reported as tainted by the BBC, Sky News and Deutche Welle immediately after the polls closed. I have a very limited idea what the American reaction was because we were living in Britain at the time, but all the reporting we saw was about hanging chads and Jews voting for Pat Buchanan by mistake because of the butterfly ballot and the voters lists being purged indiscriminately of the names of felons regardless of the state of residence of the felon before the election thus disenfranchising legitimate legal voters and other irregularities. The controversy pre-dated the recount or anything that Terry McAuliffe did or said.
I think Gore should have contested the whole of Florida, and that it was a huge mistake on his part to concede when he did.
Now everybody here says Florida didn't happen, so maybe it didn't happen in the US but it sure happened and was extensively reported everywhere outside the US. Frankly I'm more inclined to trust external news sources like the BBC and Sky News (Sky is owned by Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and even it reported the irregularities) than domestic news sources with their own axes to grind.
Sometimes a decision made in the heat of partisan battle has reverberations for years to come.
One such decision was the one of Al Gore's campaign to selectively challenge the results of the 2000 election in Florida by demanding hand counts of votes cast in three counties -- Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The latter two produce huge majorities for Democratic candidates, and the election officials in charge of the hand counts were Democrats. In other words, Gore sought new counts only in areas where he was likely to gain votes and would not take the risk of a statewide hand count, where those gains might be offset by others for George W. Bush.
We know now that, thanks to the news media consortium that recounted ballots in every Florida county, recounting under any method and any criterion they tested would not have overturned Bush's exceedingly thin plurality.
But the Gore campaign, Terry McAuliffe during his four years as Democratic National Chairman and John Kerry in his 2004 presidential campaign encouraged rank-and-file Democrats to believe that the election was stolen. They decided to delegitimize an American election for partisan gain. And in the process, they did much damage to George W. Bush and the Republicans, to the reputation of the American political process and, inadvertently but to a far greater extent, to their own Democratic Party.