101: A Media History of the Al Gore Presidency

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by TheGhostOfTomDaschle, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada

    Al Gore will not save the world. He will not fix all of George Bush's pitfalls and lead America to a Utopian future. He will face unexpected challenges and crises. He will struggle with the consequences of familiar events. To stress, this is not going to be a fan-fiction about how Al Gore should have won, and how great a President he would have been. Nor, however, will it be a cynical look at how little difference it would have made. I intend to create a realistic and entertaining alternate timeline about a world where Al Gore won the 2000 election.

    The point of divergence occurs in February of 2000 when Theresa LePore, Palm Beach County's Election Supervisor, hires an alternate contractor to design her county's election ballots. A simpler ballot is produced, and several thousand votes that would otherwise have been rejected are now brought into the mix.

    With this in mind, let's begin on the morning of November 8th, 2000.


    Florida Too Close To Call
    November 8th, 2000
    CNN – After a bewildering turn of late-night projections and retractions, Florida remains too close to call. With 99 percent of precincts counted, George Bush currently holds a slim lead of just over 1,000 votes. However, experts maintain that Florida - and the votes needed to win the presidency — can still go either way. With the final results not due until later this morning, and over 900’000 absentee ballots still in wait, it could be several days before a winner is decided.

    Republicans Keep House, Senate Still Contested
    November 8th, 2000
    TIME – Sidelined by the razor-thin presidential vote, House Republicans are nevertheless celebrating after retaining their control over the lower chamber. Despite a year of concentrated campaigning by Democratic candidates, preliminary results point to only a one-to-three seat gain. However, in the Senate, several key races remain uncalled, and the Democrats are holding out hope that they can edge out enough victories to re-take the upper chamber.

    Florida Recount Ordered

    November 8th, 2000
    CNN – As the morning dawned over Florida, the final margin of the state’s vote was reported: 2,909,114 for George Bush, 2,908,785 for Al Gore, and 138,119 for other candidates. As per Florida law, a full machine recount of votes has been ordered, with Governor Jeb Bush recusing himself from the process. No official deadline has been set, but in a brief statement, Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris says that the recount may not be completed until next Tuesday.

    Clinton, Barak, and Arafat Meet at Camp David
    November 9th, 2000
    The Washington Post – President Clinton, steady amidst the drama of Florida’s election recount, has pushed forward with a vital part of his foreign policy agenda. At Camp David today, the President met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to discuss a possible resolution of territorial disputes between the two parties. Hopes were high for fruitful dialogue, but after hours of negotiations, the leaders emerged upbeat yet with little to show. No official statement has been released by any leader, but sources reveal that many in President Clinton’s team are blaming Arafat’s refusal to compromise for the summit’s failure. For the time being, at least, it appears as though genuine progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations remains illusive.

    Nebraska Result Leaves Senate Tied
    November 10th, 2000
    CNN – Earlier today, Democrat Ben Nelson was certified as the winner of the Nebraska Senate race, bringing the Democratic Party to a net gain of four seats and leaving the Senate tied. While Senator-elect Nelson celebrates his victory, control of the upper chamber now rests on the future Vice President. All eyes have thus turned to the contentious Florida recount, where the November 14th deadline grows increasingly close.

    Florida Recount Extended
    November 15th, 2000
    Fox News – With November 14th, and the deadline for the Florida recount, passing without results from Broward or Palm Beach Counties, it soon became clear that deadlines would be extended. This was confirmed today by Florida’s Secretary of State, who announced that full manual recounts would continue in the two contested counties. Meanwhile, the Bush campaign continues to raise legal challenges over the legitimacy of the recounts, with the Florida Supreme Court set to hear an injunction request later this evening.

    Clinton Makes Historic Visit To Hanoi
    November 17th, 2000
    The Washington Post – Bill Clinton, the American President once lambasted as a draft dodger and anti-war liberal, enjoyed a warm welcome in Hanoi as he began his mission to redefine United States relations. Neither delegation placed great emphasis on the scars of the Vietnam War, instead focusing on their vision for a “new era of peaceful relations” in the region. No concrete agreements were put forward, but both parties have heralded the visit as an important symbolic step towards long-term peace.

