Advance Praise for OFF SCRIPT

Pre-order yours today

By far the most gratifying aspect of writing a book is the enjoyment people get from reading it. As OFF SCRIPT has advanced from first draft to proof pages to galleys to, now, the final proof pages, I have been honored to have a number of old friends and acquaintances look over the text and provide some commentary for prospective readers when the book goes on sale on April 26.

Presented below, in alphabetical order, is advance praise from Don Baer, Mike Barnicle, Paul Begala, Jay Carney, Mark Halperin, John Heilemann, Joe Lockhart, Mike McCurry, Mark McKinnon, Brad Meltzer, John Podhoretz, Karl Rove, George Stephanopoulos, Danny Strong, Beau Willimon and Nicolle Wallace. I appreciate beyond words the time and effort that this extraordinarily gifted and creative group of creative people put in to reading the book and providing feedback for me to share.

Pre-order your copy today of OFF SCRIPT: Ad Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide.

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“Josh King knows what he is talking about when it comes to political messages, because he was there, painting with ingenuity many of our most enduring images from the great canvasses of American politics and the U.S. Presidency. In Off Script, Josh gives us an unprecedented and a candid, fun look behind the scenes at the creative processes that have shaped the reputations of some of the most important political figures of our times.”

Don Baer
White House Chief Speechwriter, 1994-95,
and White House Communications Director, 1995-98

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“In the middle of a campaign, right at its core, are the major-league concierges, the people who can pick the right route, find the perfect setting, the best optics and the spot where a candidate can flourish while the press can find its way to a semi-good place to eat and drink. It’s a full time, full focus job that comes complete with hilarity, heartache, worry, weariness and the constant realization that what you do or don’t do can mean a good or a bad day for the candidate. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Josh King opens a window on the world of the tireless advance men and women who make any campaign work.”

Mike Barnicle
MSNBC political analyst and columnist for The Daily Beast

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“Politics is show business for ugly people. Josh King is the master of making political events look pretty. Off Script shows you how a master advance man works his magic.”

Paul Begala
Senior Strategist, Clinton-Gore Campaign
and CNN Contributor

* * *

“Ever wonder what happens in a presidential campaign when the cameras are off, the doors are closed and no one’s looking? Find out in Off Script, a guide to the messy, ugly and sometimes poignant world of political stagecraft by one of the best practitioners in the business.”

Jay Carney
White House Press Secretary
to President Barack Obama, 2011-2014
former Washington bureau chief, Time magazine

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“Discreetly leading the way in every campaign are the advance men and women who literally set the stage. Josh King, a Jedi master of that profession, vividly brings the image makers out of the shadows in Off Script.”

Mark Halperin
Bloomberg Politics
Managing Editor
Coauthor of Game Change and Double Down

* * *

“In Off Script, Josh King takes us on a guided tour of the theater of politics as we rarely see it: from the other side of the proscenium, all the way back stage, and even into the performer’s dressing rooms. For those seeking to decode the power of image in the age of optics in our politics, King’s book is a must-read.”

John Heilemann
Coauthor of Game Change and Double Down,
cohost of Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect
and Showtime’s The Circus

* * * 

“Josh King captures a truth in politics–our candidates need stage management on a grand scale to be elected and re-elected. Many gifted advance people have ushered leaders into power, but more importantly many have driven them back into private life. But King’s real insight is that in critical moments it’s up to the candidates to perform on the political stage or simply know enough to not put on the funny hat. A great read for anyone who wonders how the political sausage is made.”

Joe Lockhart
White House Press Secretary
to President Bill Clinton, 1998-2000

* * *

“Josh King is one of the most creative political visual artists of our time. He understands how image, picture, and content come together as one to communicate the messages that America sees and hears as it considers its national leaders. What could be more timely as we embark on a national election to pick our next president?”

Mike McCurry
White House Press Secretary
to President Bill Clinton, 1995-1998

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“Presidential politics is theater at the highest level. Successful events are huge productions that require master stage craft. Josh King is the Wizard of Oz of presidential advance. In Off Script, King pulls back the curtain to reveal the stories and secrets behind the making and sometimes breaking of presidents.”

Mark McKinnon
Co-creator and Co-executive Producer Showtime’s The Circus,
and former chief media advisor to George W. Bush and John McCain

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“Do you love the wicked brilliance of campaign stagecraft and the gilded lies that come with being a politician? Not as much as Josh King does. Off Script will show you why it’s an art form.”

Brad Meltzer
Bestselling author of The President’s Shadow
host of History’s Decoded
and award-winning comic book author

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“Josh King has written a zippy, snazzy book about the inner workings of American politics and the thankless work performed by idealistic grunts who get no credit when things go well and all the blame when they go badly.

John Podhoretz
Editor of Commentary,
columnist for the New York Post
and author of
Hell of a Ride: Backstage at the White House Follies 1989-1993

* * *

“Advance men (and women) are the wildest characters in most political campaigns, in my experience generally a mix of well-organized and half-crazy. In a rollicking ride though the last nearly three decades of presidential campaigns, Josh King chronicles some of the low – and high – moments created by, inflicted upon, or suffered through by the political wizards of stagecraft and appearance, presidential campaign advance teams. Quite a read!”

Karl Rove
Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush
and author of Courage and Consequence and
The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters

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“Josh King has been at the top of the campaign game for more than 20 years — and Off Script takes us behind the scenes to show what works, what doesn’t and why. A must read for anyone who works on — or just loves — the Presidential trail.”

George Stephanopoulos
Chief Anchor of ABC News,
co-host of Good Morning America
and host of This Week

Off Script is the inside story of what really happened behind the scenes in the most infamous political campaigns in modern history. Josh King uses his unique perspective as a former campaign “advance” man and political observer to pull back the curtain and reveal the truth behind the spectacle. With the voice of a storyteller and the experience of a seasoned political operative, King deftly brings us along for the ride and shows us how and why these moments defined campaigns, toppled candidates and presidents alike, and forever changed the optics of presidential politics.

Danny Strong
Executive Producer and Showrunner of
Empire on Fox Television,
Producer and screenwriter of Recount, Game Change and Lee Daniels’ The Butler 

* * *

“Josh King’s nuanced insights into the world of political optics and spin is a must read for anyone who is interested in what really goes on behind the polished veil. He’s been both in the campaign trenches and seen the political landscape from 35,000 feet. His perspective is fascinating, entertaining and informative.”

Beau Willimon
Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner of
House of Cards
on Netflix

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Off Script is a deep dive into the juiciest and most fascinating aspects of modern day government and presidential politics.  Perfectly written, there’s plenty of page turning drama for everyone from the White House history buff to the Hollywood screenwriter trying to get the smallest of details about White House stage craft exactly right. Josh nails it.”

Nicolle Wallace
White House Communications Director for President George W. Bush,
MSNBC political analyst and bestselling author of
It’s Classified, Eighteen Acres and Madam President

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