May 14, 2008

Are you in the mood to watch an HBO movie about the 2000 Florida recount?

Or are you troubled that the movie may be unfair to Democrats?
Warren Christopher, the former secretary of state who served as the public face of the Gore team in the early days of the recount effort, said this week that he believed the film, “Recount,” was “pure fiction” in its portrayal of him as a weak strategist unprepared to stand up to the aggressive tactics of James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state who was the chief Republican adviser.
Oh, look at the bright side, Warren. Democrats are just too darned kind-hearted to be evenly matched to those bastard Republicans.
Even Mr. Baker questioned the portrayal of Mr. Christopher. “I don’t think I was as ruthless as the movie portrays me, and I know he was not as wimpish as it makes him appear,” Mr. Baker said.
*adds "masculinity" tag*
“I think a lot of the strategizing in the script that I saw was somebody’s hindsight rather than what we had to deal with in the immediate aftermath of the election,” [said William M. Daley, Gore’s campaign chairman]. He added: “The perception that Warren Christopher was some wuss who got hoodwinked by Jim Baker is absolute fantasy in the mind of somebody who is trying to make themselves out to be bigger than they were.”...

“I was stunned by the [screenplay] excerpt,” [Warren Christopher] said in an interview. “Much of what the author has written about me is pure fiction. It contained events that never occurred, words I never spoke and decisions attributed to me that I never made.”
Oh, enough already. Deal with it. You don't hear James Baker bellyaching that they portrayed him as a big meanie, do you? Don't be such a .... wuss.

Hey, I'm really psyched about this movie. Here, watch the trailer.

39 comments:

Roger J. said...

Big mistake by Team Gore in picking Warren Christopher as its point person. Ole Warren baby was not exactly Mr. Macho--now--if Team Gore had used Madelyn Albright things would have been different.

SteveR said...

I don't see how they could do a better job than SNL did at the time.

George said...

"[Mr. Christopher] is depicted as backing away from confrontation during a meeting with Mr. Baker, seeking compromise and negotiation as the Republicans prepare for war."

Original Mike said...

Are you in the mood to watch an HBO movie about the 2000 Florida recount?

Good Lord, no.

Methadras said...

It's funny how the Democrats, Liberals, and the Left in this country want to talk about the future of the country and yet find themselves perpetually mired in the past. A past that they actually initiated, contributed to, and lost by 537 votes.

Paddy O. said...

Apparently Baker is so masculine that he not only was able to stop the vote counting in Florida back in 2000, but he forced Democrats to never want to count votes in Florida ever again.

Talk about an alpha male.

Henry said...

I'm sure the part where the alien erupts from Warren Christopher's chest and bites off Katherine Harris's head is invented.

vbspurs said...

Talk about an alpha male.

LOL.

He's apparently the only one who Bush Sr. never minded beating him at tennis, which considering how competitive the old Prez was, is saying something.

It also speaks to Baker's talent, but also his refusal to kowtow to his boss, especially since he's the diplomat in the equation.

Obviously, this brings us to a point-counterpoint: Christopher versus...no, not Baker -- but rather to GHW Bush, popularly referred to as the "wimp".

This was a holdover from the dirty politics played by Reagan's staff in the Party.

Think about it, a fighter pilot in WWII -- a wimp. Incredible.

I'm going to touch on a specific point about this.

It's to do with American perceptions that males have to be rough, or crude, or not particularly interested in good grooming to be considered macho.

In American society, there are some things which temper these notions.

Being a well-groomed guy but from Texas helps in the macho stakes.

Christopher is apparently from North Dakota. It may be a rugged state, but it lacks the same iconic American imagery as Texas, which then transfers to its citizens.

(You'll note that GHW Bush considered himself from Texas, but everyone knew he was from an "Aryan from Darien", in the arch words of Patrick Dennis)

Another tempering factor in being considered a wimp or not, is to be black and well-groomed. As you can see, Obama is the Senate's most elegant Senator.

But he hasn't been tagged a "wimp" at any time, have you guys noted?

Instead, his detractors on both Left and Right have pinned the label of elitist on him.

I find just what insults "stick" to people very fascinating.

They often have no bearing on reality (in the case of GHW Bush, or Christopher in our posed case).

But why these are these labels successful and not others?

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Roger J. wrote:

Big mistake by Team Gore in picking Warren Christopher as its point person.

Yes. A much better choice, and one which Europeans particularly know very well due to his IRA-brokering, would've been ex-Senator George Mitchell.

Cheers,
Victoria

memomachine said...

Hmmmm

Curious how the Democrats always seek to appear pathetic while Republicans always want to act pathetic.

Strange stuff.

