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Analyzing the campaign


Sun political columnists Jack Germond and Jules Witcover recently completed their fourth book together about a presidential campaign. "We used the same reporting technique for this book that we've always used," Mr. Witcover says of "Mad as Hell: Revolt at the Ballot Box, 1992," which will be published this week by Crown. "We report for the column during the campaign. After the campaign, we interview in depth the same people.

"People will tell you things after the campaign that they wouldn't tell you during the campaign. And they're also seeing things in perspective, which they couldn't before."

One of the book's revelations is that top advisers to former President George Bush say they believe that two "dirty tricks" -- one orchestrated by Democrats, the other by the media -- helped Bill Clinton win the White House. It quotes top Republican strategists as saying that Mr. Bush's chance at a come-from-behind victory was compromised by the timing of Caspar W. Weinberger's 11th-hour indictment and by the screening of questions in the second presidential debate.

These allegations notwithstanding, "We came away with a more hopeful attitude about the direction American politics are taking," says Mr. Witcover. "This time [in 1992], there was a great clamor about the tone of politics, and that is where the book's title comes from. Our previous three books were pretty pessimistic in terms of the electoral process."

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