LONG BEACH (coup2k.com) June 8, 2001 - David Von Drehle, Washington Post reporter and co-author of "Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election" (sic), writes in to defend the title of his book, after reading DIVA DOES DEDUCTION.BACKGROUND:
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EQUAL TIME: THE DAVID VON DREHLE DEFENSE
From: <David Von Drehle> email@example.comTHE DIVA RESPONDS
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 7:43 AM
I stumbled across your site and saw how angry you'd gotten about the title of our book, "Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election."
You are right that more than one election can lay claim to the title. (You left out 1800, which was an electoral college tie.) I think the assertion is defensible in this case because:
a) The decisive margin, by one reckoning, was just 537 votes in a state where more than 6 million votes were cast;
b) By another reckoning, the decisive margin was a single vote on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a one-vote margin in the other direction on the Florida Supreme Court;
c) The presidential election came in the context of one of the closest Congressional elections in history.
David Von Drehle
The Washington Post
From: "The Diva (Tammy)"
To: "David Von Drehle" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, June 08, 2001 4:39 PM
Subject: Re: Greetings
Dear Mr. Von Drehle:
Thanks for writing in.
First: Allow me to disagree with you. I never wrote that "more than one election can lay claim to the title" (of being the closest election in American history). The reason that I know I did not, is I would never say anything so bizarre. "Closest" is a superlative adjective. As the Highlander would say, "There can be only one." There cannot, as a matter of simple English, be more than one "America's closest election." I did address the varying accepted standards for judging the "closeness" of an election -- popular vote versus electoral vote, and raw totals versus percentages -- and give examples of elections under these four accepted standards that were "closer" than the 2000 election (the election which your book calls "America's Closest Election").
Second: Since the 1800 Presidential Election occurred prior to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment (a.k.a. Cheney's Chew-Toy), I feel you are comparing apples and oranges -- something similar would be to imply that President Clinton was less popular than President F. Roosevelt, as evidenced by the fact that Clinton was only elected to two terms, instead of four. The 1800 Election, as they say, happened in a very different time, constitutionally speaking, and both "tied" candidates went on to serve in the Executive Branch -- Jefferson as President, and Burr as Vice President. However, now that you mention it, wasn't the 1800 election "closer" than the 2000 election? And if so, why name your book what you did?
Third, Florida is not America, and you did not name your book, "Deadlock: The Inside Story of Florida's Closest Presidential Election." That may have been a defensible title (or maybe not, as reported by John Lantigua in The Nation), but the title you did choose (if you chose it), is not.
Fourth: If, as you say, the election was "closest" in the sense that it was won by a one-vote margin when The SCOTUS ruled in Bush v. Gore, then a proper title for your book might have been, "Deadlock: The Inside Story of America's Closest Election Ever Decided by a Partisan Majority (Members of which had Personal and Family Conflicts of Interest and Publicly Stated Animus for One Candidate) of the Nation's Highest Federal Appeals Court (No Longer Referred to as the 'Supreme' Anything)." That title, however, might have proved unwieldy -- in more ways than one...
Fifth: What the Congressional Elections have to do with the title of your book, I don't know. As you no doubt DO know, the Publisher's Book Description doesn't mention a word about 'congressional' anything...
(Continued on NEXT PAGE)NEXT: THE DIVA RESPONDS TO VON DREHLE
MORE: TRANSLATION OF VON DREHLE'S LETTER