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Buck Up, Suck Up . . . and Come Back When You Foul Up: 12 Winning Secrets from the War Room

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The political strategists who directed the Clinton campaign's War Room reveal the lessons and secrets from their hard-fought battles -- and how to use these highly effective strategies for success in business and everyday life. James Carville and Paul Begala have waged political war all across America and on three continents. They've won some of the most spectacular politic The political strategists who directed the Clinton campaign's War Room reveal the lessons and secrets from their hard-fought battles -- and how to use these highly effective strategies for success in business and everyday life. James Carville and Paul Begala have waged political war all across America and on three continents. They've won some of the most spectacular political victories of the twentieth century and lost a few campaigns too. Along the way, they've learned a few lessons. Some sound simple, like "Never Quit," some comic, like "Kiss Ass," and some are more complicated and nuanced, like "Strategy Ain't Tactics." But each lesson contains tried-and-true wisdom, illustrated with colorful stories from long political experience: ― Find out how Carville's mother used a bass boat to "frame the debate" in selling encyclopedias. ― Learn the War Room tricks for sharpening your message and delivering the perfect sound bite. ― Discover what success secret Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tom DeLay share. ― And much more. Whether you are a senior executive or a secretary, a political junkie or the president of the United States, the rules to live by can be found in Buck Up, Suck Up...and Come Back When You Foul Up.


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The political strategists who directed the Clinton campaign's War Room reveal the lessons and secrets from their hard-fought battles -- and how to use these highly effective strategies for success in business and everyday life. James Carville and Paul Begala have waged political war all across America and on three continents. They've won some of the most spectacular politic The political strategists who directed the Clinton campaign's War Room reveal the lessons and secrets from their hard-fought battles -- and how to use these highly effective strategies for success in business and everyday life. James Carville and Paul Begala have waged political war all across America and on three continents. They've won some of the most spectacular political victories of the twentieth century and lost a few campaigns too. Along the way, they've learned a few lessons. Some sound simple, like "Never Quit," some comic, like "Kiss Ass," and some are more complicated and nuanced, like "Strategy Ain't Tactics." But each lesson contains tried-and-true wisdom, illustrated with colorful stories from long political experience: ― Find out how Carville's mother used a bass boat to "frame the debate" in selling encyclopedias. ― Learn the War Room tricks for sharpening your message and delivering the perfect sound bite. ― Discover what success secret Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tom DeLay share. ― And much more. Whether you are a senior executive or a secretary, a political junkie or the president of the United States, the rules to live by can be found in Buck Up, Suck Up...and Come Back When You Foul Up.

30 review for Buck Up, Suck Up . . . and Come Back When You Foul Up: 12 Winning Secrets from the War Room

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erik Rostad

    A few really good chapters in this book. One chapter dealt with understanding the difference between objectives, strategies, and tactics - a very useful tool to think about life goals and specific projects. Another chapter on communication was interesting. They used two key biblical passages to show the effectiveness of short sound-byte statements. Interesting to read this book 15 years after it was written to see how well some of these "rules" have held up in the recent election season. A few really good chapters in this book. One chapter dealt with understanding the difference between objectives, strategies, and tactics - a very useful tool to think about life goals and specific projects. Another chapter on communication was interesting. They used two key biblical passages to show the effectiveness of short sound-byte statements. Interesting to read this book 15 years after it was written to see how well some of these "rules" have held up in the recent election season.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    I've read a lot of business books over the years - this is one of the few that is reality-based, not psychobabble. Good lessons, good advice. I've read a lot of business books over the years - this is one of the few that is reality-based, not psychobabble. Good lessons, good advice.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Miata

    Great book for stragety and entertaining reading. Full of anecdotes.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tim Blackburn

    Enjoyable read even though I'm further right on the political spectrum. Also interesting to read this book which was written almost 20 years ago and contrast our current political landscape. Carville was the pioneer of the current "take no prisoner" mindset of political campaigns. I wonder if the author's thought that their groundbreaking "scorch the earth" campaign model for the Democratic party would morph from debates over abortion, military spending, and hatred for Kenneth Starr to a signifi Enjoyable read even though I'm further right on the political spectrum. Also interesting to read this book which was written almost 20 years ago and contrast our current political landscape. Carville was the pioneer of the current "take no prisoner" mindset of political campaigns. I wonder if the author's thought that their groundbreaking "scorch the earth" campaign model for the Democratic party would morph from debates over abortion, military spending, and hatred for Kenneth Starr to a significant percentage of their party using their campaign blueprint to seriously advocate socialism. Regardless it is a fun and informative read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Khan

