What's in a word?
Last night we watched the final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While the debate in Las Vegas lacked some of the fireworks of the second and shimmies of the first, the candidates' words mattered.
The debate began cordially enough, minus the candidates shaking hands, which they had previously agreed to avoid. By the end of the 90 minutes, Trump had called Clinton a "nasty woman" and she had called him a "puppet" to Vladimir Putin.
Words are especially important this campaign. A new report from the Anti-Defamation League connects this campaign cycle to a steep rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric in the country. Hacked Clinton campaign emails published on WikiLeaks showed that the Democrats tested 85 slogans until they found one that fit just right.
Trump made headlines when he refused to say if he would accept the results of the election. "What I'm saying is I'll tell you at the time," he said. "I'll keep you in suspense, okay?"
"Let me respond to that, because that's horrifying," Clinton said. "Now that is not the way our democracy works. We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections. We've accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them. And that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election."
And what a perfect segue into our first Throwback Thursday content of this newsletter.
There is precedent for a disputed electoral result. The year was 2000, the candidates were George W. Bush and Al Gore. Florida's electoral votes hung in the balance. (Hello, hanging chads and the best "How I Met Your Mother" Halloween costume ever.)
Gore conceded the race 36 days after Election Day. On January 20, 2001 President Bill Clinton peacefully stepped down and President Bush was sworn in.
Click below to watch an Associated Press archive video of Gore, in his role as president of the Senate a.k.a. the vice president of the United States, presiding over the joint session of Congress to certify the results: