Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Behind the Oval Office: Getting Reelected Against All Odds Paperback – November 16, 1998


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$0.14 $0.01

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "The Good Girl" by Mary Kubica.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 646 pages
  • Publisher: Renaissance Books; 1st edition (November 16, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580630537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580630535
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #578,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Given the call-girl scandal that ended Dick Morris's career as Bill Clinton's chief political strategist, maybe they should have called this one "Under the Oval Office." The book is recommended because in Clinton's "Wilderness Years" of 1994 and 1995, when Newt Gingrich's Republican Revolution was in full flower, Morris undeniably had Clinton's ear. And what he was constantly whispering in it--that the president should effect a strategy of "triangulation," in which he would disassociate himself from both the Republicans *and* the Democrats in the Congress--proved winning advice. After all, Clinton was reelected even though both houses remained Republican. But perhaps it's a mistake to claim, as Morris does, that the scandal should be separated from his job performance. Wasn't it a case of not only compromising his position, but compromising principles as well? Isn't this the real danger of relying on nonpartisan political consultants? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Fewer than six months after resigning in disgrace after being caught with a prostitute, Morris, Clinton's pollster/strategist, offers his side of the story. He reveals little about the scandal and fails to convince the reader that he was a major White House player. His constant feuding with many administration officials, notably Leon Panetta, White House chief of staff, and Harold Ickes, assistant chief, makes him appear petty. Morris is credited with developing Clinton's triangulation strategy, which may be viewed as either an attempted moderation of the Democratic Party or a sellout to Republican interests for votes. He writes dully about policy issues, which receive clearer and more readable treatment in Elizabeth Drew's Showdown (LJ 3/15/96) and Haynes Johnson and David Broder's The System (LJ 5/1/96). Morris unintentionally shows that polling and promotion are no substitutes for planning and leadership. Not recommended.?Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dick Morris served as Bill Clinton's political consultant for twenty years. A regular political commentator on Fox News and other networks, he is the author of six New York Times bestsellers (all with Eileen McGann) and one Washington Post bestseller.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bruce on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Dick Morris, the political consultant widely acknowledged for arranging Clinton's second term win, writes an insightful analysis of President Clinton's career, personality, and political tactics in Behind the Oval Office. Called "The most influential private citizen in America" by Time Magazine, Morris is a consummate influence professional who understands how national attitudes can be engineered through artful communications and carefully chosen positions on issues. Behind the Oval Office can be read as Morris' tactical playbook, where he exposes the psychological machinery that supports political power. Here, Morris details how he conducted regular polling to understand the public's desires, from that polling located unassailable positions for the president to assume, and from those positions crafted messages that persuaded Americans to vote for Clinton. Morris also reveals how he "inoculated" the president from political attack, how he sometimes found it necessary to distract the American public away from a close examination of the president's actions, and how he ran "stealth" advertising campaigns that slipped under the radar of the media elite, to successfully change the voting behaviors of millions of Americans with an image of a likeable and fair president who deserved a second term. Morris also provides an insightful analysis of the missteps and blunders that marked the Dole defeat, and offers a strategy with which Dole could have beaten Clinton. In the revised edition of the book, Morris has released copies of White House agendas that provide a virtual diary of how Morris and Clinton outmaneuvered their political rivals.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Hendrickson on February 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a political staffer myself, I am always looking for "behind-the-scenes" type of books. "Behind the Oval Office" provides its readers with a thorough understanding of the Clinton White House and the manner in which it has conducted business over the past few years. Dick Morris, in depth, discusses many of the approaches that Clinton took in his attempt to gain successful reelection in 1996. Particularly interesting is Morris' triangulation approach to governing. I would highly recommend this book to others who are interested in presidential politics.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bert Ruiz on May 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
Dick Morris is full of himself. However, this book is worth reading...particularly if you are a political junkie like myself. "Behind the Oval Office: Winning The Presidency in the Nineties," offers a front row seat to White House political strategy. To this end, the one conclusion that all will agree upon with this book is that President Bill Clinton is a slave to the polls.
In many ways this book reveals how shallow politics can get. Morris is an extremely influential political actor in the Clinton White House and is able to expertly navigate the President through the dangerous aftermath of the 1994 Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole midterm Republican advances. Moreover, there is no doubt that Morris laid the foundation for Bill Clinton's second term victory.
Morris does not enjoy the victory...he goes out in disgrace. Nevertheless, this book shows how the author's twenty-year relationship with William Jefferson Clinton and his wife Hillary allowed this couple from Arkansas to survive many political storms. Morris is a master of polling and offers many insights on how polling tracks voter thinking on many sensitive issues. This book is easy to read and a straightforward account of how the "big boys" win in the political arena.
Bert Ruiz
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on February 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was not expecting the author's detailed views on President Clinton's personality. I was assuming I was going to get a 350 page "I am the Greatest" ego stroking puff piece. I was actually prepared to dislike this book given the author's conservative leanings and now permanent pundit position on FOX, but as it is the inside book covering how Clinton turned around his numbers in 94-95, I felt it was worth getting through. It turns out I was wrong. The book was very well written and interesting. The author shared a number of insights into how the Clinton White House worked and what was going on in 94 - 95.
The author also did not have the overblown ego that I was expecting to encounter; as a matter of fact he spent a good deal of time apologizing for his famous fall from grace. He was also rather kind to some of the people he worked with (or battled with) in the White House. As a matter of fact some of the other insider books on the Clinton years have not been this kind to Dick Morris. Maybe that is the danger of being one of the first out of the gate with your memoir, you can not get back at others. Overall I found the book very good. It was detailed and fun to read. The comments are well thought out and provide an interesting view into how politics works now days. Ok, his ego does pop up from time to time, but it is not so bad that it takes away from the overall book. Hey at this level they all have healthily egos. I would recommend that it be one of the books to read on the Clinton years.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By George Gerritsen on February 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
Bill Clinton hired Dick Morris as a consultant for his 1996 reelection campaign. His role as an advisor to the president was kept a secret for several months, and eventually ended in a tabloid-driven scandal that cost Dick his job. Behind the Oval Office provides an account of this time from Dick's perspective.
The account is told in a surprisingly linear and story-like fashion. It makes for a captivating literary experience (which is a real accomplishment considering that this is a political book). It also serves as an outlet for Dick to apologize for, and make peace with, the scandal that cost him his job (and almost his marriage).
I found the book to be quite fair in describing the principals of the Clinton administration and Republican leadership in Congress (Dick Morris had also consulted for many Republicans over the years and briefly served as an information conduit between Bill Clinton and Trent Lott).
The bottom line is this: If you're looking for some sort of a hatchet-job on the Clinton administration, look elsewhere. If you're looking for starting revelations and juicy details, try the tabloids. However, if you want to know more about one of the most unique relationships a president has ever shared with an advisor, this is the book for you.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?