    Interesting stories and practical real world advice from America's leading presidential advisors, showing lessons from running war rooms in political campaigns. Lots of parallels to draw with working in corporate, product and marketing as well as personal development. A little old on the politics side (dated) but nonetheless insightful to learn about the past presidents, especially Bill Clinton. The writing style is real, straight to the point, cuts to the chase... Interesting stories and practical real world advice from America's leading presidential advisors, showing lessons from running war rooms in political campaigns. Lots of parallels to draw with working in corporate, product and marketing as well as personal development. A little old on the politics side (dated) but nonetheless insightful to learn about the past presidents, especially Bill Clinton. The writing style is real, straight to the point, cuts to the chase...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mina

    My boss gifted me this book. I surprisingly enjoyed it despite the many American political references

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Kwok

    Mr. Begala and Mr. Carville teamed up and hit a home run on this one. Short, funny and informative -- what more can you ask for from a book? Different bits of advice on how to win elections. If you're a political junkie, this is your kind of book. Mr. Begala and Mr. Carville teamed up and hit a home run on this one. Short, funny and informative -- what more can you ask for from a book? Different bits of advice on how to win elections. If you're a political junkie, this is your kind of book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    Caught my eye when I was looking for stuff on overcoming fear. Winning secrets from the War Room, yes! But seriously, the title?! Just say "fuck up," people. I know you can't because your publisher said so, but "foul up?" :P ... Mostly obvious stuff, but had some interesting backstory on politics. Notes: p. 38--the start of the chapter on kissing ass. "Early in his career William Faulkner had a secure job at a local post office in Mississippi. He resign abruptly despite having no other employment pro Caught my eye when I was looking for stuff on overcoming fear. Winning secrets from the War Room, yes! But seriously, the title?! Just say "fuck up," people. I know you can't because your publisher said so, but "foul up?" :P ... Mostly obvious stuff, but had some interesting backstory on politics. Notes: p. 38--the start of the chapter on kissing ass. "Early in his career William Faulkner had a secure job at a local post office in Mississippi. He resign abruptly despite having no other employment prospects. When he reflected later on why he'd made such a rash move, he said, 'I refused to be at the beck and call of every son of a bitch who can afford a two-cent stamp.'" Hell yeah! Go Faulkner! And then I read the next paragraph: "Guess what? You ain't Faulkner." Blink. Fuck you, book. (I can say that. I don't have publishers sanitizing my language and making me say "foul you" or some shit.) It was actually this exchange that helped me decide not to take a highly lucrative job offer that I didn't really want. Booyah! p. 62 "Contrast McClellan's pusillanimous attitude with one of the great attack-dog generals of all time: George S. Patton. As he led his Third Army toward Berlin in World War II, Patton received word from hi ssuperior, General Omar Bradley, that he was not to take the German city of Trier. Bradley reasoned that the city would take three divisions and Patton had only two, so he told Patton to hold off. "But the hard-chargin Patton had already taken Trier. His reply to Bradley was classic: 'Have already taken city, do you want me to give it back?'" Hell yeah! Gotta love Patton! p. 108 Good communication: - story: sympathetic protagonist, unsympathetic antagonist, conflict, drama, resolution. - be brief - be emotional - be unique (could anyone reading your message immediately tell it was yours, not your opponent's?) - be relevant (ex. Bush 41 "Annoy the media, reelect Bush" vs. Clinton running on the economy) - repeat your message relentlessly

