Recount was a good movie

I remember the month of November 2000. I was the Legislative Aide for newly-elected State Representative John Carassas (now a Pinellas Coutny judge). As a new member of the legislature, Carassas did not even have an office. As such, I worked from home getting him set up.

Which meant a lot of time to watch the Recount the first time.

I was also, technically, in graduate school at USF – trying for my masters.

Needless to say the drama unfolding by the hour had me mesmerized. Day after day, until mid-December, the pundits and spin masters and analysts were there giving the play by play.

I was in Tallahassee for Organizational Session, and ate lunch at the bar at Andrew’s next to a CNN reporter. He hoped to be home for Christmas.

It was crazy.

Fast forward to last night’s HBO broadcast of Recount.

I thought it was good movie. Sure there are places where they took dramatic license – Laura Dern’s portrayal of Katherine Harris, for example. But it was a movie, not a documentary.

It was funny to see Craig Waters offered a bullet proof vest when he presented the Florida Supreme Court ruling on the Gore campaign’s contest of the election (Gore v Harris). It was interesting to see how so many local Supervisors of Elections failed to actually recount the votes — although these were primarily smaller counties.

The movie did a great job of showing how chad could dimple, and how people could have problems with the punch card ballots. Although it was wrong about one thing: Michael Whouley (Dennis Leary) mentioned that poor areas used punch cards but more affluent areas used optical scan machines. This was clearly not true — the systems used are county-wide.

In all, I enjoyed the movie. It’s on my DVR now, so I will probably watch it again this week.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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One Response to Recount was a good movie

  1. Vince says:

    Sorry Jim, I must beg to differ with you on this one. What you consider “dramatic license”, I consider to be a near total distortion of what actually happened here in Florida during the election recount of 2000.

    It is beyond laughable how the creators of the movie clearly portrayed the Democratic side and their lawyers as the good guys- the sympathetic figures- against the deceptive and power-hungry Republicans who will stop at nothing to thwart a democratic result. What was also more than a huge oversight was how the movie never took into the consideration the role of the Florida Supreme Court, and how that court tried to rewrite new election law and rules from the bench. The producers also downplayed the the fact that by every recount conducted, Gore was still a narrow loser.

    If the goal of the makers of this film was to recreate a historical docudrama of the events as they actually happened, they failed – and I think that it was their intent to do so – but from their own biased perspectives. What they ultimately produced is a work of historical fiction- and from that standpoint, the movie is a miserable failure.

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