On the Art of Campaigns

  • Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of celebration man can normally muster. – James Harvey Robinson
  • A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in. – H.L. Mencken
  • There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. – Bertolt Brecht
  • I do not believe that any political campaign justifies the declaration of a moratorium on ordinary common sense. – Dwight David Eisenhower
  • I have tried to talk about the issues in this campaign… and this has sometimes been a lonely road, because I never meet anybody coming the other way. – Adlai Stevenson
  • There is no excitement anywhere in the world, short of war, to match the excitement of the American presidential campaign. – Theodore White
  • I believe in the battle-whether it’s the battle of a campaign or the battle of this office, which is a continuing battle. – Richard Nixon
  • I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Prosperity is necessarily the first theme of a political campaign. – Woodrow Wilson
  • In any grass-roots campaign, building an ongoing base of support is as important as winning the ultimate goal. – Patricia Ireland
  • You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. – Mario Cuomo
  • A campaign is about defining who you are – your vision and your opponent’s vision. – Donna Brazile
  • The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Do not run a campaign that would embarrass your mother. – Robert C. Byrd
  • The problem with smear campaigns is that too often they work. – Mark Shields
  • Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? – Robert Orben
  • During a political campaign everyone is concerned with what a candidate will do on this or that question if he is elected except the candidate; he’s too busy wondering what he’ll do if he isn’t elected. – Everett Dirksen
  • The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal – that you can gather votes like box tops – is… the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. – Adlai Stevenson
  • Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. – Oscar Ameringer
  • Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians. – Charles Krauthammer

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