WASHINGTON (AP) _ Come January, Vice President Al Gore will have either the unenviable or pleasurable task of standing in front of Congress and announcing who is the next president.
By law, the president of the Senate _ better known as the vice president _ announces the winner of the presidential election in a January joint congressional session.
Gore wouldn't be the first vice president put on the spot because of his presidential ambitions, said Donald Ritchie, associate Senate historian.
Richard Nixon, a former vice president, had to announce that John F. Kennedy had beaten him in the 1960 election, Ritchie said.
The vice president reads off each state in alphabetical order and announces who won the electoral votes.
Nixon ``opened the envelope for Alabama and said 'I've begun to notice a trend,''' Ritchie said.
More recently, former Vice President Walter Mondale had to announce that Ronald Reagan had beaten Jimmy Carter, at the top of the Democratic ticket, for the presidency and George W. Bush's father, former President George Bush, got to announce his own victory.