Believe it or not, it’s been 15 years since George W. Bush and Al Gore battled in the closest election in American history. To commemorate, CNN will air a special documentary, Bush vs. Gore: The Endless Election on Monday night at 9 p.m. ET. CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger hosts the special, which promises to take viewers inside the war rooms, control rooms and campaigns.
“It was an amazing reporting experience for me—going back to the major players after 15 years to tell their stories, many of which we haven’t heard, about what those 36 days were like,” Borger told TVNewser. “You will hear stories from the Democrats of what they would have done differently; and from the Republicans about how they shaped and molded a singular message that stuck.”
The piece contains 19 interviews, including major players on both sides — Jim Baker, Joe Lieberman, Bill Daley, Ben Ginsberg (who ran legal strategy for the Republicans) and Ron Klain (who did the same for the Democrats), and Ted Olson and David Boies, who argued the case before the Supreme Court.
“And, 15 years later, they’re strikingly honest: Baker admitting he had a grudge against Gore before the recount, Daley admitting he made a mistake having Gore concede to Bush in the first phone call on election night. Or Lieberman saying that he was pressured by some to not fight as hard as they could to avoid the perception of being a sore loser,” Borger said. “Candor seems to come with time, so what’s really new are the fresh insights that come with hindsight.”
Borger went on to tell TVNewser, “We know (and show) what was going on the air, and sifted through hundreds of hours of file footage. What the doc tells, from Bernie Shaw and Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw, is the chaos they, and all the players, were living that night.”