From Publishers Weekly
Halperin (ABC News) and Harris (the Washington Post
and The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House
) illustrate "trade secrets" to political victory with this penetrating examination of the personal lives and political histories of the biggest names in recent presidential politics. From the losers (John Kerry and Al Gore, defeated because they "lost control of their public images") to the potential winners (Hillary Clinton, who, they assert, will have a significant fund-raising and fame advantage if she runs in 2008), the authors extract canny lessons in political strategy. But they offer particularly valuable insights into inadequately understood players like Matt Drudge, whom the authors credit as one of the greatest forces behind the Clinton impeachment and the Gore and Kerry losses, and Karl Rove, a man who, regardless of one's politics, "deserves unique notice for one reason: he is an exceptionally good political strategist." The authors' analyses are savvy and unsentimental, without collapsing into cynicism. Though very topical, the book's comprehensiveness should make it a lasting piece of scholarship—an in-depth, indefatigable examination of American media and politics at the turn of the millennium. (Oct. 3)
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The Clintons and the Bushes have occupied the national political scene for nearly two decades and may well do so in the future with the likely prospect of a presidential run by Hillary Clinton. Halperin, political director for ABC News, and Harris, national political editor of the Washington Post
, examine the success of these two different political families, based on specific practices that amount to the trade secrets of modern politics. Discounting Clinton's political charisma and Bush's political legacy, the authors focus on the strategies employed by the campaign teams and the lessons they provide for future political contenders. Drawing on interviews with Clinton, Bush advisor Karl Rove, and coverage of the Clinton and Bush campaigns, the authors examine their winning strategies, including meticulous research, prolific fund-raising, and identifying and playing to the candidate's strengths. A good road map for presidential aspirants, this book is also fascinating reading for the voters who will be watching the spectacle. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved