Harry Browne's Campaign Journal November 2000
Wednesday, November 1, 2000 Portland, Oregon
The day begins at 7:35am with a 10-minute interview with Paul Hansen on KVAN in nearby Vancouver, Washington. The interview goes well. I'm able to plug tonight's event, and we cover the main issues. He asks why Ralph Nader has received so much attention. I say because he's the darling of the political pundits Mr. Big Government himself. And yet, despite so much press attention, he's not very far ahead of me in the polls.
The second interview catches me by surprise a bit. Elisa Sonneland at KTSA in San Antonio begins the interview by telling her listeners how disgusted she is with the two main presidential candidates who won't say anything that isn't carefully scripted, who have no ideas of their own, who pander to every conceivable group with promises they can't possibly keep. She goes on to say that hope returns to her when she hears Harry Browne speaking from the heart, speaking in plain language, speaking on behalf of people who want to be free of government. I'm quite taken aback by this tribute. In the short 20-minute interview, we take several questions from callers, and I get the opportunity to bear down on the reasons for voting Libertarian.
Next is a 5-minute interview with Jim Fagin at KFAB in Omaha. He says he has referred flippantly to the Libertarians as the "Only the strong will survive" party. I point out that this is what we have now as only the strong can influence government and use government to get what they want. What we need is a government so small that it can't be used for the strong to impose their way on the weak.
I then have a 20-minute conversation with Jeff Mays of the Oregonian, Portland's major daily newspaper. He doesn't seem too excited about the idea that most people would like to have smaller government. He does recognize the logic in my preferring to talk directly to voters through talk radio and TV, rather than having my thoughts rewritten by print reporters and journalists.
After that I have a 40-minute interview with Lars Larson at KXL in Portland. I had been warned that he's a conservative who strongly supports George Bush. However, he is very friendly and gives me every opportunity to state my views. We take a number of calls, and I use as many as I can to push the importance of voting Libertarian. Larson doesn't seem eager to contradict me.
Next is a brief conversation with Matt Millhouse, the News Director at WYBR, a music station for young people in Big Rapids, Michigan. He is taping the presidential candidates giving 30-second answers to 10 questions, to be played the night before the election. The questions are all useful to me, and I'm able to give succinct, punchy answers directed at young people.
I have a phone interview with Amy Green of the Associated Press in Nashville. She asks a number of questions that, frankly, I find tiresome how I decided to run for president, what it's like to be a third-party candidate, and so on. In any interview, I can convert such a question into a topic of my choosing. But while my answer goes directly to the audience in a radio or TV interview, it's unlikely that a print reporter will publish my answer if it isn't what the reporter wanted to hear. So I feel a great sense of futility answering a series of questions that don't have anything to do with why someone should vote Libertarian.
Next is a phone interview with Jack Mullen at WKLP in Keyser, West Virginia. This interview was scheduled for yesterday. But in yesterday's chaos, it got lost. But Jack is a Libertarian and a patient one at that. So today we tape a series of soundbites to go into newscasts over the weekend. This is a music station for young people, and so I'm grateful for the opportunity. The interview goes well, as I'm able to provide a series of short answers to questions.
Steve and I drive to Vancouver, Washington, just over the state border from Portland. There we go to the Washington State Police station, where we meet Ryan L'Epicier of AT&T Cable Services. In front of the police station we videotape an interview to be broadcast three times this evening on a news cable channel. (The police station doesn't show up in the picture; it's just a convenient outdoor location at which to meet the camera crew.) The questions are relevant and so the interview goes well. It is now raining lightly, and it is cold and damp. I'm glad to run back to the car as soon as the interview ends.
From there we drive back into Portland for a 5-minute TV interview with Mary Tillotson (formerly a political reporter for CNN) at Northwest Cable News. She asks good questions and I give good answers. The interview ends a little sooner than I expected, so I interrupt her closing to give my website address.
Back at the hotel I have a one-hour interview with Joseph Machelli at KVOR in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is quite friendly and provides best wishes for us to get a million votes this year. We take many, many calls and all but one of them is supportive. A good part of the show deals with the question of whether to vote Libertarian. One caller says my answer has convinced him to vote Libertarian.
Then I have a 10-minute interview with our good libertarian friend Larry Elder the popular talk-show host at KABC, Los Angeles. He begins by railing against Bill Maher, the host of Politically Incorrect, who calls himself a libertarian but has announced that he's voting for Ralph Nader. I point out that Jesse Ventura, who many people think is a libertarian, said on CNN's Inside Politics yesterday that he's leaning toward John Hagelin of the Natural Law Party whom Ventura called "a smart man with a lot of good ideas."
Larry and I talk about the need to vote for what you really want and not be stampeded into voting against someone. There will always be someone to vote against. So if you let the Republicans talk you into voting against Al Gore or let the Democrats talk you into voting against the Religious Right, you'll face the same kind of choices in 2004, 2008, and for the rest of your life and you'll never vote for (or get) what you really want.
The evening's event attracts an audience of around 150, of whom about 30% are apparently at their first Libertarian event. Channel 12 has a camera crew there, and we have a brief interview before the event. More important, C-SPAN has a camera crew taping the entire event. I presume the show will run over the weekend. I feel very fluent and passionate, and I'm pleased that, of all my stump speeches, this is the one C-SPAN is taping. I don't understand at first why the speech runs longer than usual, but then I realize it's because it's interrupted so often by applause.
Thursday, November 2, 2000 Portland, Oregon & San Rafael, California
The day begins very early in Portland. Steve and I drive to a local TV station, arriving at 7am for a "remote" interview on CNN-FN, the financial network of CNN. The interview with Wanda Scheflet is only 5 minutes, but I'm able to get in all the points I want to make.
Back at the hotel I receive a call from a computer technician in Nashville. The replacement parts for my laptop were sent to Nashville by mistake, instead of to California. More phone calls with the computer company Dell are necessary. Now there's no way to get the parts to California today or before I leave California tomorrow morning. It is finally arranged that I will ship the computer home by overnight service, and the replacement parts will be installed at my office tomorrow. I will get the computer when I return home tomorrow night. That will make seven full days without the computer.
Next I have a 5-minute taped interview with Dan Raviv on CBS Radio. I think this is the third interview I've had this year with CBS Radio. It goes well, and I get plenty of opportunities to stress the importance of voting Libertarian.
Then I deliver a 3-minute statement by phone to WYSO at Antioch University in Ohio. The rules are strict: deliver the statement in one take, no correction of mistakes, no starting over. I have several such statements in my computer but, alas, my computer isn't working. So I wing it, and it goes surprisingly well. I use parts of my stump speech pointing out that the most important question in politics today is "Do you want smaller government?," and going on from there to show that it's impossible to get smaller government by supporting people who are making government bigger.
Next it's back to the same TV station as earlier, for another remote interview on the same CNN-FN network. This time it's for the Business Unusual program. The good news is that we are taping two 6-minute segments for airing on Friday evening; the bad news is that I will be joined by Howard Phillips and John Hagelin. Once again, I feel it's demeaning to be lumped in with two candidates who have achieved far less than we have in this campaign.
Phillips is in Minneapolis, I'm in Portland, and Hagelin is to be in the New York studio with the host (a woman whose name I don't catch). But Hagelin hasn't arrived, and the producer decides to start without him. The interview begins and the host asks Phillips what his party stands for. Howard goes on and on in his booming voice, talking about the Declaration of Independence and other scholarly concerns. He uses up about 4 minutes of the first 6-minute segment. The host finally interrupts him and then asks me the same question. I speak much more rapidly than Howard, and of course I talk directly to the viewer about the ways Libertarians want to improve his life. With my 2-minute presentation the first segment comes to a close and there's a commercial break.
Then the second segment begins with another question for Howard. He says he'll answer the question in a moment, but first he wants to point out something else. He goes on and on. The host tries without success to interrupt him. Finally, the host shouts over his voice and tells him to stop. She says that John Hagelin has arrived and so we'll start the second segment again. Howard asks whether he'll get another chance to speak, and is told he will. He says, "Good, because I didn't get much of a chance to speak in the first segment."