    Media-Most Absorbed By Russian Government
    November 18th, 2000
    BBC – Russian media mogul Vladimir Gusinsky has agreed to cede control of his publishing and broadcast empire, Media-Most, to Gazprom, the Russian Government’s natural gas monopoly. Gusinsky, a noted critic of Russia’s new president, Vladimir Putin, was arrested earlier this year for alleged fraud involving his Media-Most holding. Several observers and critics have decried the “Soviet-era suppression tactics”, and warned that a consolidation of state media could harm Russia’s nascent democracy. However, American President Bill Clinton has offered only lukewarm criticism of the arrest, and has remain committed towards “positive dialogue” with the Russian government.

    Hague Conference Collapses
    November 25th, 2000
    BBC – The United Nations’ Conference on Climate Change was suspended without agreement today, an apparent result of gridlock between the United States and several members of the European Union. Environmental activists have criticized the United States and Clinton administration for failing to meet the standards set out in the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. In their statements, both the European and American delegations expressed disappointment in the results, but promised to continue working to meet their Kyoto obligations. In light of this year’s disappointing conference, however, environmental activists say they’re doubtful.


    And there you have it, the first part of
    101. A second part will be uploaded shortly, featuring the resolution of the Florida recount and the final election results. From there, I'll skip ahead to Al Gore's inauguration, and the real drama will begin. This brief introduction is just intended to lay the foundation for some of Gore's upcoming challenges; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rise of Vladimir Putin, and frustrated climate change talks.

    In the meantime, I hope this alternate history will be enjoyed. I look forward to continuing it.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Not to mention 9/11 (assuming that's not butterflied away)...
  3. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada

    Campaign Lawsuits Move Forward
    November 26th, 2000
    CNN – Earlier this morning, Florida’s Secretary of State Katherine Harris denied a Palm Beach County request to extend the recount deadline. This leaves the current vote total as the de facto final tally, but Harris’ office has so far refused to officially certify the count pending lawsuits by the Gore and Bush campaigns. Internal sources have reported that the margin could be within double digits, but until the vote is certified, the exact number remains unknown.

    Florida Vote Certified
    November 30th, 2000
    Fox News – The vote has been certified! In the wake of mounting calls to confirm an official result, Florida’s Secretary of State today certified Al Gore the winner in Florida. The official results are 2,912,899 votes for Gore, and 2,912,798 votes for Bush, a margin of only 101 votes. However, Governor Jeb Bush has refused to designate the state’s 25 electoral votes to Al Gore, in order to accommodate the Bush campaign’s election contest action and the Gore campaign’s Supreme Court appeal, were they are challenging the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to count rejected overseas military ballots.

    Bush Contest Action Accepted
    December 5th, 2000
    Fox News – The Florida Supreme Court ruled today to accept George Bush’s election contest action, which asserted that manual recounts in Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Nassau counties would unconstitutionally violate equal protection laws. The counties were promptly ordered to halt the hand recounts, thereby ensuring that Gore cannot expand his lead with votes from the left-leaning counties. In a statement outside the Tallahassee courthouse, a spokesman for the Gore campaign announced they would not appeal the decision, so as to avoid a motion of dismissal by the United States Supreme Court. Instead, he claimed that their focus will remain on their appeal of the overseas ballot case.

    Internet Shares Hit All-Time Lows

    December 5th, 2000
    Forbes – eBay has stumbled in the first week of December trading to $2.81, the lowest value in its history. The news comes after a sharp decline in value for various digital and internet-based companies over the past year, which commentators have attributed to a stock bubble. The Dow Jones and NASDAQ have suffered considerably, with some analysts even holding it responsible for a decline in third quarter GDP growth. eBay’s executives, for their part, insist that the company’s popularity will only continue to grow. However, among other internet companies, such optimism is increasingly hard to come by.

    Supreme Court Rules In Favour Of Gore
    December 8th, 2000
    The New York Times – The United States Supreme Court has rendered a complex decision to overturn the Florida Supreme Court ruling that called for rejected overseas ballots to be counted. The court's unsigned "per curiam" decision carried the opinion of five justices and stated that, due to case precedent set in Bush v. Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Nassau Canvassing Board, such accommodations would violate equal protection laws. As such, rejected overseas ballots will not be accommodated, and the official Florida vote will stand. Governor Jeb Bush has since signed the Certificate of Ascertainment and designated the state’s 25 electoral votes to Gore, pushing him across the 270 threshold and all but ensuring his victory.

