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

By Dennis W. Johnson | Go to book overview

10

Citizens, Voters, and Democratic Choice

I will not indulge in any activity which would corrupt or degrade the practice of political campaigning.

—First article in the Code of Professional Ethics, American Association of Political Consultants, adopted unanimously by AAPC members at annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 28, 1994

[Politics] is a world of taunts, jeers, jabs, pointed fingers and mudslinging…. Fear, anger, envy, indignation and shame are powerful emotions in the political arena…. Negative campaigning is rarely pretty. Sometimes it doesn’t feel very good either. But once you’ve made the decision to inform the voters of your opponent’s shortcomings, stick to your guns…. Remember, you’re playing to win.

—Political consultants Richard Schlackman and Jamie “Buster” Douglas


The Uneasy Relationship between Candidates and Consultants

This book begins with Bill Clinton chewing out his consultants, Dick Morris and Doug Schoen, warning them not to undermine his presidency. When the Dick Morris scandal erupted during the

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