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Winning Right: Campaign Politics and Conservative Policies Hardcover – September 5, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The former Republican National Committee chairman channels his inner Sun Tzu in this memoir-cum-campaign primer, serving up pithy lessons learned on various campaigns; dealings with then-Supreme Court nominees John Roberts, Samuel Alito and the ill-fated Harriet Miers; and conservative talking points on familiar issues like health care, immigration and national security. Unfortunately, maxims like "strategy should define tactics, not the other way around," "a picture's worth a thousand press releases," and "loyalty, loyalty, loyalty" have less to do with superior GOP campaigning tactics than they do with plain old politicking. Gillespie's work with some Republican leading lights-including Elizabeth Dole, Karl Rove and President George W. Bush-might lead readers to expect more seminal insights, if not a couple of savory back-stage tidbits. But the tales here are pedestrian, jumping from receiving lines to campaign buses to Washington power lunches, giving superficial confirmation to what readers already know, including the fact that Rove "is the hardest driving force of the Bush administration." Before he stepped down from the post in 2005, Gillespie told the president, "I will never embarrass you as your former RNC chairman." In this volume, he stays tediously true to his word.
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"Well worth reading if you're a political junkie....His book has the distinction of being intelligent, respectful of his opponents, and funny." -- The Weekly Standard

"Both of us have benefited from Ed Gillespie's sage political advice and his commitment and loyalty. Readers of Winning Right will learn a lot about how politics works in real campaigns, and hopefully get a sense of the best values that motivate people who run for office and the people who work for them." -- Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and former Senate Majority Leader and Republican presidential nominee Robert Dole --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416524835
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416524830
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,408,173 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ed Gillespie is a founder and co-chairman of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a bipartisan public affairs firm that provides strategic counsel, government relations and communications services to corporations, trade associations and issue-based coalitions.

Mr. Gillespie is one of the most prominent and successful strategists in the Republican Party. Most recently, while on leave from QGA, he served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) for the 2004 election cycle. He was the first RNC Chairman in 80 years to preside over the re-election of a Republican president while retaining Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. In recognition of these efforts, National Review magazine called Mr. Gillespie an "indispensable member of the triumphant troika under Bush" (along with campaign manager Ken Mehlman and White House strategist Karl Rove).

In 2002, he was general strategist for Elizabeth Dole's senate campaign in North Carolina, in which Dole garnered the biggest margin of victory of any Senate candidate in the state in over 25 years. Dole and former Clinton chief-of-staff Erskine Bowles combined to wage the most expensive senate race in the country, and the Dole campaign has been cited by numerous political analysts as one of the best of the 2002 election cycle.

Mr. Gillespie's political work on behalf of President George W. Bush is well known, ranging from his management of the highly regarded convention program in Philadelphia in the summer of 2000 to his service as Senior Communications Advisor in Austin to his aggressive spokesman role during the historic recount in Florida, to serving as Communications Director for the President's inauguration in January of 2001. Most recently, Mr. Gillespie led the confirmation efforts for Chief Justice John Roberts. He also advised Justice Samuel Alito during his confirmation process.

In 1996, Mr. Gillespie served as Director of Communications and Congressional Affairs for the Republican National Committee under then Chairman Haley Barbour. Prior to that, he served for over a decade as a top aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX). He was a principal drafter of the now famous 'Contract with America,' which in 1994 swept Republicans to control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Mr. Gillespie edited the paperback book Contract with America, which climbed to number two on the New York Times' bestseller's list in February 1995. He serves on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Horton's Kids. Most recently, Mr. Gillespie authored Winning Right: Campaign Politics and Conservative Policies, published by Simon & Schuster.

The New Jersey native is a graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. While at CUA, he began his career on Capitol Hill as a Senate parking lot attendant. He is married to the former Cathy Hay, who he met playing softball in the Capitol Hill League. They have three children: John Patrick, Carrie and Mollie Brigid.

Before forming QGA with former Clinton White House Counsel Jack Quinn, Mr. Gillespie was President and CEO of Policy Impact Communications.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David W. Thompson on October 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Winning Right" is a must read for anyone interested in politics and how to win elctions and win them in an honorable way. Both Ed Gillespie and his wife Cathy are very "savvy" and very "street smart". Ed is a very good writer and tells it like it is. Ed is a bright shining star in the Republican party. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Frederick A. Costello on April 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ed Gillespie’s book, Winning Right, Campaign Politics and Conservative Ideas, provides some data by which we can judge his suitability as a senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In the 90% of the subject book that is a long narration of various episodes in Ed Gillespie’s career as an advisor to politicians, two of Ed’s characteristics are evident: (1) he is extremely loyal to his clients and (2) he admires politicians of principle – especially if they put their principles above Ed’s advice. He writes about his Enron involvement, when he did not see Enron’s fraudulent accounting (Page 77). Lawton Chiles lied to Florida’s voters that Jeb Bush said he would cut Social Security benefits; however, Tom Bliley of Virginia convinced the Republican leadership not to expose the lie because Democrats might expose similar Republican lies (115). Although voters say they hate negative advertisements, they are greatly influenced by them (118). He claims to have turned down potential clients when he was not comfortable with their positions (179). He supported Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey because the RNC has a policy of supporting incumbents and despite his being philosophically in agreement with Toomey (193). Elections are won by holding your base and attracting voters in the middle (215). Republicans must get their voters out to vote (267). Due to gerrymandering, voters no longer pick congressmen; Congress picks its voters (268).

In Chapter 8, the other 10% of the book, Ed specifies his stand on various issues:
1. National Security: The U.S. must preemptively protect its citizens. We should fight the terrorists on their own soil.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Quinn on August 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Fascinating insider account of presidential elections. No matter what one's political affiliation, the stories, the history and the wisdom and the humor are all invaluable. Written with entertaining anecdotes, hard to put down. Must read for anyone in politics, interested in politics or basically interested in a great read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a delight to read books by people like Ed Gillespie, a man sharing his views and honest opinions on politics, and to know that it is not all bitter hatred out there. Politics is just a game for many people but it is clear that for Ed, it is about doing what it right for the future of our country. Ed Gillespie comes across as a real likable guy as he shares his 25 years in politics working for the Honorable Dick Armey, Governor, former Congressman Haley Barbour, AND Senator Elizabeth Dole. Mr Gillespie also shares the love his family has in their support of his life on the trail with his wife Cathy and 3 young children; all that thay have to show and their solid support while Ed while he spends so much time on the campaign trail. You will know who this man is and what he is all about. It is people like Ed Gillespie who make me proud to be on the right side. Ed in 2016, I am definitely an Ed Gillespie guy ...
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