voluntarily trashed the rules for their own benefits and refused to back down when told to either reschedule or face specific consequences. And even though ALL candidates signed off on the consequences and contracted not to campaign or run in those states.

It seems to me that Florida either doesn't KNOW how to run straight, ethical elections or has slipped into that Banana Republic state of government. Either way, they do not need to be wagging the rest of the country.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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In the last Florida election, with all of their problems, Louisiana loaned Dade Cty our voting machines. The process went smoothly and Edwin Edwards came in 2nd.

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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