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Thursday, June 13
The Indiana Daily Student


Nation's capital anxious for verdict

WASHINGTON -- In the nation's capital, the tight election is dominating conversations and imaginations.\nFrom street corners to television channels in bars, politics was everywhere. The first election in history that is too close to call has captured everyone's attention -- political junkie or not.\nWashington., the mecca of American politics, mirrored the nation in election talk. On the day after the elections, the topic on everyone's minds was Florida and the looming victory for either Vice President Al Gore or Texas Gov. George W. Bush.\nThe Sunshine state holds 25 electoral votes -- enough to determine the winner.\nAt the Regatta Raw Bar, three televisions broadcast political pundits analyzing the candidates possible moves and the political and historical ramifications of Tuesday's unprecedented outcome.\n"No American will ever be able to say, 'My vote doesn't count,'" President Bill Clinton said. "The American people have now spoken, but it's going to take a little while to determine exactly what they said." \nGore's electoral count rested at 260, Bush's at 246. Florida's secretary of state said there will be a recount. Although Bush's brother Jeb is the governor, pundits aren't ready to call it for Bush yet.\nOverseas ballots are still coming in, and some worry votes were cast twice or by mistake, as appears to be the case in certain parts of Florida.\n"They talk about the mistakes made," said Ronnie Richmond, a lifetime D.C. resident. He said the outcome of the race surprised him. He voted early in the morning, and, as a shuttle driver to the airport, he has heard what others have had to say about Tuesday night.\nWhile the world and country wait for the final verdict, the political atmosphere intensifies.\nMarsh Bell, a manager at a D.C. bake shop, went to bed early Tuesday night thinking Gore had won. He woke up again earlier in the night only to learn that the 43rd President had not been named. The race is the closest the election has been in years, and he's holding out for Gore.\n"It's too close," he said, but said of Gore, "I think it's a possibility they are going to win. I didn't like that he lost in his own state."\nSouthern Maryland resident Bernard K. Means, who commutes from Washington, went to bed early thinking Bush won. \n"When I got up, I thought Bush had won it." He donned his Gore/Lieberman pin, but added, "My wife won't let me wear it. They are really conservative in Southern Maryland."\nA self-proclaimed Gore supporter, Means expressed his surprise at Bush's electoral college success. "I didn't think Bush would do that well, considering his DUI. I was hoping people would be smarter than that"

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