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Hardball: How Politics Is Played, Told by One Who Knows the Game Paperback – November 2, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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1. It is not who you know, it is who you get to know. Washington is like working in a big Company where it is who you know is more important than what you know. The key to your success in life is based upon your personal relationships. Nearly everyone in Washington owes their job to a personal friend.
2. All politics is local.
3. It is better to receive than give. Ask for help. The more someone invests in you, the more committed they become to seeing you succeed. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you want to make a friend, let someone do you a favor."
4. Dance with the one that brung ya. It is about loyalty to your side. Think about the loyalty that Ronald Reagan had to the conservative movement.
5. Keep your ememies in front of you. Great politicians always stay on speaking terms with fierce opponents to show strength, obtain useful information and because they know that they may have to call on the opponent as an ally some day.
6. Don't get mad, don't get even, get ahead. Focus on getting past your adversaries.
7. Leave no shot unanswered. Always respond to attacks quickly and effectively by attacking the credibility of your opponent, ridicule your opponent, and reverse the attack so it backfires against your opponent.
8. Only talk when it improves the silence. Know when to speak and when to listen.
9. Always concede on principal.Read more ›
However, I'm extremely politically active, too. I bird dog presidential candidates (Bush, McCain, Gore, Bradley), worked on a Congressional campaign, etc. etc. And the truth is, as much as I hate the messenger, Matthews is pretty much dead on here with this book. If you want to know how the game of politics is currently played, or at least get a taste for it, you should read this book. It doesn't mean you have to like it or think that Matthews is a great guy. But don't dismiss him out of ideology. If you do you'll miss out on the opportunity to learn things that you can use to your advantage.
Activists, particularly those on the left, need to smarten up if they want to succeed politically. I certainly don't recommend everything Matthews is suggesting, but he's got some words of wisdom that should be utilized.
For example, there's "hang a lantern on your problem." That means, if there's no upside, there's no way to "hide" your problem, expose it yourself! In the process you can define it in your own terms and look honorable in the process. I've used this in my own political work.
Then there's "Leave no shot unanswered" which means you don't let the opposition nail you without coming back with an effective counterstatement. This, as Matthews points out, needs to be balanced against "only speak if it'll improve the silence." He gives good examples (although at times a little disjointed) on these and several other words of wisdom to the politically active.
I can't say I like the playing field, but it is the playing field whether I like it or not.Read more ›
On his TV show, Chris Matthews comes across as a cranky anti-intellectual motor mouth - - one who can have 7 guests, and not a single one will get a word in likewise... The myth of Chris Matthews is best characterized by SNL's Darell Hammond's routine where he's always cutting people off with that hillarious, "Yeah... yeah... yeah... yeah.. shut up !"
In fact, it was through SNL that I actually began tuning into Chris's show - - and I actually took a liking to him...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My daughter purchased this for her GOV class. It was required reading. She actually enjoyed it....which isn't the case for most required books in her school!Published 1 month ago by David (Author)
This is a great political book. It teaches the do's and don't's of politics in a cautionary style.This book helped me understand how a politician works.Published 4 months ago by euvette
Excellent product. Arrived before time. Very nice experience.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Interesting concepts that apply not only to political players, but to anyone trying to navigate the world! Highly recommend!Published 5 months ago by Michelle Li
I think this book is great and I'm very glad I was to read it do the summer I really liked going in depth with politics.Published 5 months ago by hill hill