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Down and Dirty : The Plot to Steal the Presidency Hardcover – March, 2001

3.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jake Tapper is a television journalist and the author of "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, Body Slam: The Jesse Ventura Story" and "Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency".
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (March 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316832642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316832649
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Alan Deikman on May 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jake Tapper has very little nice to say about either side in the farce that was the 2000 Florida election. He's obviously turned off by GWB and I get the feeling he really doesn't like Gore. But he does take some time to document both honest Repubs and honest Dems (believe it or not there are some) at the county-government levels of the election machinery. Reading this, I feel mostly for those isolated individuals that were mostly concerned with doing the right thing, and ended up screwed no matter what they did. There is a lot of text in this book that says what the players are thinking (as opposed to doing) which gets you closer to the characters but seems out of place in journalism.
Tapper documents perdify, misadventure, and out-and-out stupidity on all THREE sides: Dems, Repubs, and the media. For whatever reason the media clearly ended up influencing the events in favor of the Republicans, and had they not the result might have been quite different.
The fact is that the GOP simply out-manuvered the Dems all though the campaign, and right through the post-election mess. If you want to see how they did it, this book is a good view into it. A must-read for anyone to be informed on contemporary politics.
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Format: Hardcover
Jake Tapper takes the reader behind the scenes to reveal Election 2000's dirtiest secrets. "Down and Dirty" personalizes the Florida showdown, showing the worst of both sides in a way that should scare the American people into taking more responsibility for choosing our elected leaders. Tapper exposes Jeb Bush's intricate formula for dominating the Florida Republican party, in which he left few fingerprints behind while helping to ultimately deliver a Bush win in the "Jeberglades" and ensure his brother's victory. He illustrates the desperation of the Gore team, when they finally realized their legal argument was fundamentally flawed. From Gore calling top TV producers to sell his own conspiracy theory to a top Gore aide spreading salacious rumors about Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, Tapper lets exposes the dirty tricks in politics that no one likes to talk about.
Like no other election book on the market, Tapper personalizes the Florida drama, introducing us to the players with all of their human flaws and insecurities. Most important, he shows us how a single person can impact a nation.
With the same chatty, irreverent tone that singled out his election coverage on Salon.com, Tapper hones in on the greatest evil of modern politics -- a voting public that just doesn't give a damn. "Down and Dirty" shows the American people that they need to wake up and pay attention to who their leaders are. Shouldn't we expect more from our politicians than legal antics and dirty tricks?
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Format: Hardcover
"Down and Dirty" is a fantastic book on the chaotic, raucous post-presidential election scramble in Florida. Tapper uses his sharp political skills to weed through the boring election crap and create a very readable, funny behind-the-scenes account of the Bush and Gore camps yelling, screaming and plotting against each other. The hardball tactics used by each side to claim the White House sheds light on both candidates, their duplicity and motives. Nowhere else will you find such a candid portrayal of our current president, George W., and his nemisis, Al Gore, as they get 'down and dirty' in the fight for their political lives. In addition, Tapper's descriptions of the canvassing boards and the confusion that consumes the local yokles as they muddle through dimpled, pregnant and hanging chads is written with exacting wit and wry humor. The author strips away the varnish and veneer found in other stodgy accounts written by teams of reporters and tells it like it is. If you read only one book on the post-election Florida mess, this is it.
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Format: Hardcover
As a Texan and a Bush supporter my initial perception of the fiasco in Florida was a simple view of good guys vs. bad guys, of right vs. wrong. As with so many things in life the truth appears to lie somewhere in between. Jake Tapper's Down and Dirty: The Plot to Steal the Presidency provides the conservative and liberal alike with a different perspective on the events in Florida. It is an on the ground contemporaneous recollection of events as they transpired colored with Mr. Tapper's cynical perspective and interesting sense of humor. I am very glad I read this book. If anything it has caused me to think.
In Jake Tapper's world there is little room for principle. We are informed through the recounted words and actions of virtually all of the major and minor players that the goal of BOTH sides in this battle was to win at virtually any cost. From the canvassing boards to the Florida legislature, from Tallahassee to Maimi, Jake Tapper is a fly on the wall buzzing about reminding us that everything we see and hear is not as we might believe.
The Republicans in Florida have their ox to gore while the Democrats are beating the bushes of south Florida for as many Gore votes as they can find or invent, all the while assuring us that "EVERY vote should count." In Down and Dirty, Jake Tapper paints a thought provoking picture of both sides engaged in a series of cynically coordinated and planned actions designed solely to assure that their candidate prevails. Whether it is talking points prepared by paid consultants, the Miami Dade Republican mob in loafers and polo shirts or Jesse Jackson whipping up the voters of Volusia, so many of these events are planned not to right a wrong but to manipulate public perceptions and to create just the right public response.
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