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The Running Mate the Running Mate
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The Running Mate the Running Mate

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  253 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Hailed as "astonishingly powerful" by "The New York Times," and "written perfectly" by "The Washington Post," Joe Klein's #1 bestseller, Primary Colors, was the most-talked-about political novel of the past century. Now acclaimed journalist and author Joe Klein returns with another brilliant and slyly subversive novel set in thegladiatorial arena he knows so well: politics ...more
Unknown Binding, 416 pages
Published December 6th 2000 by Dell Publishing Company (first published 2000)
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Mar 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
There's a certain genre of movies I refer to as the "white men in suits" movies. They are the kind of movies where many of the main characters look alike and not much is done to differentiate them. I'm always slightly confused during these films, because the characters are so interchangeable. So in the third reel when it is revealed that Mr. So-and-so was really a double agent/mafia don/retired baseball player I always think, "Wait, who was Mr. So-and-so?"

This book was much like that. The story
Kristal Cooper
There's nothing really wrong with this book, it's just that the veil has been pulled back in the years since it's been published. The intrigues of being a candidate and the constant drama that results from the vetting process for a national political position are now well known (or, at least, no surprise). I give my stars based on my enjoyment of a book and, ultimately, this was a bit of a bore for me.
Shahid Hussain
Rated it 2 for obvious reasons. Tried reading it at intervals to see if it would grab me in any manner but alas it was not meant to be.
wish Mr. Klien good luck with his future efforts. I do enjoy rading his short articles from time to time.
Jul 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Having read and enjoyed "Primary Colors" several years ago, which Klein originally published anonymously, about Bill Clinton's first Presidential campaign, "The Running Mate" proved to be a lively corollary centering around the life and loves of a Republican senator.

In a postscript Klein mentions that his fictional Republican senator is an amalgam of several current and former Senators who are also Vietnam vets including John McCain, John Kerry and Bob Kerry.

Klein has worked as a journalist si
Aug 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political junkies
The Running Mate refers not to a Vice-Presidential candidate, but to the girlfriend of fictional Senator Charles Martin who is up for re-election in 1994(and eventually loses), following his failed bid for the Presidency in 1992. Set between New York, Washington DC, and a fictional Midwestern state located in the authors mind somewhere near Iowa and Missouri, this book never quite gets moving. While there is plenty of stuff going on, the plot gets lost for awhile- though thankfully it reappears ...more
I had a hard time getting into this book. It starts in the present and then retells the past and works back up to the present. Originally I was only going to give this book one star, but as I trudged through the beginning it did get better. It was about a politician and I'm not really into politics so that may have hindered me. Also, almost all the characters were referred to by three different names (for example: Patrick Dunn was also called Patsy, Pat, Dunnsie - I thought it was confusing).

Ray Hartley
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his brilliant Primary Colors, Joe Klein wrote a thinly disguised account of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign with the author listed as "Anonymous". He had been outed by the time this sequel - a thinly disguised account of the machinations of John McCain's campaign - appeared. Without the freedom that comes with anonimity, this book was never going to live up to the fierce truth of Primary Colours. But it is still a great account of a political ego somewhat out of control.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Klein is the same guy who wrote Primary Colors under the clever name of Anonymous. If you liked Primary Colors, you'll like this. Actually, if you like West Wing (TV), you'll like this. I'm in both buckets. Charlie Martin is a US Senator, and while this plot revolves around his previous try for the Presidency and his current re-election campaign, it's basically a story about the real life of a US Senator - warts and all.
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political junkies
This is a topical novel by Joe Klein, the author of the best-seller, Primary Colors (published anonymously at the time). I selected it as a fun read during the current primary season and enjoyed all of the political "insider" stuff. It was much more vibrantly written than the Jim Lehrer novel that I also read recently.
Oct 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Another gem by Joe Klein.
Interesting expose on the experiences of a presidential candidate and IS written based on the 'character' Senator Charlie Martin, one of the men who opposes Gov. Jack Stanton (of the book Primary Colors)in their bid for the presidental nomination.
(Loosely based on the Life of Bob Dole)
Oct 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fluff-beach, politics
Unfortunately the Aberdeen library only had the abridged version, but I really liked it anyway. Joe Klein also wrote Primary Colors, which I adored, and this book was also politically driven and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the lovestory, since I endeavor to be a political wife.
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly good book--a good story about a US senator from "Des Pointe" in a midwestern state--but also surprisingly insightful about national politics & human relationships (which is, at root, politics).
Mar 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, politics
Joe Klein's novel about American Politics...has the nice ring of an insider, or a truly closer observer, attempting to make sense of the wicked, complicated and financially corrupt crazy world of American Politics.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Long. Nowhere near as entertaining as primary colours. Thought given the current us election that this would be a good time to give this one a go. I was wrong. I read Joe Klein every week in time magazine but this just didn't work.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh...only the third book in a lifetime of reading that I could not finish. Halfway through I stillo had not idea what the plot was and didn't care about the characters. I can't even sell this book at a garage sale.
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was in the mood for some fluffy reading, and for me political books like this fit that bill. This book was really fun, though if you're not a political junkie like me, it could get tedious and maybe even boring at times. I like hearing about the ins and outs of Washington and campaigns . . .
Jan 11, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is it okay to rate a book if you didn't read it? Well, I thought I would enjoy this one, but within the first few pages the "f" word was used twice, and I decided that was too much. So I quit reading. The end.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was an audio tape. I don't remember why, but we did not care for the story.
May 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A U.S. Senator who is struggling in all facets of his life. It moves slowly in places and has a cast of thousands but is worth while.
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So funny

this is great for political junkies. Love all of Klein's books. The best part is that it was all true!
Nov 13, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the politically driven novel I expected, which was a nice surprise. Charlie Martin was, in fact, a senator but this is really a love and life story. I liked it more than I thought I would.
Dec 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I like watching the Newsroom on TV better
Claire Handscombe
How did I not know about this book?
Paul Chen
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining novel about the process of American electoral politics on the national level. Will like if you are a fan of shows like The West Wing.
Frederick Bingham
I could not get interested in this book.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed Klein's novel. You got the inside look and feel of a real campaign, with the great story-telling of a novel.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
What does a politician face when running for an office? Good insight with a love twist in this novel written in 3rd person.
Nov 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as Primary Colors but a decent fluffy political read to distract myself from this election season.
fun, entertaining read. I thought it would be similar to primary colors, but this is full on fiction, not a veiled attempt at a documentary. enjoyable nonetheless
Michael Caidic
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2017
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Joe Klein is a longtime Washington, D.C. and New York journalist and columnist, known for his novel Primary Colors, an anonymously written roman à clef portraying Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. Klein is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. Since 2003 he has been a contributor at the current affairs Time news group. In April 2006, he ...more
More about Joe Klein...