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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT ACCOUNT OF THE 2000 ELECTION CONTROVERSY, June 22, 2012
Jeffrey Ross Toobin (born 1960) is an American lawyer, author, and legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker; he has also written books such as The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, The Run of His Life : The People versus O. J. Simpson, etc.

He notes problems with the confusing "butterfly ballot" (where it was not always clear which hole one should punch to vote for a candidate; pg. 14). A machine recount had "shrunk Bush's margin to just 327 votes out of almost 6 million cast." (Pg. 52) There were also many ballots with the infamous "bulging," "indented," or "pregnant" chads (i.e., incompletely punched ballots), which could only be evaluated by a manual recount. (Pg. 87) But he later also observed that if only 1 out of 100 Nader voters had switched to Gore, Gore would have won. (Pg. 275)

He suggests that Florida secretary of state (and thus chief election officer) Katherine Harris "began acting as a wholly owned subsidiary of the George W. Bush campaign." (Pg. 75) Of her sudden fame, Toobin notes, "To all outward appearances, Harris loved the attention." (Pg. 129)

He records that when Gore was advised that a challenge of military ballots would barely win him the election, Gore replied, "I couldn't be president of the United States that way. It's not right... I could win, but I couldn't govern." Toobin concludes, "For all his inconstancy... Al Gore did care about doing the right thing... Throughout the recount he behaved as if there were higher values than winning." (Pg. 201)

This book is probably the best "summary" account of the whole matter (albeit from a somewhat pro-Gore perspective).
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Location: Sacramento, CA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 73