- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2000

The crowd at the Hawk and Dove on Capitol Hill gathered around the televisions last night not to watch a college football game or professional hoops, but to see who had won the presidential election.
Since Tuesday, Democrats and Republicans have come here to learn the outcome of the race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore. But the closest presidential race in American history remained too tight to call yesterday.
And it might be a while yet before it is official: Legal questions over the recount of Florida's votes could postpone the results even longer.
"Whoever wins this thing is going to be considered a dubious president, no matter who he is," said a bar patron, looking up at one of the 10 TV screens in the restaurant-bar in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE.
"I've been a Democrat all my life," said Timmy Murphy, a white-haired and well-fed patron. "Fortunately, we can laugh about these things. Down on Capitol Hill, they take everything too seriously."
But the crowd quieted when Mr. Gore's campaign manager, William M. Daley, appeared on screen to deplore "defective" Florida ballots that he said caused voters to actually vote for Pat Buchanan when they meant to choose Mr. Gore.
It was congenial, just as it had been Tuesday night. But the place was crowded on election night. Patrons sat at outdoor tables and also stood.
"It was like St. Patrick's Day. It was mobbed," said owner Stuart Long, a 58-year-old Washington native and graduate of the law school at George Washington University.
Mr. Long was a lawyer at the Library of Congress and established the business because there was no place nearby "to get a sandwich and a drink." The bar-restaurant was divided, with a swinging door between the Republicans typically gathering on one side and Democrats on the other. The Vietnam War was debated, and the name Hawk and Dove adopted.
Despite previous crowds on election night, "We were not quite prepared," Mr. Long said of Tuesday night.
"It was packed," agreed Roiann Baird, an archivist from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo. She had been at the Library of Congress a block away and came out at the suggestion of library acquaintances.
Every time the television reported good news for Mr. Gore, the Democrats would shout and applaud. The Republicans would get their revenge the same way when reports credited Mr. Bush.
"It's very much a bipartisan pub," Mr. Long said. "Probably more Democrats. Democrats drink more beer."
"I'd never seen it so busy," said manager Paul Meagher, 57, a Rock Island, Ill., native and Notre Dame University graduate, who said he was first hired during the "post-Watergate morality period."
The Tuesday night crowd kept the Hawk and Dove filled until 2 a.m. Wednesday, when D.C. law required that it close up, Mr. Meagher said.
A waitress suggested the elected president should be a "Republicrat," with Mr. Bush serving two years, and Mr. Gore serving two years of the four-year term.
"Your idea is completely unacceptable," Democrat Mr. Murphy said loudly enough to be heard in the adjacent room, where an ancient "Harris Mortuary" clock hangs amid signs that read: "Bob Dole for President," "Stay out of the Bushes," "Gore 2000" and "George W. Bush for President."

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