Double Down: Game Change 2012 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times:

"Those hungry for political news will read Double Down for the scooplets and insidery glimpses it serves up about the two campaigns, and the clues it offers about the positioning already going on among Republicans and Democrats for 2016 ... The book testifies to its authors’ energetic legwork and insider access... creating a novelistic narrative that provides a you-are-there immediacy... They succeed in ...
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Double Down: Game Change 2012

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Overview

Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times:

"Those hungry for political news will read Double Down for the scooplets and insidery glimpses it serves up about the two campaigns, and the clues it offers about the positioning already going on among Republicans and Democrats for 2016 ... The book testifies to its authors’ energetic legwork and insider access... creating a novelistic narrative that provides a you-are-there immediacy... They succeed in taking readers interested in the backstabbing and backstage maneuvering of the 2012 campaign behind the curtains, providing a tactile... sense of what it looked like from the inside."



In their runaway bestseller Game Change, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann captured the full drama of Barack Obama’s improbable, dazzling victory over the Clintons, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. With the same masterly reporting, unparalleled access, and narrative skill, Double Down picks up the story in the Oval Office, where the president is beset by crises both inherited and unforeseen—facing defiance from his political foes, disenchantment from the voters, disdain from the nation’s powerful money machers, and dysfunction within the West Wing. As 2012 looms, leaders of the Republican Party, salivating over Obama’s political fragility, see a chance to wrest back control of the White House—and the country. So how did the Republicans screw it up? How did Obama survive the onslaught of super PACs and defy the predictions of a one-term presidency? Double Down follows the gaudy carnival of GOP contenders—ambitious and flawed, famous and infamous, charismatic and cartoonish—as Mitt Romney, the straitlaced, can-do, gaffe-prone multimillionaire from Massachusetts, scraped and scratched his way to the nomination.



Double Down exposes blunders, scuffles, and machinations far beyond the klieg lights of the campaign trail: Obama storming out of a White House meeting with his high command after accusing them of betrayal. Romney’s mind-set as he made his controversial “47 percent” comments. The real reasons New Jersey governor Chris Christie was never going to be Mitt’s running mate. The intervention held by the president’s staff to rescue their boss from political self-destruction. The way the tense détente between Obama and Bill Clinton morphed into political gold. And the answer to one of the campaign’s great mysteries—how did Clint Eastwood end up performing Dada dinner theater at the Republican convention?



In Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann take the reader into back rooms and closed-door meetings, laying bare the secret history of the 2012 campaign for a panoramic account of an election that was as hard fought as it was lastingly consequential.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

John Heilerman and Mark Halperin's 2010 Game Change set a high standard with its primary by primary, debate by debate, miscue by miscue account of the full 2008 presidential election campaign. Now this winning ticket has given us a comparably incomparable insiders' view of Barack Obama's 2012 run for reelection. In this new book, it's all here: The crowded, confusing, often circus-like horserace for the Republican nomination; Mitt Romney's evolving strategy, verbal blunders and tactical mistakes, and Obama's hunt for delegates and Election Day jitters. Based on hundreds of interviews, Double Down refreshes our interest in a campaign that exhausted us all.

Library Journal
National political correspondent for New York magazine and senior political analyst for Time, respectively, Halperin and Heilmann scored big with Game Change, a New York Times best seller that chronicled the 2008 presidential election. Now they're back with coverage of the 2012 election.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-20
Gossipy insider's account of the presidential election of 2012, the sequel to Halperin and Heilemann's best-selling Game Change (2009). Time senior political analyst Halperin and New York national affairs editor Heilemann, who both serve as senior political analysts at MSNBC as well, are respected and connected in the media and political worlds and well-sourced at the upper reaches of the Democratic and Republican parties. Not surprisingly, their views are conventional and close to the center, their attention trained on politics as sport (or, as the title suggests, as a high-stakes poker game) and politicians as personalities. Their focus is always on the candidates with the most buzz among not just voters, but the Washington, D.C., cognoscenti. In the Republican primaries, then, former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman--a relatively moderate former governor of Utah whom the Obama administration picked for his knowledge of Chinese, to earn points for bipartisanship and possibly to take out of the running for 2012--warrants an entire chapter, though he made almost no impression at all outside of the Beltway. On the other hand, Ron Paul, who lasted until the Republican National Convention and arguably altered the ideology of the grass-roots Republican party more than any other candidate, including the eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, is dismissed for his "kookiness," which "made him more likely to end up on a park bench feeding stale bread to the squirrels than become the Republican nominee." Still, Halperin and Heilemann offer a highly entertaining, dishy read, full of astonishing revelations about the strengths and, most intriguingly, the foibles of the nation's political stars and egos, including unforgettable portraits of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in particular. "[W]e have tried," write the authors, "to render the narrative with an unrelenting focus on the candidates and those closest to them--with an eye toward the high human drama behind the curtain." Like crack for political junkies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101638705
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 15,311
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Mark Halperin
MARK HALPERIN is an editor at large and a senior political analyst for Time magazine, and a senior political analyst for MSNBC. Halperin, who has covered seven presidential elections, received his B.A. from Harvard University and resides in New York City with Karen Avrich.


JOHN HEILEMANN is the national affairs editor for New York magazine and a political analyst for MSNBC. An award-winning journalist and author of Pride Before the Fall, he is a former staff writer for The New Yorker, Wired, and The Economist. He lives in Brooklyn.

MARK HALPERIN is an editor at large and a senior political analyst for Time magazine, and a senior political analyst for MSNBC. Halperin, who has covered seven presidential elections, received his B.A. from Harvard University and resides in New York City with Karen Avrich.


JOHN HEILEMANN is the national affairs editor for New York magazine and a political analyst for MSNBC. An award-winning journalist and author of Pride Before the Fall, he is a former staff writer for The New Yorker, Wired, and The Economist. He lives in Brooklyn.

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Read an Excerpt

BARACK OBAMA WAS BACK in Chicago and back on the campaign trail, two realms from which he had been absent for a while but which always felt like home. It was April 14, 2011, and Obama had returned to the Windy City to launch his reelection effort with a trio of fund-raisers. Ten days earlier, his people had filed the papers making his candidacy official and opened up the campaign headquarters there. Five hundred and seventy-two days later, the voters would render their judgment. To Obama, Election Day seemed eons away—and just around the corner.

Working his way from two small events for high-dollar donors at fancy restaurants to a crowd of two thousand at Navy Pier, the incumbent served up the old Obama fire. He invoked the memory of the last election night in Grant Park, “the excitement in the streets, the sense of hope, the sense of possibility.” He touted his achievements as “the change we still believe in.” He ended the evening with a “Yes, we can!”

But again and again, Obama cited the burdens of his station. Although he’d always known that as president his plate would be full, the fullness was staggering—from the economic crisis to the swine flu pandemic, the BP oil spill, and the hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates. (“Who thought we were going to have to deal with pirates?”) He acknowledged the frustrations of many Democrats at the fitfulness of the progress he’d brought about, the compromises with Republicans. He apologized for the fact that his head wasn’t fully in the reelection game. “Over the next three months, six months, nine months, I’m going to be a little preoccupied,” Obama said. “I’ve got this day job that I’ve got to handle.”

The president’s preoccupations at that moment were many and varied, trivial and profound. In public, he was battling with the GOP over the budget and preparing for a face-off over the federal debt ceiling. In secret, he was deliberating over an overseas special-ops raid aimed at a shadowy target who possibly, maybe, hopefully was Osama bin Laden. But the most persistent distraction Obama was facing was personified by Donald Trump, the real estate billionaire and reality show ringmaster who was flirting with making a presidential run under the banner of birtherism—the crackpot conspiracy theory claiming that Obama was born in Kenya and thus was constitutionally ineligible to preside as commander in chief.

Obama had contended with birtherism since the previous campaign, when rumors surfaced that there was no record of his birth in Hawaii. The fringe theorists had grown distractingly shrill and increasingly insistent; after he won the nomination in June 2008, his team deemed it necessary to post his short-form birth certificate on the Web. The charge was lunacy, Obama thought. Simply mental. But it wouldn’t go away. A recent New York Times poll had found that 45 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of voters overall believed he was foreign born. And with Trump serving as a human bullhorn, the faux controversy had escaped the confines of Fox News and conservative talk radio, reverberating in the mainstream media. Just that morning, before Obama departed for Chicago, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos had asked him about it in an interview, specifically citing Trump—twice.

As Obama made his fund-raising rounds that night, he avoided mentioning Trump, yet the issue remained much on his mind. What confounded him about the problem, beyond its absurdity, was that there was no ready solution. Although Trump was braying for his original long-form birth certificate, officials in Obama’s home state were legally prohibited from releasing it on their own, and the president had no earthly idea where his family’s copy was. All he could do was joke about the topic, as he did at his final event of the night: “I grew up here in Chicago,” Obama told the crowd at Navy Pier, then added awkwardly, “I wasn’t born here—just want to be clear. I was born in Hawaii.”

Obama was looking forward to spending the night at his house in Kenwood, on the city’s South Side—the redbrick Georgian Revival pile that he and Michelle and their daughters left behind when they took up residence in the White House. He arrived fairly late, after 10:00 p.m., but then stayed up even later, intrigued by some old boxes that had belonged to his late mother, Ann Dunham.

Dunham had died seven years earlier, but Obama hadn’t sorted through all her things. Now, alone in his old house for just the third night since he’d become president, he started rummaging through the boxes, digging, digging, until suddenly he found it: a small, four-paneled paper booklet the world had never seen before. On the front was an ink drawing of Kapi‘olani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital, in Honolulu. On the back was a picture of a Hawaiian queen. On one inside page were his name, his mother’s name, and his date of birth; on the other were his infant footprints.

The next morning, Marty Nesbitt came over to have breakfast with Obama. The CEO of an airport parking-lot company, Nesbitt was part of a tiny circle of Chicago friends on whom the president relied to keep him anchored in a reality outside the Washington funhouse. The two men had bonded playing pickup basketball two decades earlier; their relationship was still firmly rooted in sports, talking smack, and all around regular-guyness. After chatting for a while at the kitchen table, Obama went upstairs and came back down, wearing a cat-who-ate-a-whole-flock-of-canaries grin, waving the booklet in the air, and then placing it in front of Nesbitt.

