From Obama's former communications director and current co-host of Pod Save America comes a colorful account of how politics, the media, and the Internet changed during the Obama presidency and how Democrats can fight back in the Trump era.
On November 9th, 2016, Dan Pfeiffer woke up like most of the world wondering WTF just happened. How had Donald Trump won the White House? How was it that a decent and thoughtful president had been succeeded by a buffoonish reality star, and what do we do now?
Instead of throwing away his phone and moving to another country (which were his first and second thoughts), Pfeiffer decided to tell this surreal story, recounting how Barack Obama navigated the insane political forces that created Trump, explaining why everyone got 2016 wrong, and offering a path for where Democrats go from here.
Pfeiffer was one of Obama's first hires when he decided to run for president, and was at his side through two presidential campaigns and six years in the White House. Using never-before-heard stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes, Yes We (Still) Can examines how Obama succeeded despite Twitter trolls, Fox News (and their fake news), and a Republican Party that lost its collective mind.
An irreverent, no-BS take on the crazy politics of our time, Yes We (Still) Can is a must-read for everyone who is disturbed by Trump, misses Obama, and is marching, calling, and hoping for a better future for the country.
Pfeiffer, Pod Save America cohost and former Obama senior adviser, in an entertaining work of memoir cum political strategy, spells out the strengths of his old boss as campaigner and president and seeks to shed light on why Donald Trump won in 2016. With the goal of ensuring the liberal cause isn't lost in future elections, Pfeiffer describes how he was hired by Obama during the 2008 campaign and how for the next six years he had a front-row seat to the president's triumphs and struggles. Taking a conversational, occasionally snarky tone, he brings the reader into high-level meetings, such as one over tax cuts held in the vice-president's office; a fund-raiser attended by Kanye West; and his own awkward moments (he once split his pants in the Oval Office while preparing the president for a press conference). Throughout, Pfeiffer offers advice in bold type, based on the successes of Obama and Trump, on running a winning campaign, using Twitter, dealing with fake news, and other topics crucial to elections. "The path back for Democrats is pretty clear," he writes, "and it doesn't mean becoming more like Trump." Those who share Pfeiffer's admiration of Obama and his hopes for a Democratic resurgence and, of course, fans of his podcast will love both the chatty insider anecdotes and the advice.
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Yes We (Still) Can
Oh what a fun and insightful read. I loved the footnotes - they added even more levity (sometimes when it was needed the most). I hope Dan writes again some day.