For more than thirty years, through over 200 campaigns,
I lived at the turbulent center of U.S. politics as strategist, campaign manager and media producer.
Through all of those years I felt myself a cast member in a great, continuing drama. Those who run for political office subject themselves to intense public scrutiny and, quite often, personal humiliation. Their finances, their love lives, their most private life’s secrets, all become fair game for public review. Careers, marriages, life savings and long-time friendships are at risk. The campaigns are a blur of daily decisions, any one of which, on any given day, could win or lose the election. Election day itself is a one-day sale. Finishing with 49.9% of the vote may not be a winning number. There are no prizes for second best, only disappointment, heartbreak and often huge financial deficits. The process unfolds in a vice of tension, ratcheting tighter with each new poll, each favorable or unfavorable news cycle, each day closer to electoral judgment.
I’ve been involved in more high wire adventures than I can recall, and I’ve met countless people I can never forget. Much gets sacrificed to preserve our altar of self-government, and those who participate seldom are acknowledged for what they contribute toward keeping at bay the constant threat of autocratic rule. We read about the polls, the speeches, the missteps, the corruption. But it’s rare to get a sense of the every day internal drama that makes competitive elections possible. And so, I’ve chosen to repurpose many of my real-life experiences into fiction, hoping to provide some insight while producing what I also hope you will find as compelling and entertaining yarns.
My interest in politics and self-government didn’t end when I withdrew from the field of active campaign combat. I am highly opinionated about most everything. So I continue to write frequently about developments of the moment for the web site U.S. Politics Today https://uspolitics.einnews.com/. I also post comments on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Joerothstein and I continue to offer my criticism and advice to the many political people with whom I remain in contact.
I invite you to share yours with me. About my novels, my political columns, or just about anything at all. Here’s my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.