The second segment begins again. For the umpteenth time I hear John Hagelin talking about "taking back our stolen democracy" and "proven solutions to critically important national problems" and "building the most exciting third-party coalition in the nation's history." Then it's Howard again. I finally get a few seconds at the end of the segment.
As I leave the studio, I'm grateful that CNN-FN isn't shown on very many cable systems around the nation.
Michael, Steve, and I head for the airport. Once there I have a 15-minute interview with Bill Wozniak and Ray Hall at WJTM in Jamestown, New York. They are very much in tune with Libertarian ideas and especially the thought of limiting the federal government to just what's authorized in the Constitution.
We have an uneventful flight to San Francisco. But it takes forever (it seems) for Steve to get the rental car, and the drive through San Francisco to get to San Rafael takes another forever (it seems). In fact, it is about two hours from the time we get off the plane until we get to the hotel.
Upon arrival at the hotel, I have a phone interview with Spires and Krantz at WBT in Charlotte. They are very supportive, and Spires makes it plain that he's voting for me.
I take my laptop to a nearby postal service store for shipment by UPS to Nashville. In order to guarantee delivery by 8:30am tomorrow, I have to pay $146. Better that than take a chance that it will arrive too late for the computer technician to schedule the work for tomorrow.
In the evening we have a campaign rally at the hotel. The room is set up for about 150 people, but over 250 show up. The start of the program is delayed to set up additional chairs. Even then, there is Standing Room Only. The crowd is very enthusiastic. The fund-raising goes very well. As this is our last campaign rally, I'm particularly pleased that it was such a success.
Today the Jewish World Review published talk-show host Larry Elder's article "Why I'm Wasting My Vote," in which he tells why he's voting for me. The article is also reprinted on the WorldNetDaily and Town Hall websites.
Friday, November 3, 2000 Going Home
At 8:30am I get a call from Debbie Greeson in my office, telling me that my laptop computer hasn't arrive as scheduled (it's now 10:30 in Nashville). A series of phone calls eventually elicits the information that the UPS plane had a malfunction. The computer will arrive later in the day, and the helpful computer technician rearranges his schedule to make sure the computer is fixed by the end of the day.
Michael has left for home on a very early flight, and now Steve and I head for the airport. We will fly together to St. Louis, from where he'll fly to Washington and I'll fly home to Nashville. When we arrive at the curbside check-in, we find that the FAA has ordered that there be no curbside luggage check-in for this flight; everyone must check his baggage at the ticket counter as a special security precaution. Needless to say, there's an enormous line at the counter. Fortunately, we were able to upgrade to first class relatively cheaply, and so our check-in is expedited.
Near the flight gate, I have a 15-minute taped interview with Rochelle Brenner at WRTI-FM, an NPR station in Philadelphia. The airport is so noisy that I have difficulty hearing her questions, but we finally make it through the interview. She asks whether I'm trying to influence the debate among the two major parties, and I say that I'm trying to help build a party that will be big enough, strong enough, and well-enough financed to elect a Libertarian president and a Libertarian Congress before the end of the decade.
We take off for St. Louis, and the flight is comfortable and otherwise uneventful as is the flight from St. Louis to Nashville. Pamela meets me at the airport at 8pm and I'm happy to head home for two days. Unfortunately, I'm so far behind on paperwork, I have to spend the rest of the evening working in my office.
There's a note awaiting me from the computer repairman who worked on my laptop. He says the computer is unrepairable and he's arranged with Dell to replace the computer entirely. So the final 10 days of the campaign I will have been without access to my laptop computer.
Today we had 27,043 different visitors to the website.
Saturday, November 4, 2000 Nashville
I'm at home today and tomorrow, I have three phone interviews today. The first is with Mike Ferguson at KCWJ in Kansas City, Missouri. He's a Libertarian and poses questions that give me an opportunity to say everything I want to get across.
Then it's a conversation with Ed Schofield and Lou Wilson on KMAX in Spokane. They are at opposite ends of the right-left spectrum, but they are both very friendly and they seem very satisfied with my answers to their questions.
