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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 Clinton 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 Clintons–have held the White House for nearly a generation and examine Hillary Clinton’s prospects for extending this record in 2008. Based on years of research, including private campaign memos and White House communications, The Way to Win reveals the surprising details of how the Bushes and Clintons have closely studied each the other’s successes and failures and used these lessons to shape their own strategies for winning elections and wielding power. In the case of George W. Bush, the strategic genius is Karl C. Rove, arguably the most influential White House aide in history. For the first time, Halperin and Harris cut through the myths and controversies surrounding Rove to illuminate in brilliant, behind-the-scenes detail what he actually does–his Trade Secrets for winning elections. In the case of the Clintons, the chief strategist is Bill Clinton himself. Drawing on their fifteen years reporting on and interviewing him, Halperin and Harris deconstruct and decipher the Clinton style, identifying the methods that all candidates can use in their pursuit of the White House. The Way to Win takes a lively and irreverent approach, but Halperin and Harris also show the disturbing ways that American politics has become a Freak Show–their name for a political culture that provides incentives for candidates, activists, interest groups, and the news media to emphasize ideological extremism and personal attack. For the first time, Halperin and Harris describe how Freak Show campaigns orchestrated by the likes of Internet pioneer Matt Drudge forced Al Gore and John Kerry to lose control of their public images (with considerable help from the candidates’ own ineptitude) and lose the White House. On the brink of what will be one of the most intense, most exciting presidential elections in American history, The Way to Win is the book that armchair political junkies have been waiting for. Filled with peerless analysis and eye-opening revelations from the trenches, it is a must read for everyone who follows American politics. From the Hardcover edition.


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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 Clinton 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 Clintons–have held the White House for nearly a generation and examine Hillary Clinton’s prospects for extending this record in 2008. Based on years of research, including private campaign memos and White House communications, The Way to Win reveals the surprising details of how the Bushes and Clintons have closely studied each the other’s successes and failures and used these lessons to shape their own strategies for winning elections and wielding power. In the case of George W. Bush, the strategic genius is Karl C. Rove, arguably the most influential White House aide in history. For the first time, Halperin and Harris cut through the myths and controversies surrounding Rove to illuminate in brilliant, behind-the-scenes detail what he actually does–his Trade Secrets for winning elections. In the case of the Clintons, the chief strategist is Bill Clinton himself. Drawing on their fifteen years reporting on and interviewing him, Halperin and Harris deconstruct and decipher the Clinton style, identifying the methods that all candidates can use in their pursuit of the White House. The Way to Win takes a lively and irreverent approach, but Halperin and Harris also show the disturbing ways that American politics has become a Freak Show–their name for a political culture that provides incentives for candidates, activists, interest groups, and the news media to emphasize ideological extremism and personal attack. For the first time, Halperin and Harris describe how Freak Show campaigns orchestrated by the likes of Internet pioneer Matt Drudge forced Al Gore and John Kerry to lose control of their public images (with considerable help from the candidates’ own ineptitude) and lose the White House. On the brink of what will be one of the most intense, most exciting presidential elections in American history, The Way to Win is the book that armchair political junkies have been waiting for. Filled with peerless analysis and eye-opening revelations from the trenches, it is a must read for everyone who follows American politics. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008

  1. 4 out of 5

    Étienne-A.

    Un livre certainement daté parce qu’il a été écrit en 2006 (avant l’émergence de Barack Obama) et qu’il consacre presque 100 pages à une victoire d’Hillary Clinton à la présidentielle de 2008. Cependant, la trame de fond qu’analysent Halperin et Harris est toujours d’actualité et en fait une lecture passionnante pour comprendre les Etats-Unis et le monde politique d’aujourd’hui. Ce qu’ils appellent le « Freak Show », favorisant la disparition de la politique du centre de Bill Clinton et l’ascensi Un livre certainement daté parce qu’il a été écrit en 2006 (avant l’émergence de Barack Obama) et qu’il consacre presque 100 pages à une victoire d’Hillary Clinton à la présidentielle de 2008. Cependant, la trame de fond qu’analysent Halperin et Harris est toujours d’actualité et en fait une lecture passionnante pour comprendre les Etats-Unis et le monde politique d’aujourd’hui. Ce qu’ils appellent le « Freak Show », favorisant la disparition de la politique du centre de Bill Clinton et l’ascension de la politique de polarisation de George W. Bush, est un concept essentiel à saisir, qui fait de ce livre daté une lecture pertinente même 14 ans plus tard.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Fun and not overly serious if you like campaign strategy and image control information. But, not very useful for understanding politics given how much seems to have changed since 2007.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cramer

    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 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 - winning elections.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Prateek

    Fans of ABCNews.com 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    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.

  6. 4 out of 5

    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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    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.

  8. 5 out of 5

    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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Danial

    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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    derek

    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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    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

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Lots of interesting insight into the Bush and Clinton presidencies as well as for what to expect during the 2008 campaign.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    This book was differnet and helped me understand the potical world.

  15. 4 out of 5

    James O'donoghue

    Political master Mark Halperin dissects the modern landscape with incredible precision. I think Axelrod and Plouffe took this book to heart.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matt Ferraguto

    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...

  17. 4 out of 5

    K Beckner

    Rapidly becoming out-of-date, but it taught me a lot about politics when I thought I knew more than I did.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pejman Yousefzadeh

    http://www.chequer-board.net/story/20... http://www.chequer-board.net/story/20...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Thrasher

    Boring and poorly written.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Rusak

  21. 5 out of 5

    Flynno

  22. 5 out of 5

    James Slattery

  23. 4 out of 5

    A. P. D. G.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt Bennett

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pradita

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mdtmlyons

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben Birnbaum

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