Skip to comments.Chris Lehane: DWI Story Cost Bush Popular Vote
Posted on 06/19/2002 9:46:05 AM PDT by Jean S
The eleventh hour campaign revelation that then-GOP presidential candidate George W. Bush had been arrested in Maine in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol gave then-Vice President Al Gore the boost he needed to win the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election, Gore's former campaign spokesman Chris Lehane admitted late Tuesday.
"Obviously, I think it did have an impact on the election," Lehane told WABC Radio's John Batchelor and Paul Alexander.
"It was a very close election. All of our internal polls show that it was literally a dead heat," the former top Goreman added. "I think there was a small percentage but a critical percentage of people who were literally themselves up in the air until the last 24 hours."
"And when the DWI story broke, for a lot of people who were on the fence trying to figure out which way to go, that sort of pushed them to towards Gore. They had real reservations about Bush's judgment and whether he was up to the job."
Lehane's comments underscored the importance of the all but forgotten DWI story, which many suspected was a Democrat dirty trick designed to throw Bush off balance during the final days of the campaign.
Instead, "Beer-gate," as media dubbed the Bush DWI story, undoubtedly caused Bush's slim nationwide lead to evaporate overnight and precipitated the 37-day Florida recount fiasco that still has Democrats grousing Gore was robbed.
As NewsMax reported at the time, there was ample reason to believe that the "Beer-gate" bombshell was a strategically timed leak that had Gore campaign fingerprints all over it.
Clearly somebody was pushing very hard to get the 24-year-old DWI story on the big media's radar screen; a story which had already been passed up by the Associated Press and had received glancing coverage by PBS weeks earlier.
"There is something of a mystery that has unfolded since we broke the story," reported Fox News Channel's Carl Cameron just four days before the election.
"And that is that part of the arrest record and the state of Maine's documentation of George Bush's driving record and arrest record in Maine was faxed to news agencies all over the country after we were on the air with it at 6 o'clock Eastern time."
Cameron said he had no idea who was behind the Bush DWI blast fax, but former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson didn't have any doubts.
"If anybody doesn't believe that this came right out of Gore headquarters, you ought to sprinkle some Peter Pan twinkle dust on them," he told CNBC's Chris Matthews.
Newsweek's Howard Finemen said Democrats appeared ready to pounce on the Bush DWI report, with a prepared strategy to revive allegations about his involvement in "other drug related incidents." (See: Bush DUI Info Blast-Faxed Around the Country; Dems Ready to Pounce)
The next day Tom Connolly, a Bush-hating Gore delegate from Maine, told reporters that he had tried to fax court records of the DWI arrest to Gore campaign headquarters a week earlier.
But he claimed he gave up after just one try because the line was busy.
Instead, Connolly said, he gave his DWI documentation to Fox News Portland Maine affiliate WPXT, where reporter Erin Fehlau broke the news locally.
There it remained until someone blast faxed the Bush court documents into every newsroom in America. (See: Beer-gate Alibi Unravels for Gore Dirty Trickster)
The question of who was behind the blast fax effort remains a mystery, but whoever it was succeeded in turning the 2000 election into a Constitutional crisis
Now that Chris Lehane has acknowledged that "Beer-gate" was key to Gore winning the popular vote, perhaps it's time for GOP to start crying, "We was robbed!"
Wasn't he the one with teeth that looked like a picket fence after a tornado?
By voting "L"ibertarian vs Republican, we only dilute our power in influencing the Republicans, and we give the victory to the Demoncrats.
The Libertarians have already offically stated that their policy will be to run in many Congressional elections to help defeat Republicans and throw control of the House to Demoncrats. Be prepared for more government growth, tax and spend, etc.
Bill Clinton lied to get elected: "It is time to quit coddling the butchers of Beijing"--then he traitorously gave them our missile guidance, our warheads, our supercomputers, and guided tours of every base, platform, installation, and exercise--while cutting defense spending 40% and tripling deployments. . . .
. . .including December, 1998's cruise missile ejaculation on Iraq to delay his Impeachment. . . .
Our Third District New Mexican Congressman Bill Redmond called me that night that he was getting together with other congressmen to be sure the vote proceeded--and it did.
It was common knowledge among congressmen that Clinton knew he would be impeached, and concocted the strategy to be impeached for Monica--not China.
When the Cox Report broke, Clinton had a war going in Yugoslavia--to blot it out, and to further deplete our readiness.
When 2000 came, the media gave Gore states with 0% of precincts reporting, while withholding Bush states with 60%.
The manufacturer of the Vote-A-Matic said dangling chads could only be produced by voter fraud--jamming a handful of ballots in at once, instead of just one, the legal way--unknown to Democrats. . . .
Gore sent a five-page memo describing how to disenfranchise our overseas servicemen--and now we are at war. . . .
. . .against Osama's scumbags: the Osama offered to BJ SinkShpritzer by Sudan--and refused. . . .
. . .because BJ was more interested in going after Monica and Bill Gates and Elian Gonzalez than our nation's enemies.
After all, his "wife" received donations from Hamas-front American Muslim Council--which she tried to hide as "American MUSEUM Council".
Hey, Chris LeANUS! Put your face on another campaign--and we will fix your picket fence, you Quisling Mother!
You're right, of course. But, when one views each piece of the puzzle seperately, then again as a whole, it becomes readily apparent how large, sophisticated, and criminal the entire fraud effort of Sore Loserman 2000 really was.
This is a piece of that puzzle.
All Gore won was an exercise in mathematics, Christine. There is no national popular vote for president. It's meaningless, pinhead.
Bush's greatest asset is that he is perceived as very likeable by those viewing him on TV--a potent phenomenon, indeed, just as Clinton's sheepish, boyish manner was a potent phenomenon with many women. If Rove was playing with a full deck, he would have had a half hour in prime time reserved on all networks for an election eve, fireside type chat for Bush. That is just basic common sense. Had he had such an arrangement, the breaking of the DUI story, the weekend before, would have built the Bush audience to near Super Bowl levels.
The opportunity would have been one of the great breaks in American political history. Everyone would have tuned in to see Bush on the spot over the DUI story. But the astute way to handle that would have been with a one sentence acknowledgement that he had made a mistake a generation before. Then with the bulk of those planning to vote the next day watching, he could have talked with sincerity of his vision for America--hopefully without any of Rove's moronic PC ideas;--contrasting that vision with the lying approach of his opponent (not a generation before, but week by week in the year 2000).
I could go on, but you will get the idea. It was a natural opportunity. But where your political adviser lacks even the remotest inkling of common sense, it was wholly missed. I had many problems with Richard Nixon's repeated compromises with the wrong people; but even with a far less appealing personality, Nixon would have anihilated Al Gore with such an opportunity.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
Agreed. I keep hearing about what a political genius Rove is supposed to be, but there have been many times I've been puzzled as to what he is thinking. One thing that really bothered me was how Bush basically took off the final two days before the election. Meanwhile, while Bush is taking it easy, you had Al Gore working his a*s off on a 48-hour whirlwind tour of several swing states. Rove got complacent at the end, and it nearly cost them.
What were the other arrests?