SBJ/April 14-20, 2014/Franchises

Player in the recount drama: How Morehouse stopped Gore’s concession speech

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On Election Day in 2000, David Morehouse was part of a historic moment that would be immortalized in the HBO movie “Recount.”

SBJ Podcast:
NHL writer Christopher Botta and executive editor Abraham Madkour discuss David Morehouse's unique political background and his work with the Penguins.

As the motorcade of candidate Al Gore headed for the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville so the vice president could make his public concession speech, Morehouse got a call from Michael Feldman, then Gore’s traveling chief of staff.

“I called David to say, ‘You have to stop the vice president from conceding,’” Feldman recalled. “I was about eight cars back in the motorcade when I heard … the voting in Florida was within 1,000 votes. That means an automatic recount is mandated. David was in the car right behind the vice president.”

Said Morehouse, “Usually the vice president would wait for me to meet him outside his car and take him to where he had to go. But I guess he was on a mission, so he was making his way to the stage. I fought through crowds and Secret Service agents and caught up to him and said, ‘We have to get you to Hold.’ That’s shorthand for the holding room where he usually waits before it’s time to speak. He said, ‘I already told Gov. Bush that I was conceding.’ I just stood in front of him, and he gave me that ‘This-better-be-good’ look.”

Morehouse sighed. “It would have been truly historic if we won the recount,” he said.

But Feldman said it was another step in the development of a rising star in politics.

“It showed how exceptionally even-keeled he is,” Feldman said. “That was a huge moment, but David wasn’t flustered. His instincts were perfect.”

— Christopher Botta


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