Political Book of the Year
Plouffe, the business partner of the other and more prominent mastermind of the Obama election, political strategist
In contrast with the landmark campaign series of the 1960s, "The Making of the President," by the late
From the first conversations with fellow Chicagoan Obama about embarking on the long-shot quest of the Democratic nomination to the triumphant election night, the author traces the thoughts, decisions and actions of the tight quartet who primarily delivered the victory -- Obama himself, Plouffe, Axelrod and, somewhat surprisingly, Press Secretary
The latter emerges as an Obama confidante and decision-shaper more in the mode of old campaign press secretaries
Plouffe's own central part in every aspect of the Obama drive for the presidency enabled him also to assess its successes and failures. He spells out the shrewd strategies as well as the occasional blunders that periodically intruded on the master plan. He offers a candid warts-and-all report on how it all worked out in the end.
In the process, Plouffe repeatedly emphasizes the critical contribution of the unprecedented army of volunteers from the top echelon to the precinct door-knockers, whose numbers the leadership swelled beyond past participation in the presidential campaigns, particularly focused on young and African-American voters. They flocked to the contest in proportions that voided all expert calculations on turnout in key precincts and states.
The author pays tribute to the charisma and oratorical talents of his candidate as the spark for all the success, including the record-setting fund-raising that enabled the Obama leadership to overwhelm its primary and general-election foes. And he acknowledges that McCain's unavoidable reliance on the limited federal campaign subsidy in the fall imposed an insurmountable handicap on him in waging the air war on television.
Above all, Plouffe demonstrates the superior appreciation in the Obama camp for all the changes in presidential campaigning wrought by the huge technological advances in presenting, promoting and selling of the candidate and his policy agenda. He underscores the imperative in today's politics of taking the long view in conceiving and adhering to the route laid out. At one point he says Obama played the game as if it were chess, always thinking ahead, while McCain and his team were playing checkers, one move at a time.
The point is well made in McCain's abrupt and ultimately damaging decision to cancel a scheduled debate and rush back to
There is in this book a certain amount of self-congratulation on how the Obama team outwitted the opposition. But Plouffe does not stint on sharing the credit nor shirk in taking the blame for bumps in the road.
The strength of
- Obama: Prisoner of the Past
- Obama Wise Not to Rush into Flawed Decision on Afghanistan
- Do's and Don'ts for Sarah Palin's Going Rogue Book Tour
- Palinophobes Hate First, Ask Questions Later
- Sarah Palin Looking Loony on Oprah Winfrey
- Sarah Palin: Politics, Patriotism and Sarah Palin
- Sarah Palin Interview with Sean Hannity Fox News Channel: Going Rogue
- The Sarah Palin Splash
- Woman's Place Is in the Republican Party
- Obama Generation Continues to Make Waves
- Democrats and Republicans Grapple With Voters Message
- Republicans and Democrats Must Avoid the Urge to Purge
- Buzz Over Obama's Bow to the Emperor of Japan
- Reagan, Obama and Legacy of the Berlin Wall
- Hope From Abroad
Talk about timing. With former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin readying the release of her own 432-page campaign tell-all, Going Rogue: An American Life, now would be the perfect time to pop out another Palin book, and that's exactly what Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti has done with The Persecution of Sarah Palin
Dear Sarah: Keep Up the Great Writing
Thank you for turning in the manuscript so quickly. I thought only Stephen King could crank out 400 pages in four months! Seriously, there's some terrific material here, and all of us are thrilled to be publishing your life story. Before we move ahead, the fact-checking department has asked me to pass along a few notes and comments that may require some revisions on your part.
Shock and Sadness After Fort Hood Shootings
It was not a place they expected to be attacked. Soldiers tote their rifles with them everywhere when they are at war but generally not when they are in America. "As a matter of practice, we don't carry weapons here," said Army Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the base commander of Fort Hood in Texas. "This is our home."
No amount of evidence -- from Koran verses urging the killing of 'infidels,' to cries of 'God is great,' reportedly shouted by the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan -- will cure our self-deception. Sun Tzu famously wrote that all war is deception. But it takes two to deceive and the United States is behaving like a willing partner
Political Book of the Year | Jules Witcover
(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report