*shrug* let's face facts. Al Gore in 2000 wanted only those votes counted that would give him the Presidency. The SCOTUS said "no".

End of story.

jeff said...

"“I was stunned by the [screenplay] excerpt,” [Warren Christopher] said in an interview. “Much of what the author has written about me is pure fiction. It contained events that never occurred, words I never spoke and decisions attributed to me that I never made.”

If he was a Republican he would be used to that and not bitch so much.

Pogo said...

"Are you in the mood to watch an HBO movie about the 2000 Florida recount?"

I'd sooner watch Tila Tequila as Scout in the MTV lesbian remake of Tequila Mockingbird, in which Camille Paglia plays Gregory Peck, shoots a dog for no apparent reason, and Boo Radley, played by Ellen Degeneres, stabs the drunken racist Rosie 'Ching Chong' O'Donnell. In the end, Scout sleeps with Jem, Truman Capote (played by Anne Hache), and the gender bending Mr. Finch.

"Let the dead bury the dead this time, Mr. Finch."

vbspurs said...

Eww, Pogo! At least you didn't say you wanted to see Warren Christopher and Jim Baker in "Trans-Europe Sexpress", a gender-bending tale of lust in the upper berths of the TUV.

Actually, that would be fun. Throw in Madeleine Albright as the dominatrix conductor in black latex whilst we're at it.

Cheers,
Victoria

Methadras said...

vbspurs said...

Another tempering factor in being considered a wimp or not, is to be black and well-groomed. As you can see, Obama is the Senate's most elegant Senator.


I think Obama should give credit to Joe Bidden for this one. It was afterall, Senator Bidden who intimated to folks that Obama was a clean and articulate black hence the position he is in now today. The presumptive nominee who is clean and articulate and black vs. a curmudgeonly bearingless old man. See where this is going?

al said...

Throw in Madeleine Albright as the dominatrix conductor in black latex whilst we're at it.

How much will one have to drink to get that image out of one's brain?

Roger J. said...

al--you need to surrender to your inner submissive--relax and enjoy it.

Seppo said...

This movie sounds like peppermint chocolate mashed potatoes. Just because you CAN make peppermint chocolate mashed potatoes doesn't mean you SHOULD make it. Then again, a lot of movies these days are also reminiscent of that tasty holiday table treat.

vbspurs said...

The presumptive nominee who is clean and articulate and black vs. a curmudgeonly bearingless old man. See where this is going?

Heh. Sure, but Obama had a natural elegance since youth.

Look at this guy:

Young Obama alone #1

Young Obama surrounded by other guys #2

Young Obama #3

One's eyes pick him out, wherever he is. And it's not because he's black. It's because he's radiantly elegant -- for white, for black, for anything.

Cheers,
Victoria

Pogo said...

Victoria

**cough -sputter- phththth**

I thought Rosie O'Donnell was playing Madeleine Albright like that in Exit to Eden

vbspurs said...

How much will one have to drink to get that image out of one's brain?

Fight fire with fire, instead!

vbspurs said...

Exit to Eden

Wow, is that really her? Are you sure that's not Sandra Bernhardt as her body double?

And can you imagine putting that on your resumé -- "Rosie O'Donnell body double".

Akin to "Fashion consultant to Janet Reno".

Cheers,
Victoria

rcocean said...

A typical re-telling of history by the liberal media. Accordingly, either the Republicans will be evil or stupid. Watching the trailer it appears that Baker will be smart (but evil) while poor Ms.Harris will be simply stupid - and wear too much makeup.

The Democrats will be either good guys, too nice to understand how EVIL (Baker) those Republicans are (Christopher) or really nice & cool like whoever Kevin Spacey plays.

BTW, most Reagan conservatives thought of Baker as a RINO wuss who hired David (Melon Head) Gergan and always tried to play the moderate and suck up to the liberal MSM.

Funny that he's now being portrayed as a Lee Atwater type.

MadisonMan said...

One more reason to be glad not to have cable.

Roger J. said...

You owe me a new monitor, Ms Victoria--fashion consultant to Janet Reno did it (the body double thing just set me up)

vbspurs said...

(the body double thing just set me up)

"Fluff girl to Michael Moore"

Best Buy gift card on the way. ;)

Cheers,
Victoria

Eli Blake said...

Well, I have to agree with you about one thing, Victoria-- George Mitchell isn't afraid of anything. We saw that on display recently when he wasn't afraid to blow the lid off 'the Rocket' (which since he did,the news about Roger Clemens has gone from bad, to worse to worst.)

As for Florida 2000, it should make the case conclusively that one's vote does matter.

