A premier political reporter considers our presidential politics and how to improve them-an essential book as campaign 2000 gets under way.
Jules Witcover, who has covered every presidential election since 1952, here combines unparalleled anecdotal knowledge about Presidential politics with scintillating wisdom about just what's wrong with those politics. He shows us, in memorable and dramatic detail, how over the years an influx of professional mercenaries-with no party loyalties and virtually no political principles-has corrupted American public life and formed a new technocracy that dominates every phase of electoral politics. Along with this, television has changed politics dramatically, even destructively, which only discourages voter participation and puts off some of our most promising candidates.
In this lively, story-filled book, Witcover examines the many ways in which politicians have condoned or encouraged these developments, and how they have responded to the new demands of a media-driven, money-conscious age. He assesses the effect of campaign funds both "soft" and "hard," and of a press corps that practices invasive, "gotcha" journalism in its own quest for greater celebrity and financial reward. He concludes with sage and experienced recommendations on how to improve our Presidential politics-beginning even this year!-and revive public interest and confidence in American democracy.