Cover image for Campaign for president : the managers look at '88
Campaign for president : the managers look at '88
Runkel, David R.
Publication Information:
Dover, Mass. : Auburn House, [1989]

Physical Description:
xi, 305 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E880 .C363 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The 1988 Presidential campaign, considered by many to be one of the most negative in recent history, is candidly reviewed by the people who ran the campaigns of the 15 announced candidates. They tell why their candidate undertook the campaign, how they planned to win, how they assessed their strengths and weaknesses and their strategies for overcoming obstacles. Top officials of the Bush and Dukakis campaigns answer questions and exchange opinions about campaign advertising, organization, fundraising, conventions, vice presidential selection, and debate strategies. The role of the press is reviewed by nationally respected journalists. Reforms in the campaign process are suggested by the managers and the journalists.

Author Notes

DAVID R. RUNKEL, currently an Assistant to Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, served most recently as Deputy Director of Harvard University's Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Included as participants or commentators/contributors are: Roger Ailes, Lee Atwater, Edward Rogers, Paul Brountas, Susan Estrich, Jack Corrigan, Ronald Brown, William Carrick, Susan Casey, Frederick DuVal, Richard Hatcher, Allan B. Hubbard, William Lacy, Daniel Mariaschin, J. Frederick Martin, Terry Michael, R. Marc Nuttle, Edward Rollins, Robert Bickel, E.J. Dionne, Howard Fineman, Edward Fouhy, David Gergen, Paul Taylor, Linda Wertheimer, and Judy Woodruff.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

An indispensable resource for students of American politics who want an insider's view of the 1988 election. With the exception of brief introductions to its seven chapters, the book is a verbatim transcript of Harvard University's Institute of Politics postelection symposium of campaign decision-makers, journalists, and political scientists. The candid and freewheeling discussions of the role of consultants, negative advertising, the press as "character cops," money, and the day-to-day strategy that shaped the primary and general election campaigns is a timely and informative case study that explores both the continuities in the presidential election process and the factors that were unique to the '88 campaign. Newsweek's "wimp" headline, the Donna Rice story, the Willie Horton ad, skirting campaign finance laws, the art of "lying," and the use of "focus groups" are only some of the episodes that are developed. The book is very helpful in explaining why George Bush won the election. It is somewhat disappointing that the participants were not more imaginative in their suggestions for improving the system after they had shared their criticisms and frustrations with the process. All levels. W. R. Swanson Connecticut College

Table of Contents

Campaign Strategies
The Press as Character Cops
Campaign Organization
Money and the Campaign
The Message--Advertising, Sound Bites, and Polling General
Election Strategy, the Convention, VP Selection, and the Debates
Lessons for the Future