Kerry Recount Strategy Different From Gore's
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
WASHINGTON — Sen. John Kerry (search) has a simple strategy if the presidential race is in doubt on Nov. 3, the day after the election: Do not repeat Al Gore's (search) mistakes.
Unlike the former vice president, who lost a recount fight and the 2000 election, Kerry will be quick to declare victory on election night and begin defending it. He also will be prepared to name a national security team before knowing whether he's secured the presidency.
The prospects for another contested election grow with every poll showing the race neck and neck.
Six so-called "SWAT teams" of lawyers and political operatives will be situated around the country with fueled-up jets awaiting Kerry's orders to speed to a battleground state. The teams have been told to be ready to fly on the evening of the election to begin mounting legal and political fights. No team will be more than an hour from a battleground.
The Kerry campaign has office space in every battleground state, with plans so detailed they include the number of staplers and coffee machines needed to mount legal challenges.
"Right now, we have 10,000 lawyers out in the battleground states on Election Day, and that number is growing by the day," said Michael Whouley, a Kerry confidant who is running election operations at the Democratic National Committee.
While the lawyers litigate, political operatives will try to shape public perception. Their goal would be to persuade voters that Kerry has the best claim to the presidency and that Republicans are trying to steal it.
I think it's desperation setting in: since they couldn't steal the election last time, the new tatic this time is to claim Bush did if they lose.