Cover image for The campaign : Rudi Giuliani, Ruth Messenger, Al Sharpton, and the race to be mayor of New York City
The campaign : Rudi Giuliani, Ruth Messenger, Al Sharpton, and the race to be mayor of New York City
Mandery, Evan J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
viii, 400 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1110 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JS1238.3 .M36 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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The Campaign is a close-up look at the paranoid, frenzied, oppressive, and exhilarating world of modern political campaigns--a universe where truth is fungible and moral conviction a mere asset, like good looks or personal wealth. Corporeal restraints do not exist. People regularly become things they are not.Evan Mandery, research director on Ruth Messinger's doomed challenge to Mayor Rudy Giuliani, offers a behind-the-scenes look at political campaigns in the television era. A day-to-day account of the 1997 New York City mayoral race, it takes us to the real battlegrounds of modern politics: polls, focus groups and television editing studios. With Mandery as our guide, we watch first-hand as political consultants, conceive of the ideal candidate and then attempt to fit their client into that ideal, no matter how uncomfortably.The stars of the story are memorable: Rudy Giuliani, popping his eyes and tweaking the truth; Al Sharpton, the colorful preacher and rising political force; and Ruth Messinger herself, torn between her populist political upbringing and the modern political world where money dominates over all other concerns. Sometimes cynical, often mirthful, and always honest, The Campaign will forever change your view of political campaigns.

Author Notes

Evan J. Mandery was research director on Ruth Messinger's 1997 mayoral campaign. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Mandery lives in New York City where he is a lawyer. He is from East Meadow, Long Island.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Mandery, several years out of Harvard Law School, was research director on Manhattan borough president Ruth Messenger's campaign for New York mayor. The fact that Mandery had no experience directing research (and had previously volunteered in a single election effort) was no obstacle to his hiring, but his relative innocence lends an air of charming befuddlement ("Why are these people doing these strange things?") to his narrative of the campaign. The 1997 mayoral race was a lively one: Rudy Giuliani seeking a second term (and preparing--who knew?--for Hillary in 2000); Messenger, with a long track record of public service, the only woman in the race; Rev. Al Sharpton, running a sometimes noisy but quite serious primary campaign; and Sal Albanese, a populist local politician, who represented the Independence (Reform) Party in the general election after he lost the primary. Mandery writes well, explaining polls and positioning (and why top consultants have contempt for traditional political field work). A terrific book for political junkies and for folks who subscribe to New York magazine. --Mary Carroll

Publisher's Weekly Review

From the trenches of urban political warfare comes this dispatch from Mandery, a Manhattan attorney who was research director for Democrat Ruth Messinger's unsuccessful 1997 mayoral campaign against incumbent Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. His day-by-day log of his nine-month stint will interest all readers, including non-New Yorkers, concerned with the degeneration of politics into spin over substance. For Mandery, the campaign's galling irony was that Giuliani, who cut public school budgets, spent the largest portion of his advertising dollars portraying himself as a friend of education, while Messinger, an outspoken liberal, was massaged by her handlers (including the author) into a centrist. Mandery makes his personal biases clear: Messinger, in his eyes, is principled, brilliant, appealingly quirky and compassionate, while Giuliani is arrogant, egotistical, bullying, mean-spirited, "an effective leader with bad priorities." Yet Mandery, whose job it was to generate issues and to dig up dirt on opponents, admits that Messinger failed to articulate what she'd do if elected. Also, his own gaffes (like putting Messinger on Howard Stern's radio show) justify the conventional appraisal of Messinger's campaign as inept. Enlivened by nimble line drawings and political cartoons, this incisive journal offers a candid and often darkly funny picture of the uneasy cohabitation of idealism and cynicism that defines political life. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Part 1 Jams, Jellies, and Other Tools of the Tradep. 1
Part 2 Polled in Every Directionp. 105
Part 3 Into the Breachp. 275
Afterwordp. 367
Notesp. 375
Acknowledgmentsp. 389
Author's Notep. 391
Indexp. 393