In the early afternoon, an Associated Press photographer comes to my house to take a picture. There's a light drizzle, but we walk around the outside, taking pictures in various poses. Although I'm smiling in 90% of the shots, I can imagine that what is published will somehow show me scowling.
In the evening I have an interview with long-time Libertarian Lowell Ponte on the Talk Radio Network. As always, he augments my answers to questions with interesting perspectives on why people should vote Libertarian.
My article "Spoiler for Gore?" appeared today on WorldNetDaily. It attempts to demolish the fear that a Libertarian vote could help Al Gore get elected.
Today Time magazine's website ran an article by Frank Pellegrini entitled "Throwing Your Vote Away? The Case For the Libertarians." It begins, "The third party that really is for smaller government is based on principle, not personality, and it's no fly-by-night operation either." It is very complimentary.
The Mother Jones website has an online poll today. As Mother Jones is a left-wing publication, it isn't surprising that Al Gore and Ralph Nader are the leaders. But we did quite well:
Gore Democrat, 32.6 %
Today an article by Maria Recio is published by Knight Ridder in newspapers around the country. (One is in the San Jose Mercury News. It is entitled "Libertarian Presidential Candidate Quietly Overtakes Better-Known Rivals," and is surprisingly complimentary. My heavens! Someone has actually recognized what we've achieved.
Today's Rasmussen Poll shows:
The Zogby Reuters/MSNBC poll shows:
Jack Dean reports that our website had 842,068 different visitors during October. Overall, there were 3,953,920 hits.
Sunday, November 5, 2000 Nashville
Two shows today. The first is a 15-minute interview with John Melichar, who has a comedy show. Once we get into the issues, he holds back the jokes and becomes serious. He winds up by saying he's going to vote Libertarian this year.
The second show is 30 minutes with Roger Bentley Arnold on the Business Talk Radio Network, syndicated to 50 stations. He says on the air that he's a Libertarian and voting for me. We cover all the principal issues and especially why you should vote Libertarian.
Today's Los Angeles Times has a special section called "Voter Guide 2000." It has the five major candidates, including me, with equal coverage pictures, positions on the major issues, and such. John Hagelin and Howard Phillips are mentioned at the bottom of the page as "Other
Today's Chicago Tribune syndicate has a column by Stephen Chapman on the Drug War. It begins, "Here's our quiz for today: Was it Al Gore or George W. Bush who said, On my first day in office, I will pardon everyone who has been convicted of a non-violent federal drug offense. I will empty the federal prisons of the marijuana smokers and make room for the truly violent criminals who are terrorizing our citizens'? No, it wasn't Gore or Bush. It was another presidential candidate Harry Browne of the Libertarian Party. Browne, who favors free markets, limited government, and deep tax cuts, . . ." The article goes on to lament the absence of the Drug War as an issue in the current election campaign.
In the evening Pamela drives me to the airport and I catch a plane for New York, where I will spend tomorrow campaigning.
As this long campaign comes to a close, I realize how often I'm surprised at how much our campaign staff accomplishes. Everyone has done a first-class job working long hours under very difficult conditions, while achieving amazing results.
Each person is earning an income that's way below market levels. And several staffers are behind on receiving their pay willing to delay payment in order to get as much income as possible poured into advertising.
Although it might seem that the Democrats and Republicans get much more advertising for their dollars than we do, the reverse is actually true. Salaries comprise a much higher percentage of the money raised for them than they do in our campaign, and we spend a much higher percentage on advertising. The others do so much advertising only because they have received so much of the taxpayers' money. They are truly welfare queens.
Meanwhile, we have ideological kings and queens.
Jim Babka is our Press Secretary, and he has achieved wonders in that capacity. But he also performs many management responsibilities for the campaign, he's an important strategic planner, and he is our liaison with other organizations, pollsters, and anyone with whom we needed to have a relationship.
Robert Brunner is a tireless booker of radio and TV shows. A number of show producers have told me what a pleasure it has been to work with Robert, and we're fortunate to have him on the staff.
Robert Flohr is our Utility Infielder doing data entry, booking media, and arranging for free advertising on stations around the country and doing it all quickly and efficiently.