    Bush Concedes, Gore Officially President-Elect
    December 9th, 2000
    CNN – In a nationally televised broadcast speech, George Bush conceded the election and announced that he accepts Al Gore as the 43rd President of the United States. Shortly thereafter, Gore delivered his acceptance speech outside of the Capitol, where he thanked Bush for a “hard-earned concession” and pledged to deliver unity and reconciliation in the wake of the bitterly divisive election.

    Jim Jeffords Leaves Republican Party
    December 10th, 2000
    CNN – Following the confirmation of Al Gore’s victory, Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont announced that he will be leaving the Republican Party in order to serve as an Independent, caucusing with the Democrats. Among the most moderate Republicans in Congress, Jeffords’ shocking decision has been met with jubilation by Senate Democrats, who will now enjoy a workable majority in the upper chamber. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, when asked, declined to comment.

    December 20th, 2000
    The Economist – Al Gore, President of the United States. Some of us are still uncertain saying it. Yet, after all was said and done – and it certainly was all – it has become our new reality. Albert Arnold Gore Jr. has served as America’s Vice President for eight years, acting as a cooperative partner of Bill Clinton and a champion of environmental and digital economy initiatives. He shaped his persona as that of a passionate, activist politician, a champion for progress and the future. Wielding this persona, and a platform that reflected his years as Vice President, Gore – notably absent of a post-Lewinsky Clinton – pursued and won the Presidency of the United States.

    The President-elect has little time to loll in the accomplishments of his past and present, however. Propelled to power by a divisive election, Gore will be a prime target for renewed Republican criticisms. Expect accusations of flip-flopping, political insulation, and implausible campaign promises in the months and years to come. He must also contend with a precipitous endowment; he inherits a comfortable budget surplus, yet a depressed GDP. He will enjoy the fruits of Bill Clinton’s legacy in Europe and Asia, yet also the pitfalls of his failures in Israel and Africa. A hostile House of Representatives will undoubtedly temper the bold legislation he promised on the campaign, despite a friendly majority in the Senate.

    For the Republican Party, Al Gore will soon supersede his predecessor as the prime target. Lacking the retail charm of Bill Clinton, yet carrying the liberal baggage of Michael Dukakis, there is little doubt attack ads are already being planned for 2002. For most Americans, however, he is but a result, the exhausting end to a month of political excess and uncertainty. Yet their ambivalence will soon soften, and regardless of the path that our new President forges, it will return as a potent popular force – certainly enough to sway another such election. For Al Gore, the Presidency was taken with 101 votes. For the President, there are far easier ways to upset much larger numbers.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 6:14 PM
    Asp, Sombergen, Heliogabalus and 12 others like this.
  4. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada
    The Final Results: 2000 Elections

    Presidential Election:
    Vice President Al Gore (D) - 291 (51,000,543)
    Governor George W. Bush (R) - 246 (50,456,010)

    Senate Elections:
    Arizona - Jon Kyl (R Hold)
    California - Dianne Feinstein (D Hold)
    Connecticut - Joe Lieberman (D Hold)
    Delaware - Thomas R. Carper (D Gain)
    Florida - Bill Nelson (D Gain)
    Hawaii - Daniel Akaka (D Hold)

    Indiana - Richard Lugar (R Hold)
    Maine - Olympia Snowe (R Hold)

    Maryland - Paul Sarbanes (D Hold)
    Massachusetts - Ted Kennedy (D Hold)
    Michigan - Debbie Stabenow (D Gain)
    Minnesota - Mark Dayton (D Gain)

    Montana - Conrad Burns (R Hold)
    Missouri - Mel Carnahan (D Gain)*
    Nebraska - Ben Nelson (D Hold)

    Nevada - John Ensign (R Gain)
    New Jersey - Jon Corzine (D Hold)
    New Mexico - Jeff Bingaman (D Hold)
    New York - Hillary Clinton (D Hold)
    North Dakota - Kent Conrad (D Hold)

    Ohio - Mike DeWine (R Hold)
    Pennsylvania - Rick Santorum (R Hold)
    Rhode Island - Lincoln Chafee (R Hold)
    Tennessee - Bill Frist (R Hold)
    Texas - Kay Bailey Hutchison (R Hold)
    Utah - Orrin Hatch - (R Hold)
    Vermont - Jim Jeffords (R Hold)*
    Virginia - George Allen (R Gain)

    Washington - Maria Cantwell (D Gain)
    West Virginia - Robert Byrd (D Hold)
    Wisconsin - Herb Kohl (D Hold)

    Wyoming - Craig L. Thomas (R Hold)

    *Democratic candidate Mel Carnahan died three weeks before election day. His widow, Jean Carnahan, was appointed by the state's governor in his stead.
    *A month after election day, Jim Jeffords would leave the Republican Party to become an independent. He caucused with the Democrats, increasing their effective majority to 51 seats.

