No Place for Amateurs: How Political Consultants Are Reshaping American Democracy

By Dennis W. Johnson | Go to book overview

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Celebrity Consultants and Professionally Driven Campaigns

I don’t want to read about you in the press. I’m sick and tired of consultants getting famous at my expense. Any story that comes out during the campaign undermines my candidacy.

—Bill Clinton to his new 1996 reelection consultants Dick Morris and Doug Schoen

Just days before the 1996 Democratic National Convention, a smiling, confident Bill Clinton was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Pasted on Clinton’s right shoulder was a cut-out photo of political consultant Dick Morris, “the most influential private citizen in America,” according to Time.1 On the eve of Clinton’s renomination, Time was sending its readers a backhanded pictorial message: here is the most powerful man in the world, who fought his way back from political oblivion, and perched on his shoulder is the reason why. Suddenly the once-secretive, behind-the-scenes consultant was a household name. In the early months of the reelection campaign, Morris worked hard at being the unseen political

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