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Way to Win

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  147 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
In "The Way to Win," two of the country's most accomplished political reporters explain what separates the victors from the victims in the unforgiving environment of modern presidential campaigns.
Mark Halperin, political director of "ABC News," and John F. Harris, the national politics editor of "The Washington Post," tell the story of how two families-the Bushes and the
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Published October 3rd 2006 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2006)
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Oct 23, 2009 Cramer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: political
An incredibly interesting story of how media plays into political campaigns. It shows how the Clinton and Bush family were able to maintain power for 20 years with Hillary's hope of extending it to 4 more with the 2008 elections. Halperin dives into what he calls 'The Freak Show". It's incredible how he portrays the power that the media wields over the political arena. Another focus of the book is on Karl Rove, giving an in-depth explanation of who he is and why he is good and what he does - win ...more
Oct 15, 2007 Prateek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fans of daily political column, "The Note" will love this expansive analysis of the political landscape of the 2008 election (author Mark Halperin is the founder of The Note). Written before most of the current slate of candidates entered the race, this book is less about the horserace and more about the political culture that those candidates must navigate. Thoughtful and filled with juicy nuggets, The Way to Win is an excellent primer for political junkies.
Apr 10, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read for political junkies, which examines the mechanics of presidential politics in the post-Reagan, pre-Obama era. Particularly interesting to look at how a book previewing the '08 election neither mentions Barack Obama nor indicates the path he took to the presidency.

There's also a certain dissonance to Halperin and Harris diagnosing and bemoaning the Freak Show, when they helmed two of the biggest connectors between the Old Media and the New Media.
Gary Kay
The best book to read if you want to understand the influence of the media, and how candidates operate in the new media environment. I'm not sure why the author's added "in 2008" in the title; it should be "The Way to Win: Taking the White House," because I feel this is going to be relevant for a long time.
Chris Mah
An exploration of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton syndrome and how to win the 2008 election. A lot of this advice is not exactly rocket science. Things like 'Know a lot of people' and 'Never lose control of your public image' are pretty intuitive. 'Don't claim to have invented the internet' should probably be added.

I'm only reading this to appear smart.
Matt Simmons
Started this as part of a class on campaign management in the spring - I'd like to finish it by the 2008 election. The best chapter so far is the one on how Matt Drudge and the Internet changed presidential politics.
Jan 06, 2008 Danial rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book can suitably be termed as an elaborate attempt at understanding, by examining the experiences of the Bushes and the Clintons, what it really takes to win the election. In other words they are offering the trade secrets of modern politics.
Jun 20, 2008 derek is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
a little over half-way through... has a ton of great points about the inside workings of political elections, backed up by interesting history. great for anyone with an interest in politics, novice or expert.
Dec 08, 2008 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
I read this when it first came out. Now that the 2008 presidential election has come and gone, I want to re-read it and see how well Senator Obama followed Mr. Halperin's game plan on winning the White House.
Drew Johnson
Revenant bc of Romney. Bush politics (exploit the base) vs clinton politics bridge all good ideas to central theme; Old media filter had left bias, new media rises with no filter, old media responds with lower filter=Freak Show
Jan 06, 2008 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of interesting insight into the Bush and Clinton presidencies as well as for what to expect during the 2008 campaign.
James O'donoghue
Political master Mark Halperin dissects the modern landscape with incredible precision. I think Axelrod and Plouffe took this book to heart.
Matt Ferraguto
Sep 09, 2008 Matt Ferraguto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific read.
Read it when it first came out and absolutely loved it.
I have to go back and read this now that we're so far into the Presidential race...
K Beckner
Mar 06, 2008 K Beckner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rapidly becoming out-of-date, but it taught me a lot about politics when I thought I knew more than I did.
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Mark Halperin is editor-at-large senior political analyst for Time, founding editor of 'The Page' on, and former political director of ABC News. He is also a senior political analyst for MSNBC.
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