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Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election

George W. Bush, Jeb Bush and Barbara Bush
(Reuters/AFP Photos)

About the Book
These stories are the basis for "Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election," by the political staff of The Washington Post, published by PublicAffairs.
Buy the book

The Post takes an in-depth look behind the scenes of the 37-day political drama that decided the presidency – and tested the foundations of America's democratic and electoral processes.

This series is based on dozens of interviews with participants in the Florida recount, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, lawyers and strategists for the presidential campaigns of Bush and former Vice President Gore and state and county officials. The interviews took place
both during and after the recount.

Part One
The Scramble
After a roller-coaster election night in which both Vice President Gore and Gov. George W. Bush caught a whiff of defeat, the candidates and their teams quickly mobilized for a recount war in Florida. – Jan. 28, 2001

Part Two
Choosing Their Weapons
With the election deadlocked, Gore and Bush each moved rapidly to map their political and legal strategies in Florida, resulting in the Bush team's decision to pursue federal court action. – Jan. 29, 2001

Part Three
Pushing the Deadline
Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris helped stall the recount process through narrow interpretation of election laws, but then the GOP team ran into Florida's Democratic state Supreme Court. – Jan. 30, 2001

Part Four
Ballot Battle
"Count every vote" was Gore's powerful mantra in the public relations war. But for Gore to succeed, he also needed to minimize the votes of thousands of predominantly Republican servicemen. – Jan. 31, 2001

Part Five
Turning Point
As Thanksgiving came, Gore's hopes began to dwindle. The decision to extend the recount's protest phase left little time to contest the results once Bush was certified as Florida's winner. – Feb. 1, 2001

Part Six
Hail Mary
After weeks of legal wrangling, the Gore team was granted an 11th-hour ruling by the Florida Supreme Court – a ruling that the Bush team would turn to its advantage. – Feb. 2, 2001

Part Seven
Gore came to his lowest moment yet – and Bush his highest – when the U.S. Supreme Court rebuked the Florida high court, stopped the recounts, and set the stage for a stirring and controversial finish. – Feb. 3, 2001

Part Eight
Analysis: Epilogue
The post-election fight in Florida exposed how fragile democracy can be – and underscored how much it depends on the faith of ordinary people that the system is fair and equitable. – Feb. 4, 2001
Bush Interview: 'I Realized It Could Be Trouble'

Contributing to this series were Washington Post reporters David S. Broder, Ceci Connolly, Claudia Deane, Thomas B. Edsall, Juliet Eilperin, James V. Grimaldi, Robert G. Kaiser, Howard Kurtz, Lois Romano, Susan Schmidt, Peter Slevin and Roberto Suro and staff researchers Alice Crites, Lynn Davis, Madonna Lebling and Margot Williams.

© 2001 The Washington Post Company

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