Like a newly discovered treasure map offering a path to buried riches, Foxes in the Henhouse is a hard-hitting political blueprint for how the Democrats can win again in the South and rural America. The authors document the Republicans' rise in the South and Midwest, expose the hypocrisy that marked their ascent, and offer a take-no-prisoners plan to kick them out.
The authors know of what they speak. "Rural strategists" Steve Jarding and Dave "Mudcat" Saunders are famous for securing Democratic victories in places they shouldn't have -- most notably in Mark Warner's successful run for governor of Virginia, a campaign that wasn't afraid to use bluegrass concerts and NASCAR to get the message out.
When George W. Bush swept the South clean in 2004, it was the final insult to Jarding and Saunders, two self-proclaimed "bubbas" on a mission to convince their fellow southerners and rural Americans that the GOP's claim of representing "values," patriotism, the sportsmen, and fiscal conservatism is a disastrous farce. In addition to exposing the lies behind the gradual Republican invasion of the hinterland that began in the 1960s, they offer some surprisingly simple strategies for Democrats to capture each of these issues. Among other things, Jarding and Saunders urge Democrats to
Quit turning their noses up at the culture of rural America and talk to people where they live
Learn how to count when going after votes
Show some passion and retaliate when Republicans assassinate their characters
Packed with meticulous and shocking research findings; blunt, laugh-out-loud language; and merciless assaults on George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill O'Reilly, and plenty of other right-wing charlatans, Foxes in the Henhouse is a must-read and will be one of the most talked-about books of the year and for election cycles to come.
Steve Jarding has spent most of the past twenty-five years studying, teaching, writing, analyzing, and working in American politics and has become arguably the most sought-after expert on southern and rural politics in America today. In races and organizations -- including Tom Daschle's first U.S. Senate win in South Dakota in 1986, Bob Kerrey's two U.S. Senate wins in Nebraska in 1988 and 1994, Mark Warner's upset bid to become Virginia's governor in 2001, three years as senior adviser to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and as executive director of Senator John Edwards's record-shattering leadership PAC -- Jarding has established himself as a "hands-on" tactician who knows how to win. He teaches at Harvard University.
Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, a longtime veteran of rural politics in Virginia, first partnered with Jarding during Mark Warner's successful rural campaign for governor of Virginia in 2001. Since then, he has served in the capacity of rural liaison for Senator Bob Graham and Senator John Edwards. Well known among Democrats, Republicans, and the national press for his colorful, no-sacred-ground, tell-it-like-it-is approach to the problems of rural America, Saunders's politics are well aligned with country culture. Besides working for many years with the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team of NASCAR's Nextel Cup, Saunders is well known among the Nashville bluegrass crowd as well as in national hunting circles. A native of Southwest Virginia in the Southern Appalachians, Saunders still resides in Roanoke, Virginia.
Publisher: Touchstone (March 28, 2006)
Length: 336 pages
"This is one hell of a book. I like angry, especially when it knows its target, and this one is dead-on. No one is spared. It's an eye-opener. Both sides should read it and weep." -- Lewis Black
"Steve and Mudcat show how their party could again be something Andy Jackson would recognize -- a party of the people." -- Craig Crawford, Congressional Quarterly and author of Attack the Messenger
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