John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their best-selling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, they apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, rendering an equally compelling narrative about the circus-like Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama.
Drawing on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Heilemann and Halperin deliver another reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, Double Down offers a panoramic account of a campaign at once intensely hard fought and lastingly consequential. For Obama, the victory he achieved meant even more to him than the one he had pulled off four years earlier. In 2008, he believed, voters had bet on a hope; in 2012, they passed positive judgment on what he'd actually done, allowing him to avert a loss that would have rendered his presidency a failed, one-term accident.
For the Republicans, on the other hand, 2012 not only offered a crushing verdict but an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance - or even extinction. Double Down is the occasionally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of an election of singular importance.
Their first book gave new info and insight on the campaign and presented it as a compelling read. This one feels like warmed over old news and is written that way. Keep looking something to keep me interested. Sorry to say I drifted away and learned nothing.
This is an excellent view in to the world of elections. Game change was very good but I actually thought this was better. If you like politics, you will LOVE this book!
In trying to revive the magic of Double Down some things should not have been doubled down on, such as snark and overheated writing
There was some new information
Apparently this was not a particularly memorable book
Library or remainders. Or audible sale. Even for junkies not worth the list price.
I would like to have seen more inside information such as, Eric Fehrnstrom's role. What was going on in that campaign?
I would have liked one of the authors do the narration.
No matter how much people try to humanize Mitt Romney it just does not work. It strikes me that in the book, and in a recent documentary Mitt Romney never, not once, addresses the plight of people who are, by no fault of their own economically suffering. He is just so indifferent.
Yes if they wanted to go behind the scenes of the GOP presidential nomination.
Game Chang because this one is the sequel.
The story about Obama is kinda boring. But the story about the GOP candidates is pure gold.
Much as I enjoyed the inside info on both campaigns, I would not re-listen.
Reminds me of Doris Kearns Goodwin's meticulously researched works.
He slips "into character", using modified accents of candidates such as Rick Perry.
What a big-bucks business politics was and is in the US.
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Highly recommended.
The authors scored again with a candid, unbiased look at the election of 2012. If you're a news junkie this is a must listen...to discover who knew what when and how they reacted to the information. All of the candidates become human beings rather than the processed meat their "advisors" presented to the public, and the conclusion is the American Voting Public elected the right men for the job. Although not as humorous as "Game Change", (where was the Sarah Palin character?), "Double Down" has enough human interest to last through out the book.
Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?
I previously read Dan Balz's book on the same subject but found Double Down to be much more researched and took you into the backrooms and dealings of each of the campaigns. I felt that this book allowed us to get a better idea of not just the candidates but also the players in each campaign and outside of the campaign. There were some very funny moments and some human moments, as well. Robert Fass speaks well.
If you want more juicy details, I would go with this book over Balz's book.
The insider's view of the 2012 presidential campaign. If you want mud to sling, if you are looking for juicy details and facts about the major players this is your book. This book will tell you of the main actors, the strategies and tactics both campaigns employed and the obstacles that had to be overcome. Looking for why Chris Christie was not chosen as VP here you'll find the reasons. Want to know why Romney did or did not do something you'll find the answer here. If you're interested in politics you will want to read this book.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
I'm a politics junkie, and the presidential race is the Super Bowl of politics. Unfolding as it does over the course of several years, it is a long drawn-out process, sometimes painfully so. But not this book! This is like the NFL Films version, reliving all the best moments of the race, replete with the sideline chatter that you don't hear in the heat of the race.That this was the kookiest presidential race in my lifetime, and certainly one of the most partisan, made the process of reliving it through Double Down that much more interesting and fun. Especially Part 2, reconstructing the Republican primary race. Double Down details how most of the serious hopefuls chose to sit this one out and how most of the fringe candidates jumped in feet first.With all of the ex-post explanations of how and why certain episodes went down, what can you say, this is candy for political junkies.
Game Change, of course, being this year's version of the inside scoop on the presidential race. But the big difference is that the 2008 election was made most interesting by the presence of two women, Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary and Sarah Palin as the surprise Republican VP nominee. Double Down has a broader set of characters.
No character performances per se, as this is non-fiction, bringing in quotes from a wide variety of players, but never really focusing on any one, at least not through their own words or anything resembling dialogue. But clearly the most interesting character here is Mitt Romney -- with everyone else being more or less tangential to the race, it had to either be him or Obama, but after years of watching Obama as president, his presence in Double Down is not as much of a revelation as Romney.It's truly fascinating to relive his evolution from incorrigible flip-flopper to a guy who doubles down on even the most ludicrous of positions just to avoid being labeled a flip-flopper -- the series of self-inflicted wounds he brought down on himself is mind-boggling (as evidenced by Obama scratching his head at every turn wondering what the heck his opponent thinks he's doing).
Too long for that. Also, there are three distinct sections -- Obama pre-2012, the Republican primary, and the general election -- so perhaps three sittings is more apropos.
One can only hope that Halperin and Heilemann will be there every election cycle to get the full story out to the public after the fact. Their first two entries, Game Change and Double Down, are simply indispensable. Required reading for anyone wanting to gain insight into our complex election process. It's obviously harder to find positives if your candidate was on the losing side, but the authors are professionally independent-minded throughout, perhaps even to a fault, and there are lessons to be learned about all sides of the process regardless of the outcome.
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