Falling Up: How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting

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LSU Press, Apr 1, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 328 pages
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This brash and rollicking autobiography is a potent primer of the rough-and-tumble world of political consulting by one of its founding fathers and preeminent experts. A cross between a patriotic redneck raconteur and a TV-savvy renaissance man, Raymond D. Strother is unafraid to name names and refuses to mince words in tales of what he calls "the beauty and gore" of American politics. From the crash course in Louisiana politics and corruption he received following graduate school to his compelling entry into the big-time senatorial and congressional races of the 1970s and early 1980s and his adventures with candidates Clinton, Gore, and Hart and famous consultants Dick Morris and James Carville, Strother offers a wildly entertaining, controversial, but finally optimistic political and media success story that will thrill and inspire anyone spellbound by American politics.

 

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In early 2004 I first posted online a lengthy review I wrote of Mr. Strother's important book. My book review concentrates on Strother's fateful political consulting work in the 1980s for both Colorado Senator Gary Hart and his fellow (interested by unannounced) aspirant for the presidency in 1988, (then) Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.
In light of the recent publication of Matt Bai's excellent new book titled "All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid" on the manner in which mainstream journalists in 1987 took leave of their senses and viciously invaded the privacy- and assassinated the character of Gary Hart, I have re-posted online my book review of Falling Up: How a Redneck Helped Invent Political Consulting, which was completed in 2003 (although stylistic editing continued until January 2005). My review (which is near-book-length and formatted as such) is entitled: "Brave Hart, Wild Bill, and the Man Who Helped Create the Bush Family Dynasty While Trying to Elect Both of Them". It is divided into 4 "chapters":
I. The Big Bang (about Hart's spectacular electoral success in the 1984 Democratic presidential primaries, an effort than left him just short of winning the nomination);
II. The Big Mystery (about who set-up Gary Hart in 1987);
III. The Big Chill (about the "yuppie scum" journalists who maliciously assassinated Hart's character in 1987 and forced him to abort his promising presidential campaign);
IV. The Big Switch (about the manner in which the "flame war" between journalists and Hart over the privacy due politicians and Hart's alleged extramarital relationships displaced the anticipated POLITICAL war between Hart as halcyon leader of the public interest wing of the Democratic Party and George HW Bush as the leader of the conservative Republican Party in 1988, enabled the general election to result in a shellacking of the Dems' hapless ineffectual substitute nominee Michael Dukakis by Bush, Sr; and how a Hart presidency might have averted the devolution of our nation and world into the blatantly anti-idealistic dystopia it has become); and an
Afterword about other facets of Mr. Strother's career and work he covers in Falling Up, and place in the saga of Gary Hart's 1980s presidential campaigns.
A link to the book review can be found here: https://twitter.com/ECJLA/status/515156676874231808
Eric C. Jacobson
Public Interest Lawyer
Los Angeles, California
October 9, 2014
 

Contents

Growing Up in Texas
14
Get the Hell Out of Here You Have a Future
40
The First Lessons
55
Sunshine Rains on Me
70
James Carville and Iceberg Lettuce
85
Season of Discontent
102
The Kingfish Lends a Hand
117
What Is It You Do Sir?
130
The Wise Ones Stumble Again
172
Bill Hillary Al and the Gang
206
Buddy Roemer and the Silver Bullet
222
Where Dreams Go When They Die
234
Kicking Ass and Taking Names
263
The Sea Creatures Crawl to the Shore
282
Index
297
Copyright

A Pretty Woman with a Smudge on Her Cheek
155

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About the author (2005)

Raymond D. Strother is president of Strother, Duffy, Strother and lives in Washington, D.C., and in Montana. He is a former president of the American Association of Political Consultants, a former fellow at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics at Harvard University, the recipient of a 2001 Pollie Award for Best Political Television, and the author of the political novel Cottonwood.

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