The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, August 26, 2002  

“Unleashing the Dogs of War”

Former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris writes in her upcoming book that Al Gore could have been granted a statewide recount if he hadn’t decided to “unleash the dogs of war.”

Harris’s upcoming “memoir,” entitled Center of the Storm, is slated for an October release, just weeks before voters in her congressional district decide whether to ship her off to Congress or send her into oblivion.

The book runs to an unbelievable 289 pages, according to galley proofs obtained from the publisher by Bill Cotterell of the Tallahassee Democrat (“Harris Derides Critics in Book”). Triple-spacing, perhaps?

A sample of Harris’s insightful review and analysis of the post-election controversy: “Regardless of what course of action we chose, we knew we had landed in a no-win situation. Before I made my first public statement, we all knew that my office would come under fire.”

“When the Gore campaign began to unleash the dogs of war upon me during the difficult recount controversy, I was not inordinately surprised,” Harris writes, adding that Gore’s “aggressive tactics” may have spoiled an opportunity for a full recount.

As best we can tell, the “dogs of war” include “the media,” particularly unnamed editors who pressured unnamed reporters to slant their stories against Harris, President George W. Bush, and Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.); David Letterman; Jay Leno; the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, particularly Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry; Democratic Party activists; and editorial cartoonists.

Harris dresses up her argument with a tortured legal analysis but it really seems to boil down to one word: Spite.

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