In October of 2000 MAD was putting together it’s annual “MAD 20 People, Events and Things” issue and I was assigned the obligatory page making fun of the presidential election of that year, George W. Bush versus Al Gore. The issue was going to press on Nov. 8th, the day after the election. Not knowing who was going to win, I was asked to do two versions of the image, one with Bush being sworn in and one with Gore, showing the appropriate despondent other candidate and new first lady as well. Here were the images I did:
Since the print date was so close, they editors actually turned in both pages to the printer and were going to literally call them up on the 8th and tell them which to run. I remember The Lovely Anna and I were vacationing in Hawaii at the time of the election (you have to love absentee voting), and on the 8th I got up and checked the internet to see which of my illustrations would run in MAD.
… of course there was no winner. Not the next day, or the next, or the next. Thanks to “hanging chads”, general partisan stupidity and the controversy surrounding Florida’s electoral votes, the actual winner wasn’t known for weeks.
MAD waited for a few days to see if a result would be forthcoming, delaying the printing of those pages and the final stapling of the magazine as a result. Finally they went to press having printed half the issues with Bush and half with Gore as the winner. The piece was moved from “Dumbest Thing” #11 to #1 (actually this was decided well beforehand), and featured the following disclaimer:
Editor’s Note: For the purpose of historical inaccuracy, some editions of this issue depict George W. Bush being sworn in, while others show Al Gore. In the interest of bipartisanship, we urge all Americans to buy them both!
I believe I have relayed this story before here on The MAD Blog but I thought it worth revisiting on the eve of yet another Election Day.
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