    Democratic Party: +4 (50)
    Republican Party: -4 (50)

    House Elections:
    Arkansas 4 - D Gain
    California 15 - D Gain
    California 27 - D Gain
    California 31 - D Gain
    California 36 - D Gain
    California 49 - D Gain

    Connecticut 2 - R Gain
    Michigan 8 - R Gain
    Minnesota 2 - R Gain
    Missouri 6 - R Gain
    New York 1 - R Gain

    New York 2 - D Gain
    Oklahoma 2 - D Gain

    Pennsylvania 4 - R Gain
    Utah 2 - D Gain
    Virginia 2 - R Gain
    Virginia 5 - I Gain
    Washington 2 - D Gain
    West Virginia 2 - R Gain

    Republican Party: -2 (221)
    Democratic Party: +1 (212)
    Independent: +1 (2)

    Note that, other than the Presidential vote in Florida, the results seen here are identical to the 2000 election's results in our timeline. Nevertheless, this is intended to lay out the format that will be used in future federal elections; state elections will be noted when significant, but will otherwise not warrant much attention.

    The next update will begin at Al Gore's inauguration, and cover the events that follow. These updates will be less dense, covering several months at a time.

    In the meantime, any comments, suggestions, criticisms, predictions, or insults are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!
  5. AeroTheZealousOne Actually quite cynical, maybe pessimistic

    Jul 6, 2017
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    Watched; this is a fascinating concept.
  6. dbakes994 Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2017
    Keep going!
    GermanDjinn likes this.
  7. GermanDjinn did you commit crimes?? CALL THIS NUMBER!

    Nov 26, 2017
    I wanna see were this goes
  8. PresidentZinn Skeptical Economist

    Jan 18, 2013
    This is great so far. That said, you might want to rework this line. Gore did not win on persona. Much to the contrary, Gore's lack of charm relative to Bush is what made the election so close to begin with.
  9. THeaven Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2018
    Ohio predicting the President streak is over
    Amadeus and AeroTheZealousOne like this.
  10. Amadeus Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2017
    This is a really well-written and realistic depicition of a narrow Gore win, I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing Gore's administration and the '02 midterms.
  11. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks for bringing it up, that was just sloppy writing on my part. I've reworded it.
    PresidentZinn and Amadeus like this.
  12. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada

    Al Gore Inaugurated as 43rd U.S. President
    January 20th, 2001
    The Washington Post – It was a sunny Saturday morning when Albert Arnold Gore, flanked by his wife and four children, was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States. Alongside his newly ordained Vice President, Joe Lieberman, Gore took to the podium facing out over the National Mall and delivered his prepared speech, where he pledged to “renew the good will of our democracy” and deliver “unity through aspiration and progress”. A recent Marist poll placed Gore’s approval rating at 52%, slightly lower than Bill Clinton’s 55% post-inauguration approval. Shortly after the inauguration ceremony, Gore proceeded to the White House, where he will begin his presidency in full.

    Bill Clinton Bids Farewell
    January 20th, 2001
    CNN – This morning, a resolutely chipper Bill Clinton crossed the White House to board Marine One, departing the White House for the last time. Earlier this week, in his farewell remarks, Clinton thanked the American people and wished luck to his successor, his now-former Vice President, in “continuing the march of freedom and idealism”. With a final approval rating of 63% and a likeminded successor, Clinton will enjoy a secure, if nonetheless controversial, legacy.

    President Signs First Executive Orders
    January 22nd, 2001
    CNN – In the Oval Office today, President Gore signed an executive order directing the EPA to restore the “polluter pays” program for hazardous waste sites. It marks the second executive order of his Presidency, coming after yesterday’s eligibility expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. While the moves are quickly advancing elements of Gore’s agenda, it will likely be several weeks before truly comprehensive legislation is presented.

