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Tony Kornheiser

Why Rush to Election Resolution? It's the Juiciest Thing on Television

November 22, 2000|Tony Kornheiser

Hello. My name is Tony. I'm an electionaholic. And I have a confession to make:

God help me, I don't want this to end.

I love the smell of churning chads in the morning.

The hanging chads. The dimpled chads. The pregnant chads.

Chads are a sore point for my friend, the comic writer Norman Chad. "There's a pregnant Chad?" he asked in horror. "It's not mine. I never touched her."

Imagine my delight that my desire to prolong the election puts me at odds with James Baker, who insisted from the start that the election must be certified now, this very moment, "for the good of the American people." Of course, by the American people Baker means himself, the Bush family and the membership at River Oaks Country Club in Houston.

What's the rush? Is Baker afraid if the deadlock goes on much longer, his boy will get tired of filling his imaginary cabinet and move on to other imaginary activities, like getting all the way to $300 on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" without using a lifeline?

But admit it, you'll miss Baker when he's gone. The country will be in far worse shape when this whole mess is over and Baker, Warren Christopher and Florida's secretary of state, Cruella De Vil, are off the air. We'll all have to go back to watching "The Michael Richards Show."


I love watching Baker's briefings. I'd forgotten how commanding he can be. You can almost see the steam rising off his head every time he's forced to once again explain exactly how the world should function. "Hello? Hello? Don't you people get it? If we actually counted all your votes, we'd lose."

Baker, at least, cuts a powerful figure. Warren Christopher, on the other hand, appears to be melting. And what is he talking about? Every time any Florida court rules against the Democrats, Christopher says it's a great thing for Al Gore. If the Florida Supreme Court had said Gore wouldn't get a recount even if he crawled through the Everglades muck on his hands and knees, Christopher would've announced, "Florida justice obviously supports the vice president's environmental initiatives."

I had to smile when Christopher mentioned he had "run into Baker at breakfast the other day." How great is it that these patricians are stuck in the same motel! Normally, Warren Christopher and James A. Baker III wouldn't be caught dead in Tallahassee, and now they're fighting over cold rubber French toast at the breakfast buffet.

And how about my man William "You Want a Piece of Me?" Daley, who I couldn't help but notice has a head that could float above Fifth Avenue on Thanksgiving Day. What I like most about Daley is that he remains unimpressed with the fact that George Bush's daddy was the president, because his daddy was The Boss. When Daley gives a briefing, it's all he can do to stop from slugging everyone in the room. When this is over, Daley is going straight to "The Sopranos."

For days, Al "Mulligan" Gore and George "Jeb, You Promised" Bush disappeared. (If they could have just kept it up for four years, the problem would have been solved.) The two finally did speak up midweek. When Gore offered to meet Bush, he was so geeked up his head kept bouncing around on his neck. Later, Bush turned Gore down and insisted on no more recounts. Did someone say snippy?


But the real star of the show has been Florida's Ballot Babe, Katherine Harris, the Junior League Blind Date From Hell! Harris is the one who carefully considered written requests to conduct hand recounts--or would have carefully considered them if she hadn't already fed them to wild goats. When Gore campaign officials suggested she was acting as a Bush partisan, her measured response, as a responsible public official, was "Bite me."

In politics they call this "respecting the will of the people."

In Chad, they call it "Must-See TV."

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