Magazine article Editor & Publisher

And the Winner Is ... America's Pundits

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

And the Winner Is ... America's Pundits

Article excerpt

Syndicated columnists have tons to write about in the aftermath of the agonizingly close presidential election of 2000

As the U.S. presidential race ended in a virtual tie, syndicated columnists tied into the story with reams of commentary. Here are some samples: E.J. Dionne, Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG): "No matter who takes office as president next January, the legitimacy of his election will be in doubt. A nation that is split into almost perfectly symmetrical political halves will spend four years preparing for the struggle of 2004 in which each will seek to avenge the wrong done it by a flawed system."

Maureen Dowd, New York Times News Service (NYTNS): "The most banal race in history has produced the most electrifying election in history."

Ellen Goodman, WPWG: "Try these figures. Families that earn less than $15,000 a year voted for [Al] Gore 57 to 37. Families that earn more than $100,000 voted for [George W.] Bush 54 to 43. Married? Nine points more for Bush. Single? Nineteen points for Gore. Black? 90% for Gore. White? 54% for Bush. Live in a big city? Three to one Gore. Live in a small town or rural area? Five to three Bush. Anybody call this the United States?"

Sandy Grady, Knight Ridder/ Tribune News Service: "For one shining, fragile moment, Gore had the presidency in his fist. Then it was blown away by fickle networks and a Florida hurricane."

Bob Herbert, NYTNS: "Is there a Republican official anywhere in the country who's concerned about the fact that many thousands of honest voters in Florida have apparently been thwarted in their efforts to vote for the candidate of their choice?"

Arianna Huffington, Tribune Media Services (TMS): "This is indeed a political crisis. But it's also a huge opportunity to begin cleaning out the Aegean stables -- where I'm sure we'll find some ballots that will retroactively put Tilden over the top. Staggering though it may be, we have accepted the fact that in this greatest democracy on earth, at least 1% of ballots cast is routinely discarded."

Charles Krauthammer, WPWG: "By what principle of equity should 49.99% of the population yield to the will of the 50.01%? ... The simple answer, of course, is that ... democracy [is] the worst form of government apart from all the others."

Christopher Matthews, Newspaper Enterprise Association: "If these two worlds -- the bicoastal nation of pro-choice, somewhat hip, ethnically diverse Democrats and the inland nation of culturally conservative Republicans -- are to live and act as one, it will take a leader who matches his strength with humility. …

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