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November 2, 2004
Bush Wins First Scrimmage While Daschle Melts Down

The French press service AFP reports that George Bush has won the traditional Dixville Notch vote at midnight, while Daschle v. Thune liveblogged Senate minority leader Tom Daschle's strangulation of the remnants of his credibility and dignity.

From Dixville Notch:

A tiny population of 26 registered voters backed Bush by a comfortable 19-7 margin over Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry, according to a tally by the town clerk's office. ...

The settlement's 26 voters trooped into the luxury Balsams hotel just after midnight local time (0500 GMT) Tuesday to cast some of the first votes in the 2004 election. Almost half were registered Republicans.

The 26 voters included 11 registered Republicans, two registered Democratic voters and 13 independents, according to the town clerk's records.

Bush won the key Dixville Notch vote in 2000, but Bill Clinton won it twice before that. As portents go, I'd rank it right up there with the Washington Redskins' inability to win a home game: meaningless. But it's a tradition, and at least he won it.

The same cannot be said for Tom Daschle, who spent last night humiliating himself in a courtroom presided over by a judge he helped get on the bench. Daschle had attempted to sue John Thune into withdrawing all GOP poll workers in South Dakota, infuriating South Dakotans and making himself look small and pathetic. Even more pathetically, the only witness they called wound up making a mockery of the entire process:

A Mr. Jordan was just testifying at the hearing in Daschle's lawsuit to stop poll watching. He worked for Howard Dean in Iowa. He said that poll watchers would "roll their eyes" and make a "negative face" at times and that, in his opinion, this constituted "intimidation" of voters. See SDP for a look at the complaint. ...

Another report on Daschle's first witness, the Howard Dean worker. He's a lawyer from Virginia who works for Lexis-Nexis and has been in South Dakot for 48 hours. He testified to "note-taking" and "faces" being made. He said nothing was said to voters and nobody was disenfranchised. They are taking a short break before the next witness. Lawyers in the courtroom think this is an absurd joke.

Not as absurd as the conflict of interest that having Larry Piersol preside over the case, as it turns out:

SDP has some more information on the judge, including this comment from Daschle at the American TRIAL LAWYERS Association convention:
First, I got my start in politics thanks to lawyers... rather, one lawyer in particular. In 1978, I won my first election to the House by 14 votes. Dont laugh, in South Dakota, thats 60 percent of the vote. Apparently undaunted by that landslide of support, my opponent sued to contest the election. I was fortunate to be represented by a great lawyer and a dear friend, Larry Piersol. It took one year and 21 days, but here I am 25 years later.

And -- Daschle still managed to lose, and lose badly. Say goodnight, Tom.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 2, 2004 5:03 AM

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» Where Will Daschle Vote? from Move The Rock
Where the heck does Tom Daschle vote? In his vacation spot in South Dakota, or at his primary residence in Washington, D.C.? Being a Democrat, I suspect both. [Read More]

Tracked on November 2, 2004 8:44 AM

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