True Tales from the Campaign Trail, Vol. III


Stories Only Political Consultants Can Tell

Jerry Austin

Pages: 294

Size: 6 x 7 

SKU: 978-1-62922-263-9 Categories: , Tags: ,


True Tales from the Campaign Trail finds Democratic and Republican political consultants putting aside their differences to offer entertaining and honest insights into the art of the political campaign. The variety of funny foibles and lessons learned makes for an engaging celebration of the democratic process and the campaign trail.

True Tales from the Campaign Trail, Volume 3 is a compilation of great campaign anecdotes from experienced political consultants, Democratic and Republican, and other great storytellers. Many of the stories are funny. Many of the stories give you a behind-the-scenes view of what happens in campaigns when the camera is off and the reporters have put down their laptops, and all of these stories are stories that only an insider could tell. Anyone with any curiosity about how political campaigns are run and won will enjoy this book.


Jerry Austin, Corey Busch, Terry Casey, Bill Cohen,  James Crounse, Mike Curtin, Tom Diemer, Bill Fletcher, Les Francis, Joe Hallet,  David Heller, Bill Hershey, Bob Leonard, Lee Leonard, Joanne Limbach,  Bob Ney, Ike McLeese, Tim Miller, Lincoln Mitchell, Bob Mulholland, Phil Noble,  John Polidori, Sandy Theis, Mark Siegel, Katherine Rogers, Steve Rosenthal, Mary Anne Sharkey, Hank Sheinkopf, William Sweeney, Don Sweitzer, Paul Tipps, Gerry Tyson, Jim Underwood, Mark Weaver, David Yepsen, Abe Zaidan, and  John Zogby.

About the author

Jerry Austin is one of the nation’s most experienced and successful political strategists, consulting on races throughout the United States at every level from precinct committee person to President of the United States. Raised in the Bronx, Austin learned his politics in Cleveland in the late 1960s. After helping elect Richard Celeste Governor of Ohio twice, he became the campaign manager for Reverend Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign. He was the senior political director for Paul Tsongas’s 1992 campaign for president and helped elect Paul Wellstone to the United States Senate. In 1992, he was the consultant and media advisor for Carol Moseley Braun’s historic campaign for the U.S. Senate. His work also includes witnessing the Marcos/Aquino election in the Philippines; the Pinochet plebiscite in Chile; and many trips to Northern Ireland to consult for the SDLP party. Austin earned a B.A. in American history from the City College of New York; a master’s in public administration from New York University; and a master’s in education from The University of Akron. He was formerly an adjunct professor and director of the International Campaign Fellows program at The Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron.

Praise for True Tales from the Campaign Trail, Vol. III

Politics and politicians are about people, and True Tales from The Campaign Trail provides stories about the flesh and blood that make our system work. Jerry Austin and his fellow storytellers go beyond the press releases and public statements to give you a real insider’s view of how it all happens. Enjoy the ride!
—Congressman Steve Cohen, Ninth District, Tennessee

Turns out, the very serious business of electing our public officials has a very unserious side. Candidates are only human, and exhibit the same foibles and frailties, the same insecurities and incongruities, of other people. Jerry Austin has done the reading public a real service by putting together these volumes of campaign war/horror stories from those who have manned the frontlines in the political process — the consultants who actually run campaigns.
—Garry South, Political Consultant, Garry South Group

The tension between politics and journalism is a little like walking a demilitarized zone. This book is endlessly engaging as many co-authors show how journalism and politics are intertwined with each side retelling and relishing their “war stories.” Lucky me, Jerry Austin mentored me through my journalism-turned-government/politics career, so I got to live stories like these instead of reporting them. A life in politics is endlessly more fascinating on the inside than outside as these authors will show you!
—Debbie Phillips, former press secretary, Ohio Governor Richard Celeste and deputy press secretary, Ohio Senator John Glenn

This collection of stories from the campaign trail is a fun read, with some important implicit messages for students of politics woven throughout. The first-hand accounts from different perspectives – operatives, candidates, reporters, and others – tell about the rich variation in US campaign politics, with accounts from urban and rural America, all regions, and contests ranging from the most obscure to the presidency. These accounts span decades, but some things are timeless: failures are as instructive as successes, and campaigns revolve around people, sometimes ones who would appear to have no overt connection to the political world.  There’s a particularly good takeaway for this current era with its celebration of data, analytics and the science of campaigns: Politics is every bit art as it is science. And for scholars and students, these accounts offer real-word grist for their understanding of campaign politics.
—Barbara Trish, Professor of Political Science, Grinnell College


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