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I enjoyed this book. It was not highbrow reading and maybe that is why I enjoyed it. The authors, two notable vocal left wing campaign gurus, were clear, concise and hilariously irreverent. More important, the book was non-partisan. There was as much in it for the conservative and independent as the liberal. I may run for office one day and if or when I do, I will pick this one back up again. I have not read any of Carville and Begala's other stuff, but if this is any indication, maybe I should. I enjoyed this book. It was not highbrow reading and maybe that is why I enjoyed it. The authors, two notable vocal left wing campaign gurus, were clear, concise and hilariously irreverent. More important, the book was non-partisan. There was as much in it for the conservative and independent as the liberal. I may run for office one day and if or when I do, I will pick this one back up again. I have not read any of Carville and Begala's other stuff, but if this is any indication, maybe I should.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Beth Haynes

    This book is by campaign strategists for Bill Clinton and other liberal politicians. In spite of that fatal flaw, I actually learned somethings about how to promote my ideas more effectively. Some key points: Know your objective and don't set it too low. People learn and remember best through stories. Be brief, relevant and unique. Repeat relentlessly. Taking risks leads to success. Avoiding risk leads to stagnation. There's more. If you want to have an effect in this world, check it out. This book is by campaign strategists for Bill Clinton and other liberal politicians. In spite of that fatal flaw, I actually learned somethings about how to promote my ideas more effectively. Some key points: Know your objective and don't set it too low. People learn and remember best through stories. Be brief, relevant and unique. Repeat relentlessly. Taking risks leads to success. Avoiding risk leads to stagnation. There's more. If you want to have an effect in this world, check it out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    William

    It has been quite some time since I read this book and my review may not be fair since I have lost respect for Carville due to his poor speech at the Speaker Series. Yet, my impression now is that the book was simplistic with few insights. Except for a reinforcement of common sense there is little need to read this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Okay, I didn't actually vote for Clinton, but seriously, who doesn't love James Carville? He's hilarious, and he's hardcore. I can take Paul Begala or leave him, but I've kind of got a crush on Carville. Note the rest of his books on this list. Okay, I didn't actually vote for Clinton, but seriously, who doesn't love James Carville? He's hilarious, and he's hardcore. I can take Paul Begala or leave him, but I've kind of got a crush on Carville. Note the rest of his books on this list.

  13. 4 out of 5

    David Nelson

    I am not a Democrat but found the book had many useful insights for successful campaigning (marketing). There is a lot of rough language so be warned those who have aversion to such things. Worth the time to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca King

    Great book by the 2 guys who ran Bill Clinton's "war room" during both presidential campaigns. These seem to be straight-talking, down-to-earth, genuine folks who can impart solid advice for politics, business, real life. Great book by the 2 guys who ran Bill Clinton's "war room" during both presidential campaigns. These seem to be straight-talking, down-to-earth, genuine folks who can impart solid advice for politics, business, real life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    SC

    Carville is one of the brightest minds of the Democratic Party, and this is his ethos. His co-author, Begala, isn't dull either. It's funny, instructive, relatively fast reading that engrosses regardless of your political inclination. Carville is one of the brightest minds of the Democratic Party, and this is his ethos. His co-author, Begala, isn't dull either. It's funny, instructive, relatively fast reading that engrosses regardless of your political inclination.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Grayce

    Good advice and amusing anecdotes I have long maintained the importance of missing up. This book is a wonderful read if only for that chapter.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paul Jensen

    Hate their political views, but the book has a good message if you can get past all of the the Clinton kow towing.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Of all the leadership books I have read this one is at the bottom of the list. Struggling to get through it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kirk Bower

    Insightful.... and yes bias

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kalma Piponius

    Pretty good. Think it works best in politics and in workplaces, but has a little bit of american flavor to it (well, not just a little bit).

  21. 5 out of 5

    J.C. Paulk

    Although it's a bit dated now, some of this is never dated. The question remains, do the authors actually believe what they wrote? If so, why can't they get other people to believe them? Although it's a bit dated now, some of this is never dated. The question remains, do the authors actually believe what they wrote? If so, why can't they get other people to believe them?

  22. 5 out of 5

    Amad

    simple and great maxims to work by. loved the stories but at times too Bubba lovin'. simple and great maxims to work by. loved the stories but at times too Bubba lovin'.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sammy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Adam JacksonBey

  26. 5 out of 5

    Erin

  27. 4 out of 5

    Angela

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheria

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jp

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