All Florida absentee ballots are opened in the presence of Warren ("Probity") Christopher and James ("Integrity") Baker III. After throwing out ballots in which people have voted twice or for Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader or Goofy, Bush's Florida lead increases from 327 to 328. Bush declares it "a sign from the Almighty" and says he will take office on Jan. 20, "by force, if necessary, though I'm hopeful that won't be necessary."
Jesse Jackson reassures ballot-challenged Palm Beach Gore supporters who have managed to vote for Pat Buchanan that they should "stand up and be proud." He performs an auto-da-fe in front of the residence of Theresa LePore, the Palm Beach supervisor of elections, a Democrat. LePore flees the country, complicating efforts to validate the vote in Palm Beach County.
--Bush dispatches Texas Rangers to Tallahassee to seize Florida ballots, "just to be on the safe side." The Rangers are joined by Florida State Troopers loyal to Florida Governor Jeb ("El Exigente") Bush. They cordon off the Florida State Election Commission with armored vehicles.
--U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announces that he is sending peace-keeping troops to the Florida State Election Commission.
The 75 lawyers dispatched to Florida by the Gore campaign announce that they have found evidence of "massive voter fraud": a glove containing O.J. Simpson's DNA found inside a polling booth. They produce records showing that Simpson, a Florida resident, did not vote in the election.
President-quasi-elect Bush announces that in the spirit of unity government, he will nominate Al Gore to be his Transportation Secretary.
Gore responds that "George Bush will have a vital place in my Administration: driving my limousine to the Capitol for my swearing-in."
Warren Christopher and James Baker III call a joint press conference asking for both sides to "chill." But their appearance takes a sudden rancorous turn when Baker jests with reporters afterward, "With all due respect, it was Ronald Reagan's election that got our hostages out of Teheran, not some elegantly tailored twerp L.A. lawyer."
--Christopher shrugs off Baker's remark as "just harmless banter from an over-rated Texas fixer." He adds that he "understand[s] why [Baker] is so eager to put another Bush in the White House since he couldn't keep the last one in."
November 23 [THANKSGIVING]
Gore campaign manager William Daley, appearing at a rally of 75 Democratic Party lawyers, chanting and waving gloves in the air, calls President-quasi-elect Bush a "banana Republican." He vows to charter "a fleet of 747s" and fly the entire membership of the Trial Lawyers Association to Tallahassee.
--Bush releases the names of two more Cabinet nominations: 24-year-old George P. Bush for Attorney General and Herbert X. Bush, a previously unknown Bush, to head the CIA.
Barbra Streisand and Rosie O'Donnell announce that if Bush takes office, they will move to another country. The Dow Jones average reacts by falling 780 points. Warren Christopher and James Baker set aside their differences and together urge Streisand and O'Donnell to reconsider, "for the good of the nation."