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Life's a Campaign
Cover of Life's a Campaign
Life's a Campaign
What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success
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Chris Matthews is like no other TV interviewer. Life's a Campaign is like no other book on success.
Famous for demanding the truth from his Hardball guests, Chris Matthews now reveals what the people running this country rarely confess: the secrets of how they got to the top. Here is the first book on power with insight snatched from those who wield it. Life's a Campaign exposes the tactics, tricks, and truths that help people get ahead–and can help you, too, whatever your field of ambition.
Written in the assertive, good-natured style that is Matthews's trademark, Life's a Campaign is the most useful kind of investigative reporting. You'll benefit from his insider's scrutiny of the Congress, the White House, and the national news media. Here are the methods, showcased in fascinating anecdotes and case histories, that presidents, senators, and other powerful people use to persuade others and win–and the life lessons they provide for the rest of us.
You'll learn about Bill Clinton's laser-focused ability to listen to those he wants to seduce–and how he's been teaching that craft to his wife, Hillary; how Ronald Reagan employed his basic optimism to win history to his side; the simple steps in human diplomacy that the first President Bush exploited to assemble a worldwide posse to attack Saddam Hussein and gain global approval in a way his son has failed to do; how Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House by practicing the most fundamental of human qualities: hardnosed loyalty. You'll also find out, for the first time, about Matthews's own wild ride through the turbulent, converging rapids of politics and journalism.
The big payoff in Life's a Campaign is what you'll learn about human nature:
• People would rather be listened to than listen.
• People don't mind being used; what they mind is being discarded.
• People are more loyal to the people they've helped than the people they've helped are loyal to them.
• Not everyone's going to like you.
• No matter what anybody says, nobody wants a level playing field.
Knowing such truths is the successful person's number one advantage in life. As you'll learn in Life's a Campaign, mastering–and employing–these truths separates the leaders from the followers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Chris Matthews is like no other TV interviewer. Life's a Campaign is like no other book on success.
Famous for demanding the truth from his Hardball guests, Chris Matthews now reveals what the people running this country rarely confess: the secrets of how they got to the top. Here is the first book on power with insight snatched from those who wield it. Life's a Campaign exposes the tactics, tricks, and truths that help people get ahead–and can help you, too, whatever your field of ambition.
Written in the assertive, good-natured style that is Matthews's trademark, Life's a Campaign is the most useful kind of investigative reporting. You'll benefit from his insider's scrutiny of the Congress, the White House, and the national news media. Here are the methods, showcased in fascinating anecdotes and case histories, that presidents, senators, and other powerful people use to persuade others and win–and the life lessons they provide for the rest of us.
You'll learn about Bill Clinton's laser-focused ability to listen to those he wants to seduce–and how he's been teaching that craft to his wife, Hillary; how Ronald Reagan employed his basic optimism to win history to his side; the simple steps in human diplomacy that the first President Bush exploited to assemble a worldwide posse to attack Saddam Hussein and gain global approval in a way his son has failed to do; how Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House by practicing the most fundamental of human qualities: hardnosed loyalty. You'll also find out, for the first time, about Matthews's own wild ride through the turbulent, converging rapids of politics and journalism.
The big payoff in Life's a Campaign is what you'll learn about human nature:
• People would rather be listened to than listen.
• People don't mind being used; what they mind is being discarded.
• People are more loyal to the people they've helped than the people they've helped are loyal to them.
• Not everyone's going to like you.
• No matter what anybody says, nobody wants a level playing field.
Knowing such truths is the successful person's number one advantage in life. As you'll learn in Life's a Campaign, mastering–and employing–these truths separates the leaders from the followers.
From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book

    Chapter 1

    Whatever Gets You in the Game

    If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate you are bound to wake up somebody. --Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    You cannot win if you're not at the table. You have to be where the action is. --Ben Stein

    It was the third night of the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. I was anchoring MSNBC, Hardball-style, from a vantage point on Herald Square, a few blocks from Madison Square Garden. The uptown traffic was honking past on the left, the downtown drivers squeezing through on my right. In front of Macy's, protesters were shouting their hatred of President Bush.

    Just moments before, an angry Georgia Democrat, Senator Zell Miller, had taken the extraordinary step of addressing the GOP convention. He had delivered a contemptuous attack on his own party's presidential nominee, John Kerry, in which he accused the Massachusetts senator of being weak on national defense. According to Miller, the Democratic candidate would fight the war on terrorism with "spitballs." From my anchor desk on Broadway, I had Miller on a remote hookup from the convention floor. From the expression of the man looming on the giant TV screen before me, I could tell that here was a guy in no mood to answer tough questions.

    "Get out of my face!" he told me threateningly. "If you're going to ask a question, step back and let me answer. I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a man to a duel."

    Wow. Had I heard him right? How did I ever land such a job? How had someone like me, hooked on politics since I was a kid, found himself in the very crosshairs of American electoral warfare--to the point where some crazed U.S. senator was proposing a duel? On national television, no less?

    Well, as the man said, just step back and let me answer. T

    The fantasy explanation for how I began hosting Hardball five nights a week on MSNBC and The Chris Matthews Show on weekends is that someone heard what my dream job was and magically bestowed it upon me. The second--and better--answer is that more than a third of a century ago I managed to get in the game and then worked it from there.

    When I came to Washington in 1971, after two years spent overseas, it was like arriving at a party where all the guests knew one another and no one knew me. The Senate and House offices of Capitol Hill were bustling and cozy--for those with jobs, that is. Everyone but me had a place to go in the morning, a snug workplace to leave at nightfall. I was on the outside looking in.

    This is not to say I arrived in the nation's capital feeling uninvited. Ever since the great Kennedy-Nixon fight of 1960 I had felt the allure of politics. The battle over who should run the country was what I had thought about, talked about--and, yes, argued about--since I was in grade school.

    My defining goal that sunny Washington winter of my return to America was to become a part of that political world to which I was so deeply drawn. While still a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland, where I served from 1968 to the end of 1970, I had gotten a letter from a college friend telling me about his job as legislative assistant to a U.S. senator. The "LA," I knew, was the staffer who helped his boss with the big-picture stuff: writing speeches, drafting legislation, thinking. It was the post that the great speechwriter Theodore Sorensen had held in the young John F. Kennedy's Senate office. Transfixed, I had read Sorensen's book Kennedy a few months earlier on the overnight train from Mozambique to Rhodesia.

    When I arrived in Washington, my strategy for turning myself into a Capitol Hill LA was...
About the Author-
  • Chris Matthews is the star of MSNBC's Hardball and NBC's The Chris Matthews Show. He contributes frequently to NBC's Today and is a familiar guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was a longtime Washington bureau chief for the San Francisco Examiner and later a national columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He holds the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communications, eighteen honorary doctorates from American colleges and universities, and was a visiting fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He lives with his wife, Kathleen, an executive vice president with Marriott International, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine In sharp contrast to his TV persona as the self-proclaimed "King of Interrupters," Chris Matthews presents his book in a well-modulated, almost chatty tone, enunciates clearly, and demonstrates an appropriate emotional range. Matthews's pleasant speaking voice has bit of an edge from his residual "Philly" twang, and although his pace is quick, it is not the rapid-fire staccato that often results in slurring in his on-air speech. The book is a delight for the political junkie. Matthews's insider's position offers a peek behind the curtain, through anecdotes and observations, at some of the most memorable players and events of the last 30 years. The author's performance of his own work only adds to the enjoyment. M.O.B. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine
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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Life's a Campaign
Life's a Campaign
What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success
Chris Matthews
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