Matthews aims to enlighten his reader on how to be politically successful by adopting the right strategies and techniques. Most of them may not be ethical but then, the world of politics does not run on ethics. Quite a few of the tactics that Matthews outlines, can in fact, be even used in general life. Some of the core concepts that Matthews outlines in his book include the importance of making the right friends to help you get ahead, to take favors in the right way, to keep your enemies in front of you, focus on getting ahead and so on.
A few of the tactics outlined are quiet interesting for instance when he talks about keeping your enemies in front of you. He gives the example of President Reagan and how he appointed James Baker the White House Chief of Staff knowing that Baker was against Reagan and had teamed up with Gerald Ford and George Bush. But according to Matthews, the key to your success in politics is to keep your enemies in front of you.
In his hardball style, Matthews also talks about how politicians play with the economy according to the political cycles. He writes in his book, "Did you ever notice that swings in the economy nearly correspond to the political calendar Recessions usually occur in the first year after a president wins an election.