Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Wednesday, Dec. 6
The Indiana Daily Student


Suspense evident in Nashville

Waiting game continues for residents

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- They were exhausted. They were run down. And still they waited.\nThe description fit all the weary people -- from members of the media to loyal Gore supporters to those who worked inside the campaign itself -- who together loitered around downtown Nashville Wednesday morning.\nTheir sighs said it all. This campaign for the presidency was fun, up to a point, everyone would admit, especially since the race lived up to any suspense junkie's expectations.\nBut then it just wouldn't end.\n"I'm very stressed," said one woman getting breakfast in a local diner. The woman, a Gore voter who asked not to be identified, said she went to bed at 11:15 Tuesday night emotionally drained. She said she was relieved to hear about the vote recount in Florida but will be relieved when it's all over.\nAt 3 a.m. Wednesday word filtered through the halls of the Sheraton Hotel, where the press was assembled, and across War Memorial Plaza, where crowds gathered to watch Election Night festivities. Texas Gov. George W. Bush was proclaimed the winner, but an hour later the Florida election was too close to call, with a Florida recount looming. \nAnd so the waiting game continued.\nAndy Patel, a counter worker at the Days Inn Deli and Market across the street from the Sheraton, shook his head and said the election was "way too crazy."\nPatel said he didn't vote Tuesday, but said he is a long-time Democrat and hopes Gore can pull off a win in the end. He added that in his opinion, members of both campaigns were enjoying the 11th-hour indecision.\n"I think they're loving (the attention)," Patel said.\nTennessee Republican Party Communications Director Rachel Lavender spoke hoarsely over phone about her long evening at headquarters.\n"It was frustrating more than anything," Lavender said. "We felt like we'd worked through the long haul and made it through, and then now we're still waiting."\nLavender said some volunteers left for home to rest early Wednesday while others camped out at headquarters overnight.\n"People were almost delirious, we were waiting so long," Lavender said.\nShe expressed concern and suspicion about an incident in Florida, where election workers discovered locked ballot boxes in a church that might include uncounted ballots.\nAsked if she thought Bush would take the win in the end, Lavender paused before replying that the vice president would take the popular vote, but she said she ultimately thinks Bush will achieve a narrow victory.\nAround dinnertime Wednesday evening, it appeared Lavender would get her wish. With Bush all but claiming victory in Austin, analysts stipulated that the recount would not likely change the overall outcome of the election. Some Florida officials themselves said they expected a final count in by midnight, meaning Bush could wake up Thursday morning with the new title of Mr. President-elect. Until then, Lavender said, she and the rest of the Republican Party of Tennessee will just continue what they've been doing the past 36 hours: waiting. \nTonight, a national audience waits with them.

Get stories like this in your inbox