April 18, 2003
First Free Election in Baghdad Results in Election of George W. Bush; Angry Iraqis Claim They "Intended to Vote For Pat Buchanan"
Baghdad, April 18 - The installation of democracy appeared stalled here after election returns from the first free election in Baghdad appeared to indicate that 100% of Iraqis had voted for President George W. Bush.
The White House seemed perplexed and denied that the administration of the elections by what it called "the independent interim government" was tainted or improper.
Donald Rumsfeld appeared irritated at any suggestion of impropriety. "The voting process was very simple. You punched a hole in a card next to the name of the person whom you wanted to lead . The cards were collected, and the holes were counted. And apparently, there were a lot of holes in those little cards, all for the same guy. End of story."
Angry Iraqis protested outside of Baghdad's Liberty Square, saying that the ballots had been confusing, and should have been in Arabic, at the very least. Some Iraqis claimed that the ballots that they had been given had only one hole that could be punched. Others said that it was unclear to them, after years of living under Saddam Hussein, whether the hole should have been punched, kicked, or maimed.
Some is called for a recount, but it was unclear whether the i constitution and the laws set forth by the interim Iraqi government allowed for a recount, or specified the manner in which a recount could be done. Donald Rumsfeld again commented, "What's the problem? The votes were counted, they counted the holes in the cards. To recount them, you would count the holes in the cards again. In my view, that would constitute recounting. It doesn't need a description. The word itself tells you what you have to do. Re-count. It's that simple. Next question."
President Bush immediately organized a bipartisan committee composed of Republicans to investigate the election and also to render an opinion as to whether a "sitting president can preside over more than one country at a time." Congresswoman Kathryn Harris was appointed to chair the committee; assisting her will be former Secretary of State James Baker, Jeb Bush, Ted Olsen, and at least one Iraqi who had not been to in the past forty years.
Posted by Tom Burka at 11:14 PM