- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2001

It would seem that almost everyone has had enough of the 2000 presidential election, where a few ballots in Florida tipped the scales for President Bush.But in Washington, the 36 days of utter mayhem that followed the Nov. 8 election are still a hot topic and so is a book by The Washington Times Senior White House Correspondent Bill Sammon that chronicles the behind the scenes chaos of both the Bush and Gore camps, while charging that Mr. Gore would have stopped at nothing to win.
To celebrate publication of "At Any Cost: How Al Gore Tried to Steal the Election" — which recently hit the New York Times best sellers list — Regnery publishers hosted a book party Thursday night at Mortons of Chicago, drawing quite a diverse crowd.
"I dont think its easy to find an audience for a political book, but Bill clearly has," said Washington Post White House correspondent Mike Allen, who told Mr. Sammons son, Billy, that he "had fun traveling with [his] dad" on the campaign trail.
CNN "Crossfire" host and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak called the book "a hell of a good read."
"People knew something strange was going on down there," Mr. Novak said.
Mr. Sammon said it was not meant to be an introspective "me, me" chronicling of the contentious election. Those books have already come and gone, many in the crowd of about 100 noted.
"This is part of the political landscape," Mr. Sammon said of the election that eventually saw the Supreme Court step in and stop the madness. "The Florida fallout is here to stay. It has many political lessons."
Some who came for chardonnay, prawns and glazed portobello mushrooms were closer to the historic events than Mr. Sammon, who covered the election for The Washington Times.
Newly minted U.S. Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson, for example, who played a major role by arguing Mr. Bushs case before the Supreme Court in December.
Tony Blankley, a columnist for The Washington Times and a "McLaughlin Group" regular, pointed out that Mr. Sammons years of dogged reporting have earned him praise from his fellow journalists.
"Sammon is an objective reporter who has gained their respect," Mr. Blankley said.
Fox News Managing Editor Brit Hume said his network missed Mr. Sammons political analysis skills when he curtailed his on-air appearances last winter to work on the book.
The author, he said was "well on his way," to being part of the "in crowd" of Washington journalists.

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