|ENDGAME: AL GORE|
November 6, 2000
Ray Suarez looks at Al Gore's campaign a day before voters go to the polls. After this report, Shields and Gigot discuss the Gore campaign.
PRESIDENT AL GORE: Are you ready?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Are you ready to fight?
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Are you ready to win?
RAY SUAREZ: In the final hours of his long presidential campaign, Vice President Al Gore seemed ready and willing to make the most of his organization's work.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: I want each of you to get me one more vote in your precinct. Can do you do it?
RAY SUAREZ: The crowds brought out were large and enthusiastic. Celebrities lent their star power to the rallies like actor Jimmy Smits in an airport hangar in Milwaukee, and musician James Taylor at a union hall in Pittsburgh. The fireworks went off, like the candidate's jokes, without a hitch.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: He wants to take a trillion dollars - a thousand billion dollars - out of the Social Security trust fund, and he's promised it to two different groups of people. He's promised it for a savings incentive to young people, but then he's turned around and promised the same money to seniors to keep their benefits from being cut. Now, I know that one plus one equals two. But one trillion promised to two different groups of people doesn't add up unless you're using what kind of math?
CROWD YELLING: Fuzzy math!
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: You're right; fuzzy math.
RAY SUAREZ: Only one question remains: Can Al Gore win? A top campaign strategist said, sure we can.
|In a strong position to win|
TAD DEVINE: We feel in a strong position to win. We believe we are going to win, based on all the information we have. But this is a close election, and, you know, what happens within individual states or events between now and then could affect the outcome. And we've just got to try to focus on doing everything on our side to make sure that people who know that Al Gore should be the next president, who understand and respond to his message, in fact, go out and vote.
RAY SUAREZ: In the Democrats' campaign geography America is no longer 50 states but something more like a dozen, and Al Gore has visited them again and again to the very last minute. The Gore campaign says in a race this close, this close to election day you won't see the Democratic candidate spending any time or money in states they really think they can't win. So the travel schedule acts as kind of a strategic blueprint. The candidates and their wives will spend the final hours before the polls open in Missouri, Minnesota, Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa. Shoring up critical Pennsylvania meant targeted "get out the vote" appeals to blacks, seniors and union members in Pittsburgh. Betty Jean Williams says the Clinton/Gore years have been good ones for the Hill district, her Pittsburgh neighborhood.
BETTY JEAN WILLIAMS: We have people who are employed who were not employed before. We have people who have moved into middle class, and some of them have left this Hill and have gone on to suburbia.
RAY SUAREZ: Troy Potter counts himself among the dwindling number of undecideds heading into Tuesday.
TROY POTTER: I haven't made up my mind if I'm going to go with my party or going away from my party. I'm just holding out until, I guess, the last day.
RAY SUAREZ: At an historic old church in black Pittsburgh, the vice president told his boisterous audience, you won't see it in so many words, but affirmative action, equal pay for equal work, and Supreme Court picks are all on tomorrow's ballot. Then this southern Baptist turned a knowledge of scripture into political metaphors.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: We're told about the valley of the dry bones, a scene of utter desolation and death and destruction and hopelessness. And the Lord breathed into it and bone came to bone and sinew came to sinew, and they rose up like a mighty army, and they went to the polls and they voted.
RAY SUAREZ: The vice president told his audience he'd next be heading to a union rally in a predominantly white part of the city. Saying Americans needed to close the gaps that divide them, Gore invited his audience to the Electrical Workers Union Hall, and many took him up on the invitation. The next crowd heard the gospel of turnout preached by the leaders of some of the largest industrial unions in the United States.
MAN: Every generation has its own defining moments. Your defining moment can well be on November 7 when we have an opportunity to elect the next president of the United States, when we have an opportunity to change the course of history, not only in Pennsylvania, but in the nation.
RAY SUAREZ: The Gore stump speeches this final weekend sought to sow doubt about Governor Bush's proposals on the economy, on education, on prescription drugs and Supreme Court appointments. And the vice president repeatedly capitalized on a recent Bush gaffe regarding Social Security.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: He said, what do they think Social Security is, some kind of federal program? Yeah, and it's a damn good one, too.
RAY SUAREZ: All weekend the vice president portrayed George W. Bush as a man ready to listen to the powerful and wealthy, to the detriment of average Americans.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Now, Governor Bush says that he'll get along with everybody in Washington, and that's... there's something to be said for that. We need less partisanship. It got pretty partisan when Newt Gingrich and that gang came in in 1994. But the question remains, who does he want to get along with -- the HMOs, the big oil companies? The pharmaceutical companies? The lobbyists and special interests? Those who benefit from the tax cut for the top 1 percent? Look, sometimes a president has to be willing to say no to the special interests to say yes to your future.
RAY SUAREZ: 350 people at headquarters in an industrial park outside Nashville are moving people, money, and information around. Here in the steady din of office noise, they're creating the campaign the public sees. Gore's staff has saved its ad money for a last-minute blitz where the race seems close.
MAN: Yesterday I got five states -- Florida plus three, Michigan plus two, Pennsylvania plus four, California plus eight, and Maine plus...
RAY SUAREZ: If that gamble pays off, Troy Madres and thousands like him will push up normally low turnout for people in their 20s.
TROY MADRES: I just don't think that Republicans necessarily have a handle on what the issues are for people living in cities or minorities or for that matter, you know, someone who's young who really cares about government changing things.
|Getting out the vote|
RAY SUAREZ: Steady, older reliable Democrats, like James and Marguerite Pinckney, won't only vote themselves but get others out as well themselves.
JAMES PINCKNEY: I'll be there at 7:00 Tuesday morning until the poll closed to make sure that they get out. They don't have a ride, I have a ride for them. I'm going to be there. This is very crucial.
MARGUERITE PINCKNEY: I'm usually a early evening voter, but when they're very special elections like this, I make it first, before I go to work. First thing.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Thank you, Philadelphia!
RAY SUAREZ: For the Gore camp, a lot of things have to go right tomorrow even as internal polls continue to show fluid movement up and down for their man in key states.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: Forty years ago, John Kennedy beat Richard Nixon by a margin of only one vote per precinct. They're now saying this election is as close or closer than that one was. This is one of those elections that you're going to tell your grandkids about. You'll look back and you'll tell them, back at the beginning of the 21st century, we had an election that was so close, so hard fought, that I personally made the difference by getting the votes to the polls, and we won!
RAY SUAREZ: The campaign hopes to have 50,000 volunteers hitting the streets tomorrow morning for the express purpose of pulling out the Democratic base. Gore's hopes may ride on how well they do their jobs.