Smashmouth by Dana Milbank
Two Years in the Gutter with Al Gore and George W. Bush

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Contrary to most media reports, negative campaigning is actually in decline, but our political system is no better off for it. Or so believes Washington Post political writer Dana Milbank, whose campaign book Smashmouth provides a witty yet ultimately very serious look at the sense and senselessness that occurred during the 2000 presidential campaign. What matters is not whether a campaign claim is positive or negative, but whether the claim is relevant," writes Milbank. "The press should police outright falsehoods, of course, but otherwise let the candidates fight it out." Traveling by bus, plane and motorcade with the candidates, Milbank provides an indelible behind-the-scenes look at the brutal skirmishes that made up this century's first presidential campaign.

About Dana Milbank

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Dana Milbank is a staff political writer for the Style section of the Washington Post, for which he covers the presidential campaign. He appears regularly as a guest commentator on Andrea Mitchell's show on MSNBC and other programs. He was previously senior editor at The New Republic, where he was the magazine's White House correspondent, and before that a staff writer at the Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Yale University, Milbank lives in Washington, D.C.
Published January 19, 2001 by Basic Books. 416 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The result is an article describing how the Red Sox marched to victory, capped by a paragraph saying something like, “and then the Yankees scored five runs and won.” That is the sensation one gets when reading Washington Post political reporter Milbank’s account of the 2000 presidential campaign.

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