Consider what would be different today if Gore had won that election (just based on things he said during the campaign, or in the case of events that occurred during the Bush administration, as they occurred):

1. Instead of giving the surplus back in tax cuts, he pledged to use it to pay for universal health coverage. On the other hand he was critical of the medicaid prescription drug package as a giveway to pharmaceutical companies and proposed instead to allow more re-importation of drugs from Canada. Of course with Universal Coverage the U.S. government would have the same authority as the Canadian government in negotiating drug prices.

2. He pledged to work to pay down the national debt (which has instead since grown to $9 trillion).

3. He pledged to place Social Security funds in a 'lockbox,' thereby preventing Congress from raiding the trust fund to pay for pet projects.

4. He pledged to push for the use of more renewable energy, higher fuel efficiency standards on cars and said he would sign the Kyoto treaty.

5. He was supportive of the war in Afghanistan after 9/11, but in July 2002 as we began to shift our focus towards Iraq he was the first major political figure to come out publically in opposition to such a war and said we needed to finish the Afghan war and keep focused on bin Laden.

Obviously I have my opinions on how this would have caused the decade to go differently but it is clear that how people voted in 2000 ended up making a TREMENDOUS difference.

Methadras said...

rcocean said...

BTW, most Reagan conservatives thought of Baker as a RINO wuss who hired David (Melon Head) Gergan and always tried to play the moderate and suck up to the liberal MSM.


Gergan is and was a traitorous piece of garbage who was usually found shoving his face up some liberals ass trying to get the press he wanted. Now look at him.

PirateCove said...

I think it will be a great mov....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Seriously, with all the great books being written out there, and they have to put this trash on TV?

Can't they just MoveOn?

Revenant said...

Consider what would be different today if Gore had won that election

Republicans would be whining about how Gore had lied to get us into a war with Iraq, and probably complaining about how he "took his eye off the ball" in Afghanistan.

We still wouldn't have ratified Kyoto, but Gore would probably spend a lot of time whining about that.

The Republicans would still control Congress.

Our budget deficit would be somewhat higher; our dollar, slightly weaker (due to the additional borrowing). Taxes would be a bit higher, but not as much as spending.

vbspurs said...

Well, I have to agree with you about one thing, Victoria-- George Mitchell isn't afraid of anything. We saw that on display recently when he wasn't afraid to blow the lid off 'the Rocket' (which since he did,the news about Roger Clemens has gone from bad, to worse to worst.)

There you go, Eli. That's absolutely right.

Camp Bush announced that Baker would be their point-man first, if you recall. I guess Al Gore, with his unenviable lack of political instincts, decided "I'll see your Secretary of State, and raise you ours."

Instead of just choosing the guy who wasn't afraid to get dirty.

Cheers,
Victoria

titusdaddyyourshashairiwonttellmommy said...

Only if it stars the real Katherine Harris and we can to see her tits.

Now that is a nice set on that broad.

Absolutely love her.

Otherwise, definitely not.

titusdaddyyourshashairiwonttellmommy said...

Fellow republicans join our great president and myself to give up golf in showing solidarity for the families who's son's and daughters are serving in our wars.

A noble comment by a noble man.

titusdaddyyourshashairiwonttellmommy said...

If any defeatocrat would of made that comment we would of been screaming to high heaven.

But as our great president said it we thought about it and thought it made perfect sense.

I love that man.

J Lee said...

My guess is it's 50-50 the writer(s) and director of the movie thought Warren Christopher was already dead when they decided to make Christopher the fall guy on the Democratic side for Gore's failure to win the recount. Dead men protest no tales, you know.

Eli Blake said...

revenant:

Republicans would be whining about how Gore had lied to get us into a war with Iraq, and probably complaining about how he "took his eye off the ball" in Afghanistan

That is complete and absolute crap. Al Gore took a major risk in the summer of 2002 that's right, the SUMMER OF 2002 (when the rest of the country was starting to be stampeded into the Iraq war) and pretty much alone at first spoke out against it. So it is absolutely certain that Al Gore would never have gotten us into that stupid war.

The rest of your thinking is off as well, but not as blantantly 180 degrees off as on Iraq.

JSF said...

All this talk of Overtime 2000 could have been different had their been a Goldwater to Nixon moment during the Winters of 1998 and 1999.

When I was up on Capitol Hill, there was talk of dealing with a Gore Administration and sacrificing (like the GOP Congress did in 1996) the 2000 election for 2004.

However, even with the cover of impeachment, Democrats were too scared of the Clintons to go against them.

Because of that hesitation, you had a VP go against a Governor; A former First lady who refuses to drop out of a Democratic Primary race, and a majority on the Left who think Republicans are worse then President Ahmadinijad.

