Gore Campaigns Into Election Day
MIAMI (AP) _ An exultant and exhausted Al Gore greeted Election Day in the embrace of celebrity admirers and under a midnight sky lit by fireworks. He said he had ``no doubt whatsoever″ he’d finish the day as president-elect.
``The moon is over Miami. From sea to shining sea, from Miami to Los Angeles, from coast to coast and border to border, Americans are coming together and making a very powerful decision that we are not going to allow ourselves to go back to the policies of the past,″ Gore called out at a rally on Miami’s fashionable South Beach just after midnight Tuesday.
``We’re going forward with the policies of the future _ a bright future that includes all Americans!″
Wearing everything from T-shirts to business suits to tight, gold lame pants, tens of thousands of people lined the streets and shores of this art deco district to see Democrat Gore in his first Election Day appearance. ``Florida is the place where the future is being born,″ he declared.
A cast of stars _ Glenn Close, Robert DeNiro, Stevie Wonder, Billy Dee Williams, Ben Affleck _ were on hand, some of them summoned there just that morning by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. A burst of fireworks over the Atlantic punctuated the speech Gore delivered in a voice slightly hoarse from nonstop campaigning in this homestretch.
He bear-hugged each of his celebrity friends, the ``extended family″ as wife Tipper put it.
From Miami, Gore headed to a decidedly more somber event, holding a pre-dawn meeting with nurses at a Tampa cancer center, where Gore sat around a table and talked health care.
``I apologize for my hoarseness,″ said Gore. ``I’ve had to make so many speeches I’m a little hoarse.″
Gore also was rallying workers on their way to ``get out the vote″ before heading home to cast his own vote at a small school in Carthage, Tenn.
He was ending the campaign the same way he started it _ courting Florida’s 25 electoral votes. Polls show a close race in Florida, where an easy win was expected for Republican George W. Bush since his brother is the state’s governor. But Gore strategists maintain that his proposals on issues like health care and Social Security resonate with the many elderly who live in the state.
Florida was the first state Gore visited after clinching the nomination in March.
Before a massive sign that read ``Florida Victory,″ Gore argued that Bush’s $1.3 trillion proposed tax cut would set the economy back to where it was before he and President Clinton took over from Bush’s father in 1993.
``I remember well the deficits and the debt, the unemployment and higher crime, the family breakups and the repeat recessions,″ Gore said.
He argued that Bush’s proposal to partially privatize Social Security is ``the most serious threat we have to seen to Social Security in many a decade.″
EDITOR’S NOTE _ Associated Press Writer Mike Glover contributed to this report.