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This review is from: Hardball: How Politics Is Played, Told by One Who Knows the Game (Paperback)
Chris Matthews set out to write an honest rulebook on how the game of politics is played and he did just that. It is a nonpartisan guide. Matthews believes that the rules of politics apply to every human life, not just to senators and congressmen. Here are some of the rules of politics as put forth by Matthews:
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. In many cases, the best way to achieve one's goal is to concede the argument. Great politicians often negotiate by telling their adversaries exactly what they want to hear. By conceding the principal at issue, they manipulate their critics into accepting their views.
10. Hang a lantern on your problem. When in doubt, get it out.
11. Spin, spin & spin. Always turn negatives into positives.
12. The press is the enemy.
13. Have the reputation of power. Political leaders become powerful by appearing powerful. There are six ways to appear powerful. They are: play your strengths, lowballing, sandbagging, creating new commandments, passing the buck, and put your opponent in a "put up or shut up" position.
14. Positioning yourself to the voters as they desire to see you.