Old Glory vs. Recount

The Baltimore Sun

In the thick of the War of 1812, the British attempted to take Baltimore in a brutal naval and land assault. Americans foiled the land attack, but the next day, British ships bombarded Fort McHenry with bombs and rockets, trying to enter the city's harbor. Just 1,000 American troops refused to give up even though their guns couldn't reach the British ships. In the morning, having survived, the Americans raised the flag - a display of courage and patriotism in the face of rockets' red glare that inspired Frances Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Many years later, South Florida found itself similarly at the edge of tyranny and freedom, with democracy hanging perilously in the balance. Late on election night of 2000, newscasters relying on exit polls declared Al Gore winner of the Sunshine State - and of the presidency. Then they took it back and declared George W. Bush. And then, with seemingly only a handful of votes separating the two candidates, all hell broke loose. People wrung their hands, recounted ballots and discovered the amazingly varied world of chad (not the Dolphins quarterback) - hanging, pregnant and dimpled. Ultimately the Supreme Court essentially left the matter in the hands Florida's heavily lipsticked secretary of state, who happened to have run Bush's Florida campaign.

EDGE: : No need for a recount: It's Baltimore.

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