November 7, 2000, the day of the Bush-Gore presidential election, was one of the newsiest days during the Flyer's 20 years-and-counting, and we had it covered in our November 9th issue, with senior editor Jackson Baker at Al Gore headquarters in Nashville and staff writers Rebekah Gleaves (Nashville) and Ashley Fantz (Bush headquarters in Austin) also on the scene.
Reporting on "the closest presidential election in American political history," Baker described the "war whoops" heard when the television networks declared Florida for Gore-Lieberman late Tuesday and the weary uncertainty that gripped the Democratic faithful the next morning at the downtown Sheraton Hotel.
"Not only do we not know who the next president of the United States is, we have no idea for certain when we will know," Baker wrote, citing "gremlins in the nation's political machinery" that conspired to make Election Day moot and prophesizing "40 days and 40 nights of uncertainty." A close call, as the December 12th Supreme Court decision that essentially decided the election came 35 days later.
Meanwhile, a couple of states west, Fantz experienced an "Austin all-nighter" amid a "state-fair-like brouhaha" where "security holdups and Russian breadline waits did not slow down the Bush supporters." Fantz reported on the cascade of boos that erupted in Austin when the network's Florida call went to Gore and the ultimate fatigue that settled in when everyone realized that the endless night would yield no answers.