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So You Wanna Be President? with Chris Matthews

News • Government

The ultimate playbook for winning a presidential campaign. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and campaign veterans who have had front row seats to presidential history dive deep into the six most important lessons learned from presidential campaigns that win. Chris and his guests tap into their experience,Read more

Popular episodes

6 - Go Negative

Feb 24 • 37:31

It's the oldest, worst, and most effective part of American politics: go negative. Voters say they hate it, but it works. There's no way to frame your opponent's weakness any better. Chris deconstructs history's hardest hits—and how they were so effective—with Andrea Mitchell, senior Washington correspondent for NBC News and host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," and Mike Murp...

5 - Ride the Galloping Horse of History

Feb 17 • 45:17

When Jack Kennedy phoned Coretta Scott King to express concern over her husband’s arrest in 1960, it was a risky move in a tense civil rights era. It also helped propel him to victory against Richard Nixon. So, be like Kennedy and jump on that galloping horse of history as it flies by. You don’t get a second chance. Chris is joined in this episode by Pulitzer Prize-winning...

4 - Play from the Back

Feb 10 • 32:38

Maybe Iowa didn’t go as planned, but there's a still a chance for your campaign. In a crowded field, great politicians know how to play from the back. They know how to turn a loss into a win. Bill Clinton did just that when he called himself the "Comeback Kid." We break down that moment—and how it helped propel him to the White House—with Republican strategist Susan Del Pe...

3 - The Walls Have Ears

Feb 3 • 24:49

The country is always listening. Put another way: Don't say something you don't want every voter to hear. On this episode, Chris Matthews remember the candidates who forgot this lesson—and paid the price—with Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, and author and historian Michael Beschloss....

2 - See Something, Say Something

Jan 27 • 32:09

Lesson two: see something, say something. When unscripted moments flare up in a campaign, voters want to see candidates who can show some spontaneity. They want to know that their nominees can live without their talking points—that the lights are on and somebody's home....

1 - Win Iowa

Jan 27 • 31:35

Lesson one: win Iowa. An astounding number of Democrats and Republicans won their party's nomination after winning first in the Iowa caucuses—but America's first battleground hasn't always been a priority for campaigns. Jimmy Carter was the first to realize that a win there could propel a candidate into the national spotlight....

Introducing: So You Wanna Be President?

Jan 17 • 01:10

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