    Israel Withdraws From Taba Summit
    January 27th, 2001
    BBC – The Taba Summit, a series of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials, came to an abrupt conclusion today, with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak withdrawing due to an upcoming election campaign in Israel. The move marks the latest setback in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, following a disappointing round of negotiations at Camp David earlier last year; the Taba Summit, convened on January 21st, was intended to address issues left unresolved at Camp David. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian’s chief negotiator, has called the Israeli’s decision “supremely disappointing”.

    Federal Reserve Cuts Interest Rates
    January 31st, 2001
    Forbes – Following a continued decline in GDP growth in Q4 2000, the Federal Reserve announced a short-term, half-percent interest rate cut. The aggressive move, intended to ward off recession, marks the second time this month that the Reserve has reduced interest rates. The central bank lowered the federal funds target rate by the same amount in a surprise move on January 3rd. White House Press Secretary Ranit Schmelzer, when asked about the Whtie House's position, promised a “detailed of economic plans” in the coming weeks.

    Congress Confirms Gore’s Nominees
    February 2nd, 2001
    The Washington Post – Katie McGinty, former head of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, was confirmed by the Senate today as the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator. The vote, an uncommonly close split of 58 – 42, was marred by McGinty’s comments in her confirmation hearing, where she appeared to disregard the financial cost of a ban on coal power. Nonetheless, with the McGinty vote, all of President Gore’s cabinet nominees have now been confirmed. Observers have noted the lack of carryover from the Bill Clinton cabinet, which they attributed to a continuation of Gore’s campaign efforts to distance himself from the beleaguered former President. For a full list, see the column below.

    Full Cabinet List:
    Secretary of State – George Mitchell
    Secretary of Defence – Sam Nunn
    Secretary of the Treasury – James Johnson
    Attorney General – Eric Holder
    Secretary of Commerce – Tom Downey
    Secretary of Agriculture – Charles Stenholm
    Secretary of Labor - Linda Chavez-Thompson
    Secretary of Health and Human Services – Nancy-Ann Min DeParle
    Secretary of Housing and Urban Development - Dennis Archer
    Secretary of the Interior – Robert Miller
    Secretary of Education – James Hunt Jr.
    Secretary of Energy – Tony Knowles
    Secretary of Transportation – Jane Garvey
    Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency – Katie McGinty

    Ehud Barak Resigns From Politics
    February 7th, 2001
    BBC – In a special election marred by a boycott from Palestinian nationals, Israeli leader Ehud Barak suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of Ariel Sharon and his centre-right Likud Party. Shortly thereafter, Barak announced his resignation as leader of the Labor Party. Sharon’s victory has been widely credited to Barak’s failings in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, particularly at last year’s Camp David negotiations and last month’s Taba Summit. It is unknown whether Sharon’s new government plans to resume negotiations.

    U.S. Delivers Warning to Iraq
    February 18th, 2001
    Fox News – Secretary of State George Mitchell has held a press conference in which he warned the Iraqi Military, and the Government of Saddam Hussein, to cease “aggressive exercises and maneuvers” and to “comply with the coalition’s no-fly zone in Southern Iraq” or risk a military response. The warning represents a continuation of the long-running, low-level disputes between Iraqi forces and coalition forces. Sources have claimed that American military commanders initially requested a direct strike on designated targets, though Mitchell, when asked, claimed that “military action will only be used as a last resort”.

    President Announces Plans For Kyoto
    February 26th, 2001
    CNN – President Gore has ended weeks of speculation by announcing that he plans to submit the Kyoto Protocol to the United States Senate for ratification. The move will fulfill a major campaign promise for Gore, though it remains uncertain whether the Senate will ratify the protocol; despite a Democratic majority, several moderates have already expressed concerns over the potential economic costs. The President did not provide a detailed timetable, but claimed that he “looked forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate over the coming months”.

    White House Outlines Budget And Stimulus Package
    February 28th, 2001
    CNN – The White House has released a draft of its first major piece of legislation, an economic stimulus package intended to address the weakened GDP. The package, which will be partnered with the next federal budget, features a variety of economic policies promised by Gore’s campaign, such as an expansion of social programs for farmers and small businesses, grants and tax incentives for the unemployed, a 1$ increase in the minimum wage, and new funding for mass transit programs. However, as the budget and stimulus is submitted to Congress next month, it may yet be subject to extensive change.

