I am indebted to a wide variety of people and organizations for their help in writing this book. As with each of my prior books, I am enormously indebted to the talented librarians at Miami University, most particularly Becky Zartner and Lynn Huff. It is with sincere gratitude that, as I have found myself doing with every book I have written, I acknowledge their considerable help.
Unusual thanks are due to the approximately 40 political consultants who shared their time and knowledge with me. Similarly, specialists in a variety of media organizations have been equally generous with their time and knowledge. I have had the opportunity to deal with consultants in virtually every political consulting specialty, cutting across the entire political spectrum, ranging from those who are principals in large, nationally known firms to those who are basically one-man operations. These pages are far richer for the information they have shared with me. Indeed, this book might have been impossible without their cooperation. I have acknowledged their specific contributions individually in the text and notes throughout this book, but I want to also acknowledge them collectively. The consulting industry has been subject to a host of criticisms in recent years. As in any profession, political consulting has its share of bad apples. Yet, by and large it is a profession peopled with a wide variety of admirable individuals. These individuals apply their communication skills in a wide variety of ways. The vast majority of them work hard, play by the rules, and do their best to have an impact on what is the essence of our democratic way of life, political campaigns.
In the course of my work on this project I received a grant from the Joan Shorenstein Center of the John F. Kennedy School of Government