Stephanie Yanik is the Jill of All Trades handling bookkeeping, bill-paying, tours, graphics work, and much else. In the process she takes work that is in some cases entirely new to her and handles it expertly.
Laura Carno is relentless, doing almost all the scheduling and making arrangements for all our campaign events. Because she moved her residence last year, she has delayed taking another "regular" job until the campaign is over. She is a business executive who is willing to perform any task to help the campaign succeed.
Debbie Greeson has performed a number of jobs for the campaign scheduler, booker, computer projects, and much else. We have profited greatly from her efficiency.
Kristin Overn has done a phenomenal job producing the 30-minute
Infomercial and the
Geoff Braun is our Webmaster. He has created a site that's received numerous compliments and made it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to gain quick access to Libertarian ideas that have changed their thinking. He also has acted as associate producer for our Infomercial and ads.
Jack Dean edits LibertyWire, as well as doing extensive research and consulting on Internet activities. The prompt, up-to-date information you receive on the campaign is primarily due to Jack's abilities.
Michael Cloud is the world's greatest fund-raiser, not just the top Libertarian fund-raiser. As emcee of our campaign events, he is entertaining, informative, and able to show thousands of people the importance of funding this campaign. He also helps with strategic planning. And he does all this at the same time as he manages the Carla Howell Senate campaign in Massachusetts.
Steve Willis is a life-saver. As our Road Manager, he makes life incomparably easier for me. He handles all the nagging details that come up on tour, stage-manages the campaign rallies, drives the rental cars, and is excellent company.
Jennifer Willis not only runs the volunteer network, she handles the bulk of the enormous non-financial data processing that's necessary in such a campaign. Like most of the others, she learned a new job quickly and has made the most of it.
Stuart Reges oversees all the financial data processing apparatus and takes care of Federal Election Commission compliance. He has been doing this for LP campaigns for a long time and is a treasured asset of the party.
Rob DeVoil processes all the incoming money efficiently, and keeps the money flowing rapidly to the campaign.
Sharon Ayres has performed a number of task for the campaign, doing them as a volunteer cheerfully and with her usual precise efficiency.
Jack Williams answers every message received at the website sometimes as many as a hundred in a single day. He not only gets the job done, he does it in a way that has brought us many new friends and undoubtedly many, many more votes. He has done this full-time job as an unpaid volunteer.
Although Art Matsko is an outside contractor, he's devoting his entire business to the campaign handling all our fulfillment orders, and handling them in a much speedier way than any Libertarian campaign in history.
Last and foremost, Perry Willis manages this entire enterprise. He has coped with what I would consider insurmountable problems and achieved surprisingly successful results. His ability to keep us focused on the most important projects has been the key to our success. I can't imagine our doing even half as well with anyone else at the helm.
Of course, the campaign wouldn't have been possible for me without the cooperation and support of my wife, Pamela. She has stood by me through six years of campaigning and party-building. I think campaigning is much harder for her than for me. I am continually exhilarated by the support we receive, and she doesn't always get to see that. But she has never wavered in her desire to see this campaign succeed.
I have been able to see many of the achievements of our campaign staff. But I've been able to see first-hand only a small part of what volunteers all over America have done to make this campaign more visible and respected than any previous campaign. Whatever the vote total we receive, their energetic, innovative, effective, and anonymous work has elevated us to new levels. I am deeply grateful for the work of thousands of people.
I've always said this campaign operates with a specialization of labor: these people do all the work and I get all the credit.
I will remember their efforts as long as I live.
Monday, November 6, 2000 New York City
Last night Steve Willis and I arrived in New York and checked into the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan. We weren't able to stay at the Excelsior, which has been a comfortable haven in past trips, because its prices have risen to a prohibitive level.
The Hudson is something else again. I have never been in a weirder hotel. There is no sign at the entrance. Just a simple door at the street that allows you entrance to an escalator taking you up to the hotel lobby. The light in the lobby is quite dim. Just off the lobby is a very, very noisy discotheque. The deafening noise and the dim light make checking in a real trial.
