978-0-89526-227-1 / 9780895262271

At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election


Publisher:Regnery Publishing



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About the book:

Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon makes it clear in the opening pages of At Any Cost that he's not a big fan of Al Gore. In this fast-paced account of what happened to Florida's controversial vote, he explains how a defeated Gore desperately fought to turn things around. He starts by suggesting that tens of thousands of voters in the Florida Panhandle--Republican country--decided not to cast ballots when the media wrongly called the state for Gore early in the evening on Election Day, before all the polls had closed in the western part of the state. Without this blunder--which hasn't received nearly the attention heaped on the media for prematurely calling the election for George W. Bush several hours later--Sammon believes Gore would have given up his post-election campaign much sooner. Sammon also believes this had repercussions outside Florida: "If not for the networks' early and erroneous projections, Bush might have easily won the popular vote, and carried a few congressional seats with him."

The bulk of the book zeros in on Gore and his goal of "seizing the presidency." In one nifty bit of reporting, Sammon tracks down a navy lieutenant whose military ballot Gore's lawyers were determined to throw out. Sammon describes the unseemly spectacle of their success:

When the [Duval County] canvassing board announced that the ballots of 149 soldiers, sailors, and airmen had been disqualified, a pair of jubilant Gore lawyers exchanged high-fives. A Republican, visibly shaken by this sight, demanded to know how they could celebrate the disenfranchisement of U.S. military members risking their lives around the world. One of the Gore lawyers glibly replied, "A win's a win."
Sammon also covers all that business about the chads, Gore's "smear campaign" against Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and the Supreme Court's controversial Bush v. Gore ruling. This is by no means the definitive story of what happened in Florida, but it's a useful piece of journalism--and one that Bush's supporters will read with that heady mixture of outrage and excitement that politics uniquely provides. --John J. Miller

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