Kirk Parker said...

pogo, that's very nice! You been taking private lessons from Trooper or something? :-)

Eli Blake, can you please explain, again, why it is you want to destroy pharmaceutical R & D?

JSF, that's an interesting point. While I'm quite appalled at what Gore has become, who knows what directions he would have taken if things had gone as you said?

Revenant said...

Al Gore took a major risk in the summer of 2002 that's right, the SUMMER OF 2002 (when the rest of the country was starting to be stampeded into the Iraq war) and pretty much alone at first spoke out against it.

He spoke out against the way the Bush Administration was handling the preparations for war. He *favored* war with Iraq -- but a war conducted by an international coalition, not solo by the United States.

Here is the speech you cite. A pertinent quote from it:

I believe that we are perfectly capable of staying the course in our war against Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network, while simultaneously taking those steps necessary to build an international coalition to join us in taking on Saddam Hussein in a timely fashion. If you're going after Jesse James, you ought to organize the posse first.

So we see that he had no problem with deposing the Hussein regime; later in the speech he reaffirms the Clinton policy of regime change. He just didn't like the way Bush was going about it.

Keep in mind that, prior to his defeat in 2000, Gore has been one of the more hawkish Democrats, on par with Joe Lieberman; as he notes in his speech, he was one of the few Democrats to vote for the 1991 war. After his defeat in 2000, though, he began moving sharply to the left on almost every issue, either to draw a clearer distinction between himself and his hated former opponent or as a tactical move to ally himself with the resurgent Left. Had he won, he wouldn't have done that. He would have continued the Clinton Administration policy of regime change just as Bush did.

One final thing... "huge risk"? What was he risking? His political career was in the toilet.

Mark said...

You’ve nailed it. The critics [?] who have supposedly praised the film conveniently ignore that it’s more “truthiness” than truth.

Danny Strong, a first-time screenwriter, apparently felt the story of what actually happened in 2000 wasn’t sufficiently compelling to attract Hollywood interest. So he created a story line out of whole cloth: George Bush won the 2000 recount battle because the Democrats--principally Warren Christopher and Bill Daley--were too weak, too genteel, to withstand the Jim Baker-led steamroller. Not even the heroic, efforts of Ron Klain, the only Democratic operative in Florida with the fortitude to take on Big Jim, could save the ship. (Klain, by the way, was taking orders directly from Al Gore.)

Strong knew he had some delicate gaps to fill in the story line, including how to establish the ineffectuality of the Democratic side of the fight. He decided to handle the problem by creating a scene or two in which Warren Christopher, a key spokesman for Gore, would utter words of compromise, naivete and illogic. In just a few screen minutes, Strong could establish a major, overarching theme of the film and, if he were lucky, could manage it without ever talking to Christopher.

Presumably someone at HBO told Strong he couldn’t just stiffarm Christopher. So he just waits to make the contact until the day the scenes involving the Christopher character are shot. When he does talk to the former Secretary, he refuses Christopher's request for a copy of the script, even though he accorded that courtesy and scene veto rights to Jim Baker, Klain and others depicted in the film.

Warren Mr. Christopher learned that the film was in production when his tailor told him he was making a suit for the actor who was playing him in the film. In other words, Strong felt it was important to get the wardrobe right for the Christopher character, but didn't regard the facts as rising to the same level of importance.

What Strong did not want Christopher to know was that the script contained scenes in which his character declares that the recount dispute can be compromised and that no lawsuits will be filed on behalf of Gore. Strong knew that once Christopher read or was told of such scenes, he would denounce them as "pure fiction." Strong also knew that if he pursued with any neutral party in the legal community the question of whether the words he proposed to put in Christopher's mouth were consistent with what they knew of the man, he would have learned that he was about to distort beyond recognition the character of a man universally regarded as a quintessential litigator: smart, clever, and tough. Ethical? Yes. Weak-kneed? Never.

The truly weak-kneed are those who chalk off to "dramatic license" the gross distortions of the sort Strong has pushed on the public, while simultaneously proclaiming reverence for the faithful preservation of history. Like it or not, today's viewing public increasingly treats as fact what is fed to them as "docu-drama," unaware that in most cases they are consuming an ounce of “docu” to every gallon of “drama.” And like it or not, what they treat as fact becomes fact for others, in this generation and those following. While producers of this species of film say their goal is simply to entertain, it is plain they also appreciate that viewers of this genre are more “entertained” if they believe they are watching what actually occurred. HBO sure as hell doesn’t trumpet this film as “the story of the 2000 presidential election” to alert viewers that they aren’t going to be seeing a faithful rendition of what went on in Tallahassee.