The hotel room is about the size of an inexpensive stateroom on a cruise ship which is to say very small. There are about 18 inches from the bed to the wall on either side. There is little light in the room which is also the case in the hallways. This seems to be a hotel designed for young people who might favor "coolness" over comfort.
Today I have a full schedule of shows the final chance to persuade more people to vote Libertarian.
The first interview is at 7:10am, and it's 15 minutes with Phil Paleologos and Ellen Ratner on the Talk America Radio Network. Phil has been very supportive, while Ellen is a full-fledged liberal (who does favor ending the Drug War). It's a short interview, and I allow the end to catch me by surprise, because I've been caught in a discussion of vouchers with Phil. He says he favors them because he wants people to have a choice. I say vouchers will cause you to lose your last remaining choice, because they'll allow the federal government to hook private schools on vouchers and then impose the same mandates on them they've applied to government schools.
Then it's 15 minutes with Mike Young at WWLO in Gainesville, Florida. He has some Libertarian friends in the studio, and he makes the point that all of them are voting Libertarian. He brings up George Bush's drunk-driving charge and asks whether this shows he doesn't have the character to be President. I say that he has much worse character flaws such as lying about the budget surplus, claiming to be the candidate of smaller government while making proposals to enlarge government, and being so arrogant as to think he should be able to give your money to charities of his choice.
The next show is 15 minutes with our friend Neal Boortz at WSB, the big talk station in Atlanta. He's been pushing for Libertarian votes all year, and many people have told me they've been influenced by him. The conversation is almost entirely on why you should vote Libertarian, and why the national media have ignored the Libertarian alternative.
Steve Willis and I head for an in-person interview in mid-town Manhattan. On the way I talk with Armstrong Williams on the Talk America Radio Network. He's a Republican who has definite libertarian tendencies, but is loyal to his party. In our conversation I'm very passionate about the desire to make America a free country again pointing out that we can't possibly get there as long as we continue to support people like Al Gore or George Bush. As I talk about the politicians having no right to confiscate whatever they want from your earnings, he says, "Wow!" I don't think he'll vote for me tomorrow, but I may have convinced a few of his listeners that they'll never get what they want by voting for people who are making government bigger.
We arrive at WOR in Manhattan for a one-hour interview with the Dolans Ken and Daria a husband and wife team who give investment advice. They're syndicated to 200 stations with a huge audience. We're all familiar with each other and there's great respect all the way around. They invited Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader to be on the show, but neither would appear with me. The Dolans treat me very well and offer to help air libertarian ideas after the election. The show goes swimmingly, and I'm able to keep coming back to the importance of voting Libertarian tomorrow.
Back at the hotel, I have a 5-minute interview with Bruce Stephens and Colin MacEnroe at WTIC in Hartford, Connecticut. Only one of them talks with me (I don't know which one), and he's obviously a liberal. He thinks the government schools are doing a great job (even after I compare their decline with the ever-improving free-market computer industry), and doesn't want smaller government. So I go over his head and make an appeal to the audience. But I don't expect much to come out of this interview.
I then have a 15-minute interview with Ken Hamblin ("The Black Avenger") on the America View Radio Network. He's a conservative but is always very nice to me. He's concerned about the borders and says he'd gladly invade Mexico to stop the country from dumping its lower-class citizens on us. We go round and round on that one, but he gives me an opportunity at the end to push for Libertarian votes, and asks me to stay over following the news break. Unfortunately, I can't do so. So he asks me to stay in touch after the election. Off the air after the interview, the show's producer tells me that she and her husband have already voted and voted Libertarian as a result of my last appearance on the show.
Then it's another comedy show about 10 minutes with Ken Ober on an Internet show. Like all the other comedians I've been on with, he's very nice to me. He almost sounds as though he's going to vote Libertarian, but he never commits himself.
During a break between shows, I talk with Dell Computer Company and make arrangements to get a new computer to replace the dysfunctional laptop that's been giving me so much trouble. Without my prodding them, the company has decided to supply the current model a cut above what I had rather than make me wait 30-60 days for a custom replacement of the model I've been using (which is now out of production).
