David A. Dulio - For Better or Worse?
How Political Consultants Are Changing Elections in the United States
State University of New York Press | 2004 | ISBN: 0791460444 | Pages: 320 | PDF | 5.33 MB
This book focuses on the role professional political consultants
have in U.S. elections today by investigating the relationships they have
with other electoral actors and examining consultants’ attitudes and
beliefs about candidates, voters, and political parties as well as their
own place in the electoral system. Although this discussion does not
include a “how to” of political campaigning—I will leave that for the
experts, the consultants themselves—it does include an examination of
consultants’ place in modern elections and what they contribute to campaigns.
Part of this task is to explore and evaluate many of the criticisms
that have been levied against consultants. Are consultants detrimental
to democratic elections? Are they the root of increasingly expensive
campaigns? Do they manipulate the American voter with slick tricks and
gimmicks? The answers to these questions may surprise some readers.
This book would not have been possible without the help of
many individuals. First and foremost are Jim Thurber and Candy
Nelson. The experiences and opportunities they afforded me while I
was a graduate student at the Center for Congressional and Presidential
Studies (CCPS) at American University were more than I could
have ever asked for. My involvement with the Campaign Management
Institute under Candy Nelson gave me my first glimpse into the
world of practical politics and professional consultants. It was my
great fortune to have a mentor in Jim Thurber who was more generous
with time, resources, and opportunities than any graduate student
could ever expect. I never could have completed this project without
his assistance, guidance, and, most of all, his generosity. He and Candy
brought me on board their “Improving Campaign Conduct” project,
funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and provided me not only with
a place to work and learn but with an opportunity to become involved
in a tremendous research experience, which evolved into this book,
and expected nothing in return.