Spacey Confirms HBO's 'Recount' Is from 'Democratic Point of View'

Actor Kevin Spacey, who stars as Al Gore adviser Ron Klain in HBO's Sunday night Recount film about the 2000 post-election battle in Florida, conceded on Wednesday's Countdown on MSNBC that “the movie is done from the Democratic point of view.” That matches the observation of Entertainment Weekly magazine reviewer Gillian Flynn: “Recount is an underdog story, and thus a Democrat story.” On Monday's Late Show with David Letterman, in apparent references to Katherne Harris and President George W. Bush, Spacey quipped Florida in 2000 was “a confluence of events and personalities -- some of whom perhaps weren't qualified for their jobs, [pause] some of whom probably aren't currently qualified for their job.”

Wednesday night, Spacey told Keith Olbermann that Bush's team was more ruthless than Gore's: “I think there's no question what the movie illustrates is there were two differing philosophies about how to approach this recount fight. The Republicans pretty much, it was a street battle in their eyes. And I think on the Gore side, I think there was a -- perhaps an overestimated view of the patience of the American people.” Bottom line for Spacey in echoing the liberal take at the time: “It does seem that on the one hand the Bush people were trying to stop votes from being counted and the Gore people were just trying to get votes counted.”

My May 18 NewsBusters item, “HBO's 'Recount' Movie: Favors Democrats, Harris as Cruella De Vil,” recounted:
An early review is in for HBO's upcoming movie, Recount, about the Bush-Gore battle in Florida after 2000 election. Gillian Flynn in Entertainment Weekly, which like HBO is part of the Time-Warner family, has described the film, to premiere Sunday night, as tilted against the Republican characters. In her review in the May 23 edition of the magazine, Flynn asserted: "Recount may not be downright blue, but it's not as purply as it wants to appear." Saying "Recount is an underdog story, and thus a Democrat story," Flynn reported that the "Republican players here are coolly calculating -- Tom Wilkinson's James Baker III, the Bush team quarterback -- or they teeter on the edge of madness, like Laura Dern's Katherine Harris." In fact, in an interview elsewhere, the writer of the movie slammed Harris as "a fraud."
Tim Graham's post on how a slew of news stars have endorsed the movie.

Spacey on Monday's Late Show:
I consider myself sort of clued-in politically and I've been active in Democratic politics and I was stunned at how little I knew about what actually happened in Florida....When you see the film, you realize it's a confluence of events and personalities -- some of whom perhaps weren't qualified for their jobs [pause] some of whom probably aren't currently qualified for their job.
Spacey on the Wednesday, May 21 Countdown:
I think there's no question what the movie illustrates is there were two differing philosophies about how to approach this recount fight. The Republicans pretty much, it was a street battle in their eyes. And I think on the Gore side, I think there was a -- perhaps an overestimated view of the patience of the American people. I think that the American people probably would have been more patient. And I think they would have waited it out, and I think ultimately, the recount didn't actually happen. I mean, there was actually i think a half a day where the entire state of Florida was actually recounting, but it never really happened, so when you look at the end of the day, George Bush won that election by 513 votes, and yet you think about the million-five million that didn't go through the machines again, you think about the 20,000 who were on the voter purge list, it does seem that on the one hand the Bush people were trying to stop votes from being counted and the Gore people were just trying to get votes counted.

So it's, the movie is done from the Democratic point of view, because I play Ron Klain who's Al Gore's former chief of staff, but then again they were the underdogs and, dramatically, that makes more sense.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center