Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '84

Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '84

Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '84

Campaign for President: The Managers Look at '84


A unique chronicle and critique told in the participants' own words. The campaign leaders for Reagan, Mondale, Hart, Jackson, Hollings, McGovern, Cranston, Askew, and Glenn discuss their strategies. What worked? What backfired? What would they do--or not do--again? Discussion leaders include Judy Woodruff, David Broder, Albert Hunt, Howell Raines, and Kenneth Bode. A document of immense historic and human interest.


By Jonathan Moore

The Presidential Campaign Decision Makers Conference brought together for the fourth time principal officials from the various nomination and general election campaigns to reconstruct and assess the major decisions of our quadrennial electoral enterprise. They are the authors of this book, along with five journalists who guided six sessions covering the two-year period preceding 1984, the Democratic primaries, Republican activity during the nominating period, the conventions, the first half of the general election campaign, and its conclusion and the sketching of implications for 1988. The conference took place at the Institute of Politics at Harvard November 30 to December 2, 1984.

This published series of deliberations is thus a unique chronicle and critique in that the actors are the writers, without intrusion or interpretation by third parties. They came together shortly after the conclusion of the campaign with the understanding that they were contributing to an expository and analytical effort which deliberately relies on the expert practitioners themselves. These strategists and implementors, plotters and manipulators, philosophers and publicists--all tired, most scarred, some proud, some depressed--produced a powerful account. The memories of the campaign were fresh, there was some jabbing and preening that needed doing, the desire to get the real story on the table was infectious, and a feeling of a common trade, of fellow professionals permeated the discussions, along with persistent flashes of good humor. Partisan and personal competitiveness continued, along with expressions of respect and sympathy.

This technique has the defects of its qualities; that is, it carries within its special value, special costs. These authors are not without prejudice, and all our preparation, cajoling, and cross-

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