cover image All Politics Is Local: And Other Rules of the Game

All Politics Is Local: And Other Rules of the Game

Tip O'Neill, Thomas O'Neill. Crown Publishers, $15 (190pp) ISBN 978-0-8129-2297-4

In this day of cookie-cutter, blow-dried political candidates, it's refreshing to recall the rules of the game with a master politician. Former Speaker of the House O'Neill ( Man of the House ) and Hymel, his former press secretary, here compile a primer for the campaigner. O'Neill knows how to humanize the political process. He provides us with wonderful anecdotes: from LBJ riding a police horse in downtown Boston to how Harry Truman became a U.S. Senator (Missouri political boss Tom Pendergast thought Truman ``wasn't smart enough'' to be a county assessor). ``For me,'' writes O'Neill, ``politics always was about values combined with instincts. Put those together and you get a rule.'' Among his rules are these: no contribution is too small; never get introduced to the crowd at a sporting event, only boos will ensue; to be a successful public speaker, memorize poetry; avoid bunk; remember names; tip well. O'Neill is also outspoken on diverse topics ranging from term limits to whiskey. A book that all 535 members of Congress should be made to read. Author tour. (Jan.)