Less than an hour before Barack Obama took the oath of office, ABC News anchor Charles Gibson spotted former Vice President Al Gore arriving at the inauguration, and Gibson fantasized about how this could have been Gore's last day in office, not George W. Bush's.
"Had he gotten a second term," Gibson began before correcting himself, "had he been elected president in the first place in the year 2000, and then gotten a second term -- he would be there as the outgoing President of the United States."
Over on NBC, Tom Brokaw merely pointed out how Gore would be an advisor on climate change to the new president, while CBS's Katie Couric enthused about how such high-profile individuals from different parties seem to get along so well at inaugurations.
Here's the transcript of Gibson's remarks from about 11:10am EST:
We see three former vice presidents and their wives coming in, having been introduced, Walter Mondale, and then Dan Quayle, who's gotten some gray hairs since he was in Washington, and Al Gore. And you wonder what must be going through his mind because, had he gotten a second term -- had he been elected president in the first place in the year 2000, and then gotten a second term -- he would be there as the outgoing President of the United States. So close, we all remember the long election of the year 2000.