Power Plays: Win or Lose--How History's Great Political Leaders Play the Game

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9780060004439: Power Plays: Win or Lose--How History's Great Political Leaders Play the Game

Dick Morris is the frankest and most outspoken political analyst in America today. His commentary on the Clinton White House, the 2000 election, and the rise of George W. Bush has been marked by the sharpeyed political savvy only an insider can bring to bear.

Now, in Power Plays, Morris provides a revealing context for the machinations of contemporary politics. Casting an eye across the annals of history, Morris investigates 20 of the most dramatic political moves of all time -- from the wildly effective to the disastrous. From Abraham Lincoln splitting the opposition over slavery, to Winston Churchill's emergence from obscurity to lead Britain through WWII; from Ronald Reagan and his conservative doctrine taking over the country, to George W. Bush co-opting Democratic issues under the banner of "compassionate conservatism" -- Morris illuminates these and many other gambits through his uniquely insightful perspective. Equally compelling on successes and failures of the past-including the real reason A] Gore lost in 2000.

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Review:

Dick Morris is one of America's sharpest political minds. As a professional consultant, he has helped candidates from both parties understand public opinion and win elections--most notably President Clinton in 1996 (an experience Morris described in the bestselling book Behind the Oval Office). He is also a founding father of "triangulation," a strategy Clinton employed to great effect; according to Morris, George W. Bush also uses it quite well. "The identification of certain problems with certain parties or factions opens up a magnificent strategic opportunity: the chance to solve the other side's problems," writes Morris in Power Plays. In other words, if public concerns about welfare dependency drive voters toward the GOP, then Democrats ought to confront this issue head-on. "Solve the problems that keep the other side in business, and it will go broke. Give them what they want and they will go away." Power Plays, however, is not simply a primer on triangulation; it is an analysis of how various political strategies have helped and hindered candidates. Morris writes at length about determining when standing for principle works and when it doesn't, as well as a number of other approaches, including "divide and conquer" and "reform your own party." This is a first-rate book for readers who enjoy the gamesmanship of politics.

About the Author:

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

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