In the evening I talk with Gary Nolan, who's in Atlanta and will be broadcasting from our election day party tomorrow night. We talk for about 15 minutes largely about the wasted vote issue.
Next is an in-studio appearance on Hannity & Colmes. Sean and Alan have been very good to me this year as has the Fox TV News Network on which they air. They've allowed me to appear as a solo guest each time up until now, treating me with respect. However, tonight Howard Phillips is also on the show, appearing by remote from some other city.
Before the interview, I voice to Alan my displeasure about sharing the time with Phillips predicting that he'll hog the show, interrupting and making it difficult for anyone else to voice a viewpoint. Alan says he didn't know there was going to be anyone else.
Sure enough, Howard carries on as always. As usual, he states that as President he'll command the U.S. attorneys to shut down the abortion clinics. Unfortunately, Sean asks me what I think of that, and carries the subject over into the second of the two segments. As I try to get onto a more meaningful topic for me, Howard interrupts and carries on with his tirade about the 5th amendment guaranteeing that no person should be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law even though this applies only to governments, not to abortion clinics or other private entities. At the end of the interview, Sean asks me a question and Howard interrupts to give his website address.
Afterward, back at the hotel I talk with Pamela on the phone. She says that I looked as though I were giving up in the interview which I guess I was. It seems pointless to me to try to talk when someone else is talking, even if I'm the one who's supposed to have the floor. It doesn't look civil and no one can hear what I'm saying anyway.
The final show of the day is from 11 to 12 midnight on Alan Colmes' radio show. I do it from the hotel, rather than in Alan's studio in Manhattan, so that I can get to bed a little earlier. Alan is a real gentleman and an excellent example of what a talk-show host can be. He asks challenging questions, but he does so in the spirit of inquiry and not in a combative way. Consequently, his show is interesting without being noisy. We go over a great deal of ground and take a number of calls.
After the show I finish up some work and pack, getting to bed a little after 1am.
Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2000 Atlanta
I get up at 4:15am to catch a plane to Atlanta. The early plane is necessary so that I can appear on Fox TV News at noon today.
On the plane I experience the ever-present feeling that there's something I should be doing for the campaign writing an article, working on something for the web page, or something else. But I realize that it's too late for all that. There's nothing more that can be done. This is it election day the end of several years of effort. And now nothing I might do can change the outcome.
In a campaign the participants do everything they think might produce the best outcome. And there's no question that proper strategy, good people, and persuasive presentations will produce a better outcome than ill-advised strategy, less talented people, and unsalesmanlike harangues.
But there also is so much over which we have no control. Once into the campaign, we can't make the party larger and create a larger fund-raising base. We can't force the press to cover us, no matter how much real news we might generate. And we can't control what the other candidates might do.
For example, in these final days the press has continually hammered home the idea that the race between Gore and Bush is very close. That's bad for us, because some people who might otherwise have voted for us can think it's important that they vote for Bush or Gore, if only to keep the other one out of the White House. In the past few weeks, I've emphasized the importance of voting Libertarian rather than worrying about whether Gore or Bush is going to win, and I'm sure that's persuaded some voters. But the apparent closeness of the race could easily cost us a few hundred thousand votes.
We will have much more control over Libertarian races when we have a much larger party able to produce the resources necessary to command the attention of the public and the press. I believe our message is far more appealing than that of the other parties. But the message is irrelevant to those who never hear it.
Once in Atlanta, Steve and I drive to a video studio for a remote connection with the Fox TV News Network. I'm on once again with David Asman probably the fourth time in the campaign. He begins by complimenting me on doing well in the polls despite the lack of media coverage. I take the opportunity to point out that only Fox and C-SPAN have given us the time of day that the commercial networks have ignored me, even when I've been ahead of Pat Buchanan in the polls. I tell him how grateful we Libertarians are for the coverage Fox has given us.
In the evening we have a huge election-night party at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. We don't have an official count, but it appears that 900 - 1,000 people are in attendance. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to meet many people I didn't encounter on the campaign trail.
And then to bed. It's all over. There's nothing more to do except to silently thank the thousands of Libertarians who helped make it possible for me to run for President, the most exciting event in my life..