THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
Michael C. Bender, senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, presents a deeply reported account of the 2020 presidential campaign that details how Donald J. Trump became the first incumbent in three decades to lose reelection—and the only one whose defeat culminated in a violent insurrection.
Beginning with President Trump’s first impeachment and ending with his second, FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION chronicles the inside-the-room deliberations between Trump and his campaign team as they opened 2020 with a sleek political operation built to harness a surge of momentum from a bullish economy, a unified Republican Party, and a string of domestic and foreign policy successes—only to watch everything unravel when fortunes suddenly turned.
With first-rate sourcing cultivated from five years of covering Trump in the White House and both of his campaigns, Bender brings readers inside the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One, and into the front row of the movement’s signature mega-rallies for the story of an epic election-year convergence of COVID, economic collapse, and civil rights upheaval—and an unorthodox president’s attempt to battle it all.
Fresh interviews with Trump, key campaign advisers, and senior administration officials are paired with an exclusive collection of internal campaign memos, emails, and text messages for scores of never-before-reported details about the campaign.
FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION is the inside story of how Trump lost, and the definitive account of his final year in office that draws a straight line from the president’s repeated insistence that he would never lose to the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol that imperiled one of his most loyal lieutenants—his own vice president.
Wall Street Journal reporter Bender debuts with an immersive, blow-by-blow rundown of Donald Trump's failed reelection campaign. Interweaving fly-on-the-wall accounts of White House meetings with profiles of "Front Row Joes" who traveled across the country to attend Trump rallies, Bender covers the period from Trump's first impeachment in December 2019 through his second acquittal in February 2021. Along the way, Bender sheds light on internal rivalries over the response to the coronavirus pandemic, documents how cavalier attitudes toward health and safety measures helped spread Covid-19 in the White House, delivers pointed assessments of administration members including Mike Pence ("it was sometimes difficult to tell... where his loyalty ended and his subservience began"), and notes the near-constant flow of leaked information to the press. Throughout, he paints a credible portrait of how a lack of coordination and Trump's own preference for "chaos as an operating principle" doomed the reelection bid. Though the analysis often feels rote, Bender's insider access impresses, and he enriches the narrative with a sharp sense of humor, describing Trump's first debate performance against Joe Biden as a "hurricane of assholery." Political junkies will gobble this one up.
Good. . .
But not as good as I, Alone Can Fix It. Notwithstanding some of the same info, this book seemed to want to tell the abridged version, which is fine, but was also choppy. Jumping back and forth can be a bit confusion. Nevertheless, it was a good book.
It's hard to dispute the facts of the disaster that was the Trump presidency (easily the worst president in our history). If you care about what's true, if you care that your beliefs are concordant with reality then you'll approve of this book. However, if you are tribal about your politics, if you dismiss facts out of hand just to make assertions that this book (and the plethora of those like it) has it all wrong or are lying, if you're the type of person who wouldn't read this book to save one's life but will still leave a review claiming everything within its pages is liberal propaganda garbage then your problem isn't really with the book. Your problem is with reality itself.
Frankly, We Did Win This Election
Wow what a mess the White House and Trumps campaign was.