Combining unparalleled knowledge about presidential politics with scintillating analysis on what's wrong with the way American presidents are chosen, No Way to Pick a President shows us, in memorable and dramatic detail, how professional mercenaries—with little party loyalty and diminished political principles, driven by skewed priorities and an insatiable need for money—are corrupting American public life.
Jules Witcover has covered every election since 1952. According to his analysis, never before in history has so much money poured into a presidential campaign as flowed into the election of 2000.
In this lively, story-filled account, Witcover examines the many ways in which politicians themselves have condoned or encouraged these developments and how they are responding to the new demands of a media-driven, money-conscious age. He assesses the effects of campaign funds, both "soft" and "hard," and of a press corps that practices invasive, "gotcha" journalism.
At the same time, Witcover shows us how television dramatically, even destructively, distorts the election process, discouraging voter participation and dissuading some of our most promising public figures from seeking higher office.