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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House: Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail
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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House: Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail

3.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  89 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Charles Osgood, one of America's favorite news personalities, offers a hilarious compendium of anecdotes from the last seventy years of presidential campaigns. With anecdotes from Harry Truman to JFK to George W. Bush, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House captures the wit and humor of the campaign trail. Culled from speeches, interviews, press conferences, ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Hachette Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-29 of 134)
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Gary Anderson
Dec 20, 2014 Gary Anderson rated it liked it
The presidential campaigns from 1948-2004 are presented here with everything removed except the funny parts. Adlai Stevenson and John Kennedy emerge as the sharpest wits from that time period, and remembering Dan Quayle's ineptitude is actually kind of frightening. Charles Osgood does a fine job of providing context for each election, although there are a couple of factual errors. Illinois Senator Carol Moseley Braun, for example, is referred to once as "Carl," although she is mentioned accurate ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Ellen rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, history
The subtitle for this book is "Humor, Blunders, and Other Oddities from the Presidential Campaign Trail" and that sums it up perfectly. Charles Osgood has gathered pages of humorous quotes, some intentional and many not, from and about Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates beginning with the 1948 election of Harry Truman. Truman told a tale on himself about campaigning on an Indian reservation. After every promise he made the crowd would yell "Oompah! Oompah!" As he got ready to leave he ...more
Todd Martin
Oct 15, 2014 Todd Martin rated it did not like it
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House is a compendium of political quotes written for people who like to read and poop at the same time. Unfortunately (yet predictably), that which emanates from the politician’s mouths and that which emanates from the reader are largely indistinguishable.
Feb 10, 2015 J rated it it was ok
well organized. however, I found this monotonous. seemed like endless array of one-liners. at first, many of the quips were before my time. as it went through it fit more and more my generation. hoping this would spark more investment. yet the emotional connection never really hit home. it was like having bad wi fi. there would be a start but after a few minutes it would drop. found my self doing my runners mantra, just 20 more seconds. . .I am pushing through this barrier. . .I can rest after t ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Tom rated it liked it
Funny? Well, not really but generally interesting and engrossing...though being reminded about the election of 2000 still gives me spasms. Yeesh!
David Bales
Jan 21, 2016 David Bales rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Some funny moments. A bit thin on the ground, however.
Dec 15, 2008 Judy rated it it was ok
Now I was all excited about reading this book--given my interest in all things political and especially presidential politics. I was really disappointed. Instead of placing the often amusing stories into some type of context, the stories just rolled on and on. My other complaint is that I didn't realize that the stories were going to range from the funny to the not funny and beyond. Really Charles, did you throw this collection of quotes together over a long weekend. Great title, not so great a ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it
I love "bloopers"....:)
Jul 28, 2008 Vicki rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was an amusing book and a nice review of elections from 1948 through 2004. I didn't realize that George Bush was just as prone to silly speaking blunders as his son. Apparently I wasn't paying close enough attention, or was distracted by Dan Quayle. His humor I do remember. It's a pretty quick read, and it's readily apparent the difference between the erudite humor of Clinton, Gore and Adlai Stevenson, and the ridiculous mistakes that the Bushes and a number of others make.
Mar 28, 2009 Linda rated it liked it
Recommended to Linda by: ChCPL; started 3-17-09
Shelves: chcpl
Charles Osgood compiled amusing anecdotes from Presidential candidates covering Truman/Dewey to Bush/Kerry. Light but entertaining. I did listen to an audio version and was disappointed that Osgood did not narrate his own book. In addition, Norman Dietz, the narrator said "Carl Moseley Braun in stead of Carol Moseley Braun. I even rewound to make sure I heard the mispronunciation. I had.
Dec 12, 2012 Pablo rated it really liked it
Un libro entretenido con anécdotas electorales de los EEUU que nos aterrarían hoy en día y que justifican la guillotina. Otras, no tanto :-P
Algunas graciosas y otras curiosas o históricamente interesantes. Algunas quedan un tanto deshiladas en el conjunto del libro. Pero no deja de ser una buena lectura, y sobre todo, una buena relectura, para recordar episodios concretos.
Frank Roberts
Aug 30, 2008 Frank Roberts rated it it was ok
I've read much better collections of political one-liners and anecdotes. The jokes Osgood compiled in this book were one-sidedly by Democrat candidates and Presidents, and many were at Republicans' expense. This made the humor less enjoyable for one on that side of the aisle. And, honestly, most of the anecdotes weren't that funny.
Jun 30, 2013 Annette rated it liked it
A light and interesting read of politics, elections, candidates, and winners of Presidential Races starting with the Truman election and ending with the George Bush race. If only we knew some of these tidbits before the elections, elections may have turned out differently...

A fast and fascinating read.
Rachel Rogers
Nov 01, 2008 Rachel Rogers rated it really liked it
Finished in time for the end of campaign season. Funny, frightening. Reminds me that we've had stupid candidates, and even stupid elected officials before (like now) and have survived as a country. Some hysterical bits. Some finally placed long-heard quotes in context for me.
Aug 14, 2012 Jec rated it it was ok
i "read" this on playaway. it is not the type of book i normally read but i did find some interesting tidbits and funny comments about our presidents. it was ok...not great.
Katie Christian
Apr 26, 2009 Katie Christian rated it it was ok
Not bad, but definitely not interesting. Too many flat facts, not enough story. I want to know why what they said was funny - not just the quote and let's move on to the next.
Jul 06, 2011 Mark rated it it was ok
Simply a collection of humorous and/or pointed quotes from the various campaigns of the last 100 years. It could be called "Uncle Osgood's Political Bathroom Reader."
Jul 05, 2010 Converse rated it liked it
Amusing quotations from the 1948 to the 2004 campaigns. Since Spiro Agnew the Republican candidates especially seem to go for tautologies
Jun 07, 2009 Nan rated it liked it
It was a fun, light read. Doesn't require much of the reader, except to be mildly amused. And Charles Osgood writes well.
May 29, 2008 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: adults
A must read this election year. I learned so much about past elections, and realize that it's the same old same old every time!!
Jul 28, 2009 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a perfect book to read while the campaign was in full swing! Funny, revealing, just plain interesting stuff.
Oct 19, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
Very funny. Stories from presidentiaol campaigns. Of course, JWB was the funniest of them all.
Jan 20, 2009 Janice added it
light read with interesting history points made thru out the political humor
Christa who loves the library
Not very good. Stopped at end of disc 1. More dry facts than humor.
Nov 15, 2010 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
It was all right. Nothing I'd read again.
Apr 16, 2009 Bunny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-09
Review to come.
Jul 12, 2009 Mary rated it liked it
Passing interest.
Anna added it
Jan 31, 2016
Linda added it
Jan 28, 2016
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Charles Osgood (born Charles Osgood Wood, III on January 8, 1933) is a radio and television commentator in the United States. His daily program, The Osgood File, has been broadcast on the CBS Radio Network since 1971. Osgood hosts CBS News Sunday Morning. He is also known for being the voice of the narrator of Horton Hears a Who!, an animated film released in 2008, based on the book of the same na ...more
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