The most dramatic moment by far came near the end — during the 14th round of voting on Friday, in what almost everyone had hoped would be the final round.

Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) had ensured all eyes would be on him, refusing to answer the initial call of the clerk and maneuvering so that he would have a later, deciding vote. He eventually voted “present” — prompting fellow Republicans who believed this would secure McCarthy’s position as speaker to give him a standing ovation.

In fact, his “present” vote left McCarthy still one vote short. As Democrats laughed and Gaetz ignored appeals from McCarthy and his allies to break the stalemate, one member’s temper boiled over: Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) began shouting at Gaetz and had to be physically restrained by another lawmaker, who grabbed Rogers, including across his mouth, and pulled him back.

Gasps could be heard across the House chamber as lawmakers realized how close they had come to a physical altercation.