From the bestselling author of The Battle for America 2008 and longtime Washington Post correspondent, an inside view and analysis of the Obama-Romney presidential race
In 2008 a bright young candidate triumphed on a theme of change and hope. Four years later an embattled President struggled against an apocalyptically divided and divisive Congress, a war that won’t end, and an economy that casts a dark penumbra over every spark of good news.
His opponent, a well-heeled businessman who couldn't seem to stand on his own business record, withstood unexpected and extreme opposition to capture the nomination of a party whose main platform and principles with which he was historically and fundamentally at odds.
The 2012 Election, once predicted to be a boring run at a popular President, took on a new urgency with the infamous 2010 midterm shellacking and equally infamous Citizen United ruling, and delivered drama and tension as the Republicans tried to reconcile the factions at war within their party and Democrats faced the tsunami of super Pac money flooding local and regional elections.
As with his last book, The Battle for America 2008, Washington Post correspondent Dan Balz uses a combination of superb sources and long, deep reporting experience to take us both deep inside and far beyond Campaign HQs in Chicago and Boston. He tracks the nuances of Beltway politics and the thinking behind the scenes to show how Obama regained his footing, and to speculate about whether this election actually did anything to change the toxically poisonous atmosphere inside the Beltway, the increasing hostility and disenchantment with politicians outside, and the frightening effect of the torrent of money being poured out by special-interest groups beholden to no voter or law? Will there be anything in this election that will heal the political process in America?
Special highlights include two much talked-about post-election interviews with Romney and Christie which have been making headlines, as well as a new afterword.
Washington Post chief correspondent Balz s The Battle for America 2008 (coauthored with Haynes Johnson) explored that truly groundbreaking campaign, which left him struggling to find a similarly enthralling story in the race between a Republican nobody wanted, and an incumbent Democrat with whom voters were disillusioned. The book provides an astute postmortem of the election and a remarkably unbiased depiction of a flawed process feeding on a polarized electorate, which, if little else, demonstrates the preposterous expense of the 2012 campaign. Balz shares revealing accounts of his firsthand experiences with the candidates, with the bulk of the book focused on the Republic primaries, in which the G.O.P. sought an anyone but Romney solution. As Michelle Bachman, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain incongruously blaze to front-runner status before self-immolating, Newt Gingrich bides his time and gives Balz the story each step of the way. Given Obama s opaque public persona, it s not surprising that less is revealed of the incumbent, which leaves Balz reporting on strategy over substance. In framing the book, Balz asks, Can or will the election resolve any of the fundamental issues before the country? After scrutinizing this season of destructive political gamesmanship, he answers gloomily, There was little competition or innovation in the battle for ideas... each pursued a strategy designed for one thing: winning.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Should change his name to myguylost. Or else learn how to spell "mankind".
A very good recap of the bizarre presidential campaign of 2012. Although there is a thin patina of dust on what happened in 2012 the author does make good short and long term analysis on the dynamics of American politics. A ver fair and balanced book with no apparent agenda other than getting the facts correct.
The most biased book in the history of man kind