Berkowitz Book Review Deals with the New Media and the Old

Professor Peter Berkowitz reviews Mark Halperin's and John F. Harris's The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 for The Hoover Institution's Policy Review, calling the book "entertaining and informative." Journalists Halperin and Harris take on the task of explaining the challenges candidates will face in the 2008 presidential election and offering advice on how the successful candidate will overcome them, with particular emphasis on the emergence and importance of the new media.

New Media and old; The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008, Policy Review, February 1, 2007. By Peter Berkowitz.

"Despite their insistence on the new media's transformation of America politics, the ultimate secret to success in the new environment, according to Halperin and Harris, is surprisingly straightforward. Echoing the observation of the ancient Greek historian Polybius that the best way to appear virtuous is to be virtuous, Halperin and Harris assert early on in their book that the best way to overcome the Freak Show "is to have something important to say." And they identify a kind of modern-day corollary to Polybius: "The way to be a successful political hack is to be something more than a hack." In other words, showing character and defending principle can be conducive to victory. Indeed, notwithstanding the dozens of maxims they disseminate about how to manage the new media, they keep coming back to the conclusion that a key to winning in 2008 is to convince voters that one is seriously committed to serious ideas: 'The most underappreciated assets in presidential politics are a coherent rationale and the ability to defend that rationale, not just with words but with convictions that flow from experience.'"

Read the review