Truth To Tell: Tell It Early, Tell It All, Tell It Yourself: Notes from My White House Education

Davis, Lanny J.

Published by Free Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 0684862786 / ISBN 13: 9780684862781
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Synopsis: A leading political damage-control specialist--a former special counsel to President Clinton--shares the secrets of coping with scandal and for making bad news better, going behind the scenes of the Clinton adminstration to reveal how the White House managed and mismanaged political crises. 50,000 first printing.

Review: The title of Lanny Davis's book will catch many readers by surprise. Davis, after all, was a top White House spin doctor in the Clinton administration and a constant presence on television during the flap over the president's "inappropriate relationship" with Monica Lewinsky--a moment when truth seemed in short supply. Yet this is also an interesting memoir of Washington's scandal-mongering culture told by one of its major participants. The bulk of the book focuses on Davis's time on the White House payroll (he actually resigned shortly after Lewinsky hit the headlines, a departure he had previously scheduled). Davis provides an insider's guide to the controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's fundraising practices and other disputes. These anecdote-rich accounts provide a rare glimpse of how Washington really operates. He remains a dyed-in-the-wool loyalist (no Stephanopoulos-like backbiting here), yet is not afraid to criticize White House tactics that failed to serve Clinton's political goals.

The most interesting sections come when Davis distills lessons from the stories and experiences he relates on these pages. A few tips for aspiring spinners: "Acknowledge the obvious," "Trump the opposition's premises," and "Label any criticism as pure politics." At these moments, Davis reveals the motives and strategies that make Washington politics simultaneously fascinating and infuriating. And it's hard to disagree with one of his chief conclusions, no matter what your politics: "All of us in the process--Democrats and Republicans, journalists and lawyers, not to mention a public ready to assume the worst about politicians--have combined to produce rot, horrible rot." --John J. Miller

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Title: Truth To Tell: Tell It Early, Tell It All, ...
Publisher: Free Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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