Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse
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Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse

3.8 25
by Calvin Trillin
     
 

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In his latest laugh-out-loud book of political verse, Calvin Trillin provides a riotous depiction of the 2012 presidential election campaign.
 
Dogfight is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what the author calls a pause for prose (“Callista Gingrich, Aware That Her Husband Has Cheated On and Then Left

Overview

In his latest laugh-out-loud book of political verse, Calvin Trillin provides a riotous depiction of the 2012 presidential election campaign.
 
Dogfight is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what the author calls a pause for prose (“Callista Gingrich, Aware That Her Husband Has Cheated On and Then Left Two Wives Who Had Serious Illnesses, Tries Desperately to Make Light of a Bad Cough”). With the same barbed wit he displayed in the bestsellers Deciding the Next Decider, Obliviously On He Sails, and A Heckuva Job, America’s deadline poet trains his sights on the Tea Party (“These folks were quick to vocally condemn/All handouts but the ones that went to them”) and the slapstick field of contenders for the Republican nomination (“Though first-tier candidates were mostly out,/Republicans were asking, “What about/The second tier or what about the third?/Has nothing from those other tiers been heard?”). There is an ode to Michele Bachmann, sung to the tune of a Beatles classic (“Michele, our belle/Thinks that gays will all be sent to hell”) and passages on the exit of candidates like Herman Cain (“Although his patter in debates could tickle,/Cain’s pool of knowledge seemed less pool than trickle”) and Rick Santorum (“The race will miss the purity/That you alone endow./We’ll never find another man/Who’s holier than thou.”)
 
On its way to the November 6 finale, Trillin’s narrative takes us through such highlights as the January caucuses in frigid Iowa (“To listen to long speeches is your duty,/And getting there could freeze off your patootie”), the Republican convention (“It seemed like Clint, his chair, and their vignette/Had wandered in from some adjoining set”), and Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded “47 percent” speech, which inspired the “I Got the Mitt Thinks I’m a Moocher, a Taker not a Maker, Blues.”


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Never mind the title's poetry reference; this is Trillin, so of course it's humor. The Nation's Deadline Poet deals wittily with the upcoming election, assaying not just Obama and Mitt but Newt, Santorum, and the rest while scanning Tea Party tactics, Obamacare vs. Romneycare, and bad moments on live television. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
Longtime New Yorker staff writer Trillin (Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff, 2011) puts his patented poetic spin on the 2012 presidential election. Again exercising an uncanny knack for producing poetical discourse on the political playing field, Trillin (Deciding the Next Decade: The 2008 Presidential Race in Rhyme, 2008) offers pithy ruminations and droll observations on the Obama-Romney race. He justifies the canine-inspired title with a short opening rhyme comparing Romney's 1983 road-tripping vacation with pet Irish setter Seamus strapped to the roof of the family car to Obama's Indonesian boyhood when he sampled dog meat. Sprinkled in between Trillin's play-by-play analyses of both campaigns are encapsulated poems borne from media headlines. These snarky, bite-sized morsels skewer the likes of Senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell ("Until you came along one day, old witchcraft jokes had been passé"), Rick Perry ("with even more impressive hair than Kerry"), "holier than thou" Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich ("a crafty wheeler-dealer. His baggage, though, would fill an eighteen-wheeler") and Donald Trump ("once he's had his say…and say…and say, he, blessedly, will finally go away.") Not all the couplets and cadences churn smoothly; a few clunkers feel overly trivial and forced, as if the author became bored with the political semantics. As a collective work of creative nonfiction, his harmlessly sarcastic poetry is skilled, and the book will serve as a good complement to Elinor Lipman's uniformly clever election-season poem-a-day chronicle, Tweet Land of Liberty (2012). An easy, breezy, pocket-sized slice of political humor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780812993691
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
11/20/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

A longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin is also The Nation’s deadline poet, at a fee he has been complaining about since 1990. His acclaimed books range from the memoir About Alice to Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff. He lives in New York.


From the Hardcover edition.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
December 5, 1935
Place of Birth:
Kansas City, Missouri
Education:
B.A., Yale University, 1957

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Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes its left leaning but its also got some facts that show how dumb the right can be. Its not like there are no right leaning books out there. Also if you cant deal with reading in rhyme how can you be intelligent enough to read at all?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My wifi lapsed it isn't my fault now fight unless your too scared!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey babe(:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok i will tell her. If you ever need somethin i be at wolf mountain all results bye! Kamara
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uujjjjjjkjjkhjnhjhjhkvkh..n Nnnbn nnmnnbnnnbbvnnnnbbnnnn
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a delightful poetic romp along the 2012 Republican primaries' trail and the November election.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Trillin is so clever. Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Try to see mitt romney loose agaim im on obamas side bcuz he cares bout low class middle class and high class unlike romney so Go obama
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bozo44 More than 1 year ago
The GOP put up a slew of questionalble candidates in 2012, and Trillin sums up their strengths(?) and weaknesses in rhyme. So delicious . . .
Sicilian More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful. It covers last fall's Presidential race, the debates and the outcome...all while rhyming. Calvin Trillin has done a brilliant job with this book keeping it evenly written without pandering to one side or the other. It's a fast, entertaining and laugh out loud look at what hit us this past election.
Jazzguy More than 1 year ago
Witty and on-point recent history without being acerbic, which is quite a feat considering this campaign.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, well done! Very funny, and sadly, very true. PS to those who did not realize it all rhymes - that is what the title words "IN VERSE" means.The fault is in you, not in the book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mitt romney should have won ( That is what i belive in)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not read the book yet, but, after reading the Overview, it seems to be very biased against the Right. I would love to find something written on 2012 that isn't slanted to Obama-bootlooking or conversely, Tea Party Right. ...and every sentence rhymes? Yuck!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sucks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saw him on john stewart and bought the book not knowing that every sentence rhymes. Very annoying. I gave up in the first chapter. I think this book is for a very narrow audience. I should have read the preview first.