    Republicans Push Back Against Gore
    March 1st, 2001
    Fox News – Following the announcement of President Gore’s economic stimulus package, House Speaker Dennis Hastert has expressed “serious concerns” over the White House’s policy agenda, and vowed that “tax-and-spend legislation will not be passed unchallenged.” Meanwhile, Senate Minority leader Trent Lott has also made clear his reservations, promising that “the Republican Party will have its say.” While neither has expressed outright opposition to President Gore’s package, analysts are predicting a fierce legislative battle in the coming months.


    I plan on continuing updates as frequently as I can. In the meantime, feedback of any kind is always appreciated. I hope everyone enjoys.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 2:50 PM
  13. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    The first news update is 2001, not 2000...

    Good start...
  14. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks! Can't believe I missed that.
    Amadeus and C2sg like this.
  15. Whanztastic BohemianAmerican Defenestrater Monthly Donor

    Apr 13, 2009
    Ft. Dearborn
    Why did Ehud Barak resign in this timeline, or at least as early as he did? With Gore continuing Clinton's peace talks, there doesn't seem to be a need for a special election in Feb 2001. Barak wouldn't need to attempt to shore up domestic support and could last a few more weeks, which might have been enough.
    ert44444 and Pokemon Master like this.
  16. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada
    I expect that Gore taking office would make minimal difference in the 2001 election; Barak hoped to shore up support due to the escalating intifada, frustrations with earlier diplomatic shortcomings (especially the Clinton Summit), and increasing tensions with Israeli Arabs. The loss of a supportive government in Washington would certainly have encouraged him, but I expect he would have called the election regardless, given his domestic troubles. However, I'm certainly no expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so if I make any gross mistakes, please point them out. For the purposes of this AH, though, I'll be moving forward with a Sharon government.
    Pokemon Master likes this.
  17. TheGhostOfTomDaschle Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Ottawa, Canada

    Israel Restores Parliament As Tensions Rise
    March 7th, 2001
    BBC – The Israeli Legislature has voted overwhelmingly to abandon a direct democracy and reinstate their old legislative system, wherein the Israeli Parliament, or Knesset, chooses their leader. The decision comes just days after Israeli forces killed six Palestinian nationals who were protesting the outcome of the February election, and a subsequent suicide bombing in Tel Aviv which killed three Israelis. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who supported the outcome of the vote, has dispatched Israeli forces to the most contentious areas. However, tensions remain high, and the resumption of peace talks appears increasingly unlikely under Sharon's government.

    United States To Continue Agreed Framework
    March 11th, 2001
    BBC – In a press conference with South Korean leader Kim Dae Jung, President Gore announced that his administration will continue operating under the Agreed Framework, the Clinton-era diplomatic treaty intended to develop normalized relations with North Korea. While the treaty retains significant opposition from Republican members of Congress, Gore stated that the United States “will continue to fight the spread of nuclear weapons and integrate North Korea into a democratic world.” The treaty calls for North Korea to shutter its production of plutonium, in exchange for significant fuel oil imports from the United States.

    Details On Stimulus Package Revealed
    March 12th, 2001
    CNN – Today, the White House released further details on its stimulus package, officially the “American Investment and Job Creation Act of 2001” (EIJCA). The newly announced details include a number of tax cuts for small businesses, an increase in housing vouchers, extended unemployment benefits, and several subsidies for clean-energy electric grids. Unofficial negotiations with Congress have also begun; several right-wing Republicans have already expressed their resolute opposition, but the administration has primarily concerned itself with moderate Senators and congresspersons.

    Gore Vetoes Congressional Vote
    March 14th, 2001
    Fox News – The Senate voted, 56 – 44, to repeal Clinton-era regulations designed to reduce job hours for high-stress workers, ostensibly to prevent “repetitive job fatigue.” However, President Gore has since vetoed the repeal, with White House Press Secretary claiming that it would inflict “severe damage to America’s workplace culture.” The decision marks the first veto of Gore’s presidency, and is unlikely to foster goodwill with Congress as he prepares to advance his stimulus package.

    Russian Spy Arrested
    March 21st, 2001
    Fox News – FBI agent Robert Hanssen, known until today as an unremarkable government employee, has been arrested on a stunning set of charges; he stands accused of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia since 1979, during which he passed along a “catastrophic” amount of classified information. The arrest marks the latest escalation in diplomatic tensions with Russia, following their decision earlier this month to resume arm sales to Iran. In a statement, the White House expressed “severe disappointment” with Russia’s actions, but have so far refused to take punitive action.

