"A fascinating post-mortem on the 2000 contest. Veterans of the campaign share the ideas and intensions behind their strategies and reflect on the successes, failures, and 'might have beens.' . . . A book for scholars . . . political communications specialists . . . for the heroes of past and future campaigns."—Political StudiesThe presidential election of 2000 was one of the most memorable of the century, a race so close it was decided by 537 votes in Florida. Two months after the Supreme Court put an end to the Florida recounts, key strategists from the Gore and Bush campaigns gathered in Philadelphia to analyze their successes and failures. In an unusually frank discussion, they disclosed the intentions, the research, and the tactics behind their decision-making on matters ranging from message development to campaign advertising to debate strategy.
Why did the Gore team not enlist President Clinton's help more extensively in the campaign? How did the Bush campaign undercut Gore's strategy on Social Security? Why was Gore unable to take credit for the strong economy? Was the press fair to the candidates? Did the mistaken calls made by the networks on election night affect the election's outcome? In Electing the President, 2000, campaign insiders offer their answers to these and many other questions.
Both candidates' inner circles are well represented. Representatives of the Bush campaign include senior adviser Karl Rove and ad producers Mark McKinnon and Alex Castellanos. Representatives of the Gore campaign include advisers Bob Shrum and Carter Eskew and pollster Stanley Greenberg. With its wealth of behind-the-scenes information, Electing the President, 2000 is required reading for anyone seeking to understand this most unusual presidential race.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author, most recently, of Everything You Think You Know about Politics . . . And Why You're Wrong. Paul Waldman is a postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication.