Preface: 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.