    Gore Meets With Israeli Prime Minister
    March 22nd, 2001
    CNN – President Gore met today with Israeli leader Ariel Sharon, only weeks after a series of fatal incidents with Palestinian forces that have left the country on edge. The open press conference was light on details, but the White House did provide an overview of the topics that were discussed behind closed doors; President Gore pressured the Israeli leader to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, despite his hard-line stance over the escalating intifada. The Israeli government made no immediate announcements following the meeting, but the State Department has expressed optimism for “renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks", and Secretary of State George Mitchell has scheduled several more visits to the region.

    Kyoto Goes Before Senate Next Month
    March 26th, 2001
    CNN – The White House has announced that they will officially submit the Kyoto Protocol for ratification before the Senate on April 9th. The decision comes after several weeks of negotiations with reluctant Senators, who have expressed concerns over the potential economic costs of such an agreement. However, after a flurry of assurances and ulterior concessions, it seems the Gore administration is confident the protocol can be approved.

    Senate Approves Budget Measure, Shaves Numerous Programs
    April 2nd, 2001
    The Washington Post – It’s been more than a few long nights for the United States Senate. After days of nonstop negotiations over the federal budget and American Investment and Job Creation Act, the Senate finally approved a budget framework; however, absent from the framework were several of the programs featured in the White House’s initial proposal. In total, roughly $97 billion worth of social programs, government investments, and eligibility expansions were cut in the frivolous negotiations. Nevertheless, the White House has expressed approval for the framework, with the President stating that the next step is for the House and Senate to convene in order to resolve their disagreements and settle on a final budget.

    Kyoto Vote Delayed
    April 7th, 2001
    CNN – The White House has announced that they will be delaying their submission of the Kyoto Protocol to the Senate until later next month. In their statement, they assert the decision was necessary in order to “provide the proper care and assurance needed to instill confidence in the protocol.” However, the delay has raised further concern over the feasibility of the protocol’s ratification; in 1997, a non-binding resolution opposing any economically harmful treaties was passed by a 95 – 0 vote. Various analysts predict that further delays may be possible, especially as the White House appears to be prioritizing the American Investment and Job Creation Act.

    Israel To Resume Peace Talks
    April 16th, 2001
    BBC – Despite an escalating intifada that has already seen dozens killed, and the election of a hardline Israeli nationalist, peace talks are set to resume between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in June, this time at Sharm El Sheikh. The decision, previously considered unlikely given Ariel Sharon’s stance on Israeli-Palestinian relations, has been met with the approval of the American and Egyptian governments. President Al Gore met several weeks ago with Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak to discuss the regional situation, and American Secretary of State George Mitchell has made nearly a dozen visits to Tel Aviv in the past month, pressuring the Sharon government to resume negotiations. Palestinian diplomats have welcome renewed discussions, but have informally voiced doubts over their feasibility given Sharon’s “extremist” attitudes towards Palestinian independence.

    American Scholar Convicted In Russia
    April 18th, 2001
    The Washington Post – Less than a month after the shocking arrest of Robert Hanssen, an American government agent turned spy for the Soviet Union and Russia, tensions have once again increased between the two nations after an American national was convicted for a minor drug offence. The conviction, widely considered a “tit-for-tat” response to the arrest of Hanssen, has so far received only a minor diplomatic reprimand in a statement from the State Department. However, outside of the White House, others have given more aggressive responses; in a speech on the House floor, Republican Congressman Kevin Brady decried President Gore’s silence as “shameful”.

    Spending Agreement Reached, Budget Vote Set
    April 24th, 2001
    CNN – White House representatives and congressional negotiators finally reached an agreement on the spending increase in the upcoming federal budget. The raise, set for nearly 8%, will be supplied primarily with funds from the budget surplus. In the wake of the agreement, a final vote for the budget and American Investment and Job Creation Act has been set for April 30th. While the White House has expressed confidence, considerable Republican opposition lingers in Congress. The stimulus package marks the first major piece of legislation of President Gore’s administration, making its success or failure vital for the future of his platform.


    My sincere apologies if legislative drama isn't your cup of tea. The foreign policy stuff is on its way; obviously Israeli-Palestinian talks are going to be fairly difficult with, you know, Ariel Sharon.

    In the meantime, compliments, criticisms, insults, and predictions are always welcome!