Gore Staffers Meeting, Waiting, Wondering
Nashville (CNSNews.com) - It's been a bizarre race by all accounts, according to numerous campaign officials for Democrat Al Gore in Nashville, but supporters have rallied around their candidate's decision to rescind his concession to Rep. George W. Bush.
Crowds leaving the outdoor election-night rally in downtown Nashville were buoyant around 3:30 a.m. CST - a far cry from the reaction at the Gore campaign two hours earlier, when TV networks announced Bush the winner.
"I'm exhausted," one election night volunteer said, happy with the continuing battle over Florida's 25 electoral votes. A few hours earlier, however, that same volunteer had refused comment on a Bush win, saying she was prohibited form talking to the press as a condition of her employment.
Another Gore spokesperson, Dan Gerstein, said around 2 a.m., "it was hard to figure out what went wrong" with his candidate's campaign. But he smiled more broadly when he was asked for an updated comment on the race at 3:45 a.m. He declined comment, but said a Gore campaign announcement was soon forthcoming.
The debate over the Florida vote accounts for the wild range of emotions in the Nashville campaign.
Florida, at first projected to go to Gore by CNN, later moved to "undecided" status, where it remained for much of the night, until the state moved into Bush's column, as called by the U.S. TV networks.
A recount is the next step.
Key Gore strategists expect Florida's will remain too-close to call until late Wednesday, delaying any announcement of a clear winner in the presidential election.
"The will of the voters will be respected, but at this time, the will of the voters is not yet known," said Douglas Hattaway, the national spokesman for the Gore campaign, speaking at a 4:10 a.m. press conference.
Gore staffers have been meeting nonstop since Florida went back into play, Hattaway said.
The Gore campaign has promised updates as they become available, but at this hour, there's no word on when Al Gore or Joe Lieberman might appear in public.