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29 October 2004

An interesting scenario

President Edwards?

It's Jan. 20, 2005, and a stunned America watches as John Edwards is sworn in as both vice president and acting president of the United States. Impossible? No, nor is a Bush-Edwards administration.

There are just a few upsets needed in states where the presidential race is very close. Even if President Bush wins Wisconsin and Minnesota - two states he lost in 2000 - Senator John Kerry would force a 269-269 Electoral College tie if he carries Colorado, Missouri, Nevada and New Hampshire, and Al Gore's states. But Colorado's ballot initiative to divide its electoral votes by popular ballot, rather than have them be winner take all, could change all that. If it's approved, and voting in that state splits as it did in 2000, Mr. Bush would pick up four votes, and win 273-265.

If recounts, challenges to provisional ballots and other legal actions don't overturn that result, the Supreme Court could again be called upon to decide the election. Imagine a ruling that applies the results of the Colorado initiative only to future presidential elections, not the 2004 contest.That would reinstate the Electoral College 269-269 deadlock, and send the tied contests to Congress; the House would choose the president and the Senate the vice president.

But so hellishly unlikely...

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