Eileen O'Connor: Gore presses onward
CNN Correspondent Eileen O'Connor is in Washington, covering the campaign of Vice President Al Gore.
Q: What's the Gore camp's reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court decision?
O'CONNOR: Basically, they're saying it's a draw, that it's not a blow to their campaign. Privately, they're saying, 'Look, this brings all the legal maneuvering back to where we want it, which is before the Florida state Supreme Court.'
Q: Was the Gore team surprised by the swiftness of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision?
O'CONNOR: They weren't surprised because they knew this was an important case and they all thought it could happen at anytime. They were a little surprised by the somewhat ambiguity of the decision. It took them a little while to digest the decision.
After they huddled with their legal advisers for about 20-30 minutes, they came out and said, 'Basically what the U.S. Supreme Court said to the Florida Supreme Court is that we're not disagreeing with your decision, what we're asking you to do is to tell us more; tell us why you decided on this and make sure that argument is based on Florida law.'
Laurence Tribe, the attorney for the Gore campaign who argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, said he has read the state Supreme Court's original decision at least 12 times and that he felt the state court had already argued its point under the basis of Florida law. Tribe said the state court could certainly clarify and that it wouldn't be a stretch for them to come up with the clarification that the U.S. Supreme Court is looking for.
Q: Gore is known to be extremely hands-on. How active has he been today?
O'CONNOR: He was definitely in touch with his legal team. He was scheduled to go to the White House at 1 p.m. and it was about 2:30 p.m. when he left for the White House for meetings with his transition team. I'm sure that delay was related to consultations with his legal team. The vice president has said this isn't over for him until the (disputed) votes are counted, and he is going to go through every legal recourse he can to get the votes counted. He's pushing forward.