For anyone joining our special election coverage for the first time, I should explain that all our pre-results are computer-generated "race outcome projections" and are calculated not as the polls close -- like some pantywaist TV network -- but a full week before they open. These highly scientific projections are made by compiling and analyzing a variety of objective, measurable data, including statistically reliable prior-to-booth-entry polls of registered voters, as well as a 1-10 rating of how much of a queasy "I think I must have eaten a bad clam" feeling I get deep down in the pit of my stomach. Margin of error for these pre-results is plus or minus either candidate.
Rest assured though, the entire Painful Culmination 2000 team is committed to staying on the job for as many column inches as necessary to cover the races and issues that matter most to Americans fully engaged in the political process (i.e., old people). Or until the bottom of the page, whichever comes first.
First, turning to the all-important presidential race. Right now, we're projecting that Republican George W. Bush, with 49 percent of the vote, will defeat Democrat Al Gore, with 45 percent, to become the 43rd President of the United States.
As most of you know, Gov. Bush is the half-brother of former-First Dog and best-selling author, Millie Bush, and, based on these family connections, he was able to attract huge campaign contributions from major corporations and the very wealthy. In fact, his campaign was so well-financed he refused federal matching funds, stating, "I don't want to be obligated in any way whatsoever to the average American citizen."
By way of background, you might remember that, throughout the 1980s, Bush selflessly and single-handedly tried to bring down the Medallín cocaine cartel by exhausting their inventory rock-by-rock-by-rock.
In 1989, he got some well-heeled friends drunk enough to name him managing general partner of the Texas Rangers, but, just a few years later, sorely disappointed that his position didn't give him the authority to kill people, he decided to find a job where he could.
In 1994, he realized his dream -- in spades -- when he became governor of Texas. But besides leading Texas past Afghanistan and Iraq in state-sanctioned executions, he's also spearheaded a 150 percent increase in bullhorns on the hoods of luxury cars and raised concealed weapons carrying by 300 percent (that's per person). And while he admits that among all 50 states Texas ranks at or near the bottom in the environment, education and healthcare, he's promised that as president he'll drag the rest of the country down far enough in these areas so that Texas can move into first place by merely standing still.
As for this projected victory, Bush apparently expected as much, telling reporters just yesterday that Nov. 7 "will surely be a proud day for mental incompsequents everywhere."
For Vice President Gore, this defeat has to be staggering, perhaps even causing him to doubt the twin pillars of his political career: obfuscation and pandering.
Experts will undoubtedly dissect this loss for months to come, but clearly the Vice President's campaign's biggest setback was when he decided to hitch his political wagon to a blow job-craving star eight years ago. Another ongoing problem for Gore was the general perception of him as overly stiff and devoid of personality, though when reporters asked if he thought that assessment was accurate, the man in charge of working the Vice President's head shook it vehemently, "No."
Throughout the campaign, Gore tried to cast himself as a visionary, reminding voters that he'd invented the Internet, automobile air bags, Gore-Tex (with very little help from Tex), invisible dog fencing and Slim Jim meat sticks, but to no avail. Perhaps his most significant tactical error was his constantly repeated pledge, "I want to fight for you," which, in poll after poll, ranked just behind "I'm going to look for the real killers" in credibility. In fact, doubts about Gore's overall credibility might have cost him the election, as many of his supporters just assumed he was lying when he said, "I want your vote."
Of course, neither candidate will make a statement until the "official" election results on Tuesday, but Painful Culmination 2000 also projects that after being subjected to two years of campaigning 0 percent of the population will give a shit when they finally do.
Uh-oh. As the president said to the intern, "That's all the inches I've got." But remember: You got the results here first.
Next week: How to get over the results. ©
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