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Well it's been quite something to have a ringside seat at the longest
running US election in history - although now it's over Washington is
Perhaps everyone's just exhausted. Or rather underwhelmed
at having watched two grown men fight themselves to a standstill.
So how should I look back on election 2000?
Well it feels as if this show started with high drama and then rather fizzled out over the long summer
And then it came back with a surprise final act that confounded
every media prediction and had the main actors ad-libbing their way to the
finish through counts, courts and cable TV.
What I enjoyed most was the primary season.
Cast your mind back to New Year 2000. Remember former basketball star and liberal idealist Bill Bradley threatening to snatch the nomination from Gore.
Bill Bradley, where are you now?
And Senator McCain, the Vietnam war hero who energised independent voters and enjoyed the media's adoration.
We were all guilty of becoming his groupies.
He was different, he was accessible, he was irreverent, but he was not the choice of conservative Republican voters or the
Republican party machine.
By Super Tuesday - the 7th of March - it was all sewn up for the
establishment men - Al Gore, son of a senator, and George W, heir to the
famous Bush name, the rising star of Texas.
An end to spontaneity, no more challenges, this was when we switched from the ground war to the air war, and watched millions of dollars being spent on nasty campaign ads, a grim
fight to the finish across every swing state in the country.
Of course, along with every other campaign correspondent, I watched
breathlessly day to day for breaking news.
But in media terms, the campaign itself never really caught fire.
As the American public weighed up Al Gore and George W Bush, the choice was clear - between personal styles, and between policy prescriptions, liberal populism or Republican tax cuts.
For the last six weeks of the campaign, the basic opinion polls never really
Shifted and my basic conclusion was that US elections are just far too
So what a shock when it all descended into chaos.
On the night of the
election, I was in Austin, hoping to report live on the Bush celebrations.
My husband, the BBC's Richard Lister, was hanging out in Nashville, on
guard for a Gore victory.
We were competing with each other - each of course eager to be
the one who witnessed the winner emerge.
Instead, it was like that old Chinese proverb, may you live in interesting
The popular vote, the electoral vote, dimpled chads and hanging
chads, palm trees and protests in Florida.
Nobody but nobody could have
written this script.
As a journalist I was just hanging on for dear life,
hoping to stay one step ahead of the viewers, hoping in fact that the
viewers will still out there, not washing their hands of the whole election
So here we are at Christmas, much better educated - whether we like it or
not - about the machinery of American elections.
And witnessing now what the Washington Post has called "the rituals of reconciliation" between the two parties.
Sweetness and light on the surface, deep pools of bitterness underneath.
The Bush camp is pushing forward to the real business of government, while as for Al Gore, well I don't know.
Will he run next time or simply fade away, assured at least of a place in America's history books?