The Political Interest: Amateurs, but Playing Like Pros

Amateurs, but Playing Like Pros

Politics, Bill Clinton has explained, is like football. Elaborate strategies are crafted in advance, but execution and stamina trump planning and practice. Reality defies theory, confusion reigns, new tactics are implemented on the spot. At some moments, the best defense is a good offense; at others, the best offense is a good defense. In both battles, the winners are hailed as professionals and the losers are derided as amateurs -- and for more elections than the Democrats care to recall, the Republicans have been the professionals. Until now. With the G.O.P. convention only two weeks away, the Republican incumbents are acting...

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