Sunday, May 25, 2008

Liveblogging "Recount": Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Watching "Recount", as the faces of a thinner, younger Tim Russert, Brokaw, et al. cross the screens.

The clips from that evening. I remember them.

Good Bush lookalike. Terrible sound alike. Same for Gore.

This is quite beautifully done. Did Roach do this as a labor of love? This will define the event for many.

The first image of Katherine Harris, exiting the elevator, looking suitably insane. A gruesome makeup job on the lovely Laura Dern.

Most authentic thus far: Bill Daley. Least authentic thus far--Denis Leary.

John King looks *exactly* the same.

Great moment: Buchanan clip stating that even he believed the Palm Beach votes were miscast for him.

Spacey has a terrific ability to make you believe that he is the character, despite his powerful simultaneous presence as Kevin Spacey.

Tom Sizemore as James Baker--not a lookalike, but terrific acting--captures the character.

John Hurt seems more like a member of Her Majesty's Secret Service in a James Bond picture than he does Warren Christopher.

The first hardball vs. softball moment: Christopher: "No Lawsuits". Baker: "File...We can sit here drinking tea and talking Federalism or we can start throwing punches."

"The plural of chad is chad". They couldn't resist this.

Leary--great exposition of the process. It may be why he was cast--he has the ability to do the exposition in an entertaining way.

Meeting of Christopher and Baker across the table. Hurt plays Christopher as noble, slow, sacrificial. Clearly portrayed thus far as the chief mover in being willing to sacrifice the election.

Ed Rendell also looks exactly the same.

Katherine Harris makeup scene with aide talking through the door. Portrayed as histrionic, narcissistic, terrified, largely uninformed, unaware of the consequences of her actions. No comment.

Baker calls Mac the Knife. Minor key music.

Mac the Knife manipulating Harris. "A woman of action". Classic scene. "Bring it in for a landing with George W. Bush in the cockpit."

Amazing scene: "All you have to do is ask us for an advisory opinion." the battle of the advisory opinions.

Roach keeps this story shuttling along. Extremely well crafted.

The canvassing board scene. I remember this. I felt it was tragic at the time.

SNL clip.

War room scene. Hand recount and counting dimpled chads signed into law in Texas by Bush. Joining suit in Volusia County.

Call from Klain to Baker--great scene.

David Boies. Is that him? Looks just like him.

No--I think it's Ed Begley. Remarkable that Ed Begley could resemble Boies.

Baker smiling while watching Boies--enjoying the fight. A nice touch.

Dern just chews the carpet in this role. Laughing out loud. The flashing, doubting eyes. Worry, anxiety.

Florida Supreme Court grants a stay.

Boies arguing before the FSC.

Begley is terrific as Boies. Who knew he could pull that off?

Beautiful, cinema verite moment in front of the Florida Supreme Court announcing the ruling against Harris, allowing the recount to continue.

The stall--intentionally slowing down the recount.

Threats against Carol Roberts and Theresa LaPore

Bush team Supreme Court analysis on standing--"Maybe Scalia and Thomas will discover their inner liberal"--i.e., voting against state's rights.

Lieberman:--"take another look at the military ballots".

Voter purge list--the Secretary of State's office instructed a database technology firm to capture names other than those that should have been purged. 20,000 people were illegally excluded from voting; almost half were African-American.

Public relations firm ginning the Bush protesters--tossing T-shirts into the crowd.

Lobby protest. Incredible. Leading to the abandoning of the Miami-Dade recount.

"I'm in the middle of a recount where the votes aren't being recounted and nobody seems to care. What I'd like to know is who actually won."

"After counting over 460,000 ballots, with 1000 left to count, the Secretary of State has decided to shut us down with two hours to go. Apparently that is how she has decided to exercise her discretion."

The slinky, "Streetcar Named Desire" Katherine Harris piano theme song is priceless.

Leon County. "They won we lost, we're going to appeal".

Gore sound alike better here, in the call with Klain.

Second announcement from FSC in Gore v. Harris: Court orders inclusion of Palm Beach and Miami Dade votes, and statewide recount.

Baker requests an immediate stay in the U.S. Supreme Court of the recount.

If the election is not resolve by the 12th, the Bush team asserts that the Florida Legislature can award the votes regardless of the result of the recount.

The U.S. Supreme Court issues the stay, and accepts the writ of cert.

Klain gets Blackberry from Gore: "Make sure no one trashes the Supreme Court."

The Scalia portrayer appears more stable than the actual.

Town car on Constitution Ave.

Supreme Court

Ted Olson good look alike.

Souter looking less Vermont than in reality, good Ginsberg look alike (although silent).

Outcome: Remember? It took time to even make sense of the decision. 7 to 2 equal protection violation, 5 to 4 remedy.

"The Supreme Court shuts down the recount. Then they say we can't resume the recount because there isn't time to resume the recount before the deadline."

"The Court rules that the decision is, quote 'limited to the present circumstances'".

Klain to Gore: "You cannot concede. Not yet, sir. I beg of you, just give me one more shot."

Next morning:

Gore: "A wise man once said to me "I have to end this war if I can't win." Ron, I can't win. Even if I win, I can't win."

Klain to group: "It's time for us to stop".

God, Sizemore was completely believeable as Baker. Not easy.

Baker: This was a testament to "our faith in the rule of law."

Lesson: As you run, so shall you govern.