The Candidate by Samuel L. Popkin
What It Takes to Win - and Hold - the White House

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Synopsis

There are two winners in every presidential election campaign: The inevitable winner when it begins--such as Rudy Giuliani or Hillary Clinton in 2008--and the inevitable victor after it ends. In The Candidate, Samuel Popkin explains the difference between them.
While plenty of political insiders have written about specific campaigns, only Popkin--drawing on a lifetime of presidential campaign experience and extensive research--analyzes what it takes to win the next campaign. The road to the White House is littered with geniuses of campaigns past. Why doesn't practice make perfect? Why is experience such a poor teacher? Why are the same mistakes replayed again and again?
Based on detailed analyses of the winners--and losers--of the last 60 years of presidential campaigns, Popkin explains how challengers get to the White House, how incumbents stay there for a second term, and how successors hold power for their party. He looks in particular at three campaigns--George H.W. Bush's muddled campaign for reelection in 1992, Al Gore's flawed campaign for the presidency in 2000, and Hillary Clinton's mismanaged effort to win the nomination in 2008--and uncovers the lessons that Ronald Reagan can teach future candidates about teamwork. Throughout, Popkin illuminates the intricacies of presidential campaigns--the small details and the big picture, the surprising mistakes and the predictable miscues--in a riveting account of what goes on inside a campaign and what makes one succeed while another fails.
With the 2012 election looming right on the horizon, The Candidate is an essential read for everyone who is watching as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney square off against each other. As Popkin shows, a vision for the future and the audacity to run are only the first steps in a candidate's run for office. To truly survive the most grueling show on earth, presidential hopefuls have to understand the critical factors that Popkin reveals in The Candidate.
 

About Samuel L. Popkin

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Samuel L. Popkin is Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He has also been a consulting analyst in presidential campaigns, serving as consultant to the Clinton campaign on polling and strategy, to the CBS News election units from 1983 to 1990 on survey design and analysis, and more recently to the Gore campaign. He has also served as consultant to political parties in Canada and Europe and to the Departments of State and Defense. His most recent book is The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns; earlier he co-authored Issues and Strategies: The Computer Simulation of Presidential Campaigns; and he co-edited Chief of Staff: Twenty-Five Years of Managing the Presidency.
 
Published April 5, 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA. 357 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Candidate

The New York Times

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Samuel L. Popkin, a professor and sometime campaign adviser, has written a kind of management bible for the business of presidential campaigning.

Jul 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Candidate: What It Takes ...

The New York Times

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Samuel L. Popkin, a professor and sometime campaign adviser, has written a kind of management bible for the business of presidential campaigning.

Jul 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Candidate: What It Takes ...

The Washington Post

That is worth some follow-up, given how ubiquitous the message box is in current campaign strategy, at least on the Democratic side (I have heard that Republican campaigns have their own version of this, too).

Jul 27 2012 | Read Full Review of The Candidate: What It Takes ...

Christian Science Monitor

(In 1980, Popkin played the role of Ronald Reagan in a debate prep for Jimmy Carter: when he hammered Carter with actual Reagan quotes, the president got red-faced and stormed out of the room.) In this sense, Popkin concludes, our political system with all its flaws and absurdities actually does ...

Jul 19 2012 | Read Full Review of The Candidate: What It Takes ...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

(In 1980, Popkin played the role of Ronald Reagan in a debate prep for Jimmy Carter: when he hammered Carter with actual Reagan quotes, the president got red-faced and stormed out of the room.) In this sense, Popkin concludes, our political system with all its flaws and absurdities actually does...

Jul 18 2012 | Read Full Review of The Candidate: What It Takes ...

The Moderate Voice

There’s a new political Bible out — a political book that like the religious Bible is crammed with wisdom and rules that if followed offer a better (political) life.

Sep 24 2012 | Read Full Review of The Candidate: What It Takes ...

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