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

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9780060004446: Power Plays: Win or Lose--How History's Great Political Leaders Play the Game
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Dick Morris is one of the frankest and most incisive political observers in America today. A fiercely intelligent presidential advisor and a popular columnist and political analyst for the Fox News Channel, Morris now brings his brilliant strategic mind to this fascinating survey of the most dramatic political moves in history.

Morris identifies five types of power play and focuses on politicians whose careers have skyrocketed after implementing one of them successfully -- or foundered in the wake of misjudgment. He chronicles both the wildly effective and the disastrous, from ideologues like Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill, who stood on principle and waited for their moment to shine, to the disavowal of environmental issues that, he argues, cost Al Gore the presidency in 2000. The result is an irreverent and enlightening playbook that holds lessons equally valuable to the planning of a political campaign, a business venture -- or even George W. Bush's War on Terror.

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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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