“Now, that’s some funny shit,” Nesbitt said, and burst out laughing.

Clambering into his heavily armored SUV, Obama headed back north to the InterContinental hotel, where he had an interview scheduled with the Associated Press. He pulled aside his senior adviser David Plouffe and press secretary Jay Carney, and eagerly showed them his discovery.

Plouffe studied the thing, befuddled and wary: Is that the birth certificate? he thought.

Carney was bewildered, too, but excited: This is the birth certificate? Awesome.

Obama didn’t know what to think, but he flew back to Washington hoping that maybe, just maybe, he now had a stake to drive through the heart of birtherism, killing it once and for all—and slaying Trump in the bargain. Striding into a meeting with his senior advisers in the Oval Office the next Monday morning, he reached into his suit pocket and whipped out the booklet, infinitely pleased with himself.

“Hey,” Obama announced, “look what I found when I was out there!”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Fascinating

    Being a poltical junkie, oftentimes books about elections and the political landscape yield little new information than what you get on the news shows. Not the case with Double Down. Really fascinating behind the scenes stories of the 2012 election cycle covering candidates from the Republican primaries all the way through the November election. Strategy, relationships, miss-steps, winners, losers, this book was incredibly insightful. A must read for anyone who is intrigued by political strategy and the story behind the story

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    great objective book about the 2012 election

    You hear the inside views of most the people involved as the campaigns play out.

    9 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2013

    Chock-full of revelations for the politically minded

    For anyone who followed the 2012 presidential contest with gusto, Double Down will be a deeply pleasurable read. The two major leaks discussed in pre-release promos, those of Gov. Chris Christie's onerous opposition research file and Hillary Clinton's being tested in focus groups as a potential 2012 VP candidate for Obama, comprise only two of 7-10 major insider findings. The book is replete with juicy stories that will fascinate both Republicans and Democrats. The best story, for instance, concerns how Obama almost blew the second debate with Romney as badly as the first.

    As with their 2008 best-seller Game Change, to enjoy the book you have to trust the authors' sourcing. They say that even though all informants spoke on the condition of no-attribution they at least doubly confirmed all findings. They interviewed an enormous and truly impressive set of people for the book, including the current and several former presidents, and reviewed countless diaries and recordings as well. It speaks to their sourcing methods that no major finding has been rejected in the press by those said to be involved.

    If you follow politics closely and can suspend a bit of disbelief resulting from the lack of citations, you'll deeply enjoy this book.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Revealing and funny

    This behind the scenes look at the two presidential campaigns was absolutely enlightening as well as entertaining. The flashbacks helped to explain much. The faults, screw ups and the like made everyone seem human. Without realizing the "real" Obama as a lawyer I now understand his responses to questions as he tries to respond to questions these days. Mitt, on the other hand is a businessman. He is good at making presentations. The Obama team had their hands full trying to reorient the President's thinking so that he good manage the last two debates. Mitt's handlers were so out of touch they killed any chance he had. Great book, I loved it and strongly recommend it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2013

    Let us re-write history

    In his first four years he accomplished nothing positive. He was only elected due to the peculiar fact that he is a negro. How sad that this is how we select a leader now. National debt increases under Mr. Obama more than under ALL the previous presidents combined. Enjoy the lost freedoms, kids.

    5 out of 49 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    A very interesting read - hard to put down.  Too bad some reader

    A very interesting read - hard to put down.  Too bad some readers can't seem to get over the results of the election

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    A guest pass backstage to the 2012 election

    Double Down is a must read for political junkies of any stripe. It's like having a backstage pass to the 2012 election...both Obama and the Romney campaign, and the bit players, come to life like you actually were in the room with them as events occured.

    The writing is fun to read and and absorbing. These guys are hella writers and this book is as informative as Game Change and I would say even better.

    Read it and laugh, understand these candidates, enjoy the writing and get your political jones on. Excellent work!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    A fascinating in depth look at the 2012 presidential election

    This is a good read for any political junkie, especially if you want a new look into the character and politics of Romney and the Republican Party. It also reveals some surprising personal vulnerabilities of President Obama and his struggle to rise to the debate challenges of the election.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    Great Book. I am a political junkie, this book is a great read.

    Great Book. I am a political junkie, this book is a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    Recommended

    Double Down took the reader into the campaigns and made you feel as though you were right there. It shows the reader that preparation is very important and without it the chance of success is limited.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Highly recommend

    Even if you didn't like Game Change, you may find Double Down interesting. Baby Boomers, especially, might appreciate the authors ' 400+ interviews that show,at least in part, what has become of the Republican Party we once thought we knew. It was also intriguing to me to learn how the Dems managed to get it together after the first debate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2013

    Hdjdfhdhfhdbs

    Dhhjhhhhhhhhhhmaryhadalittlelamb....

    1 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2013

    Just saying!

    If a canidate has the same person voting for them five time in the same election its a pretty good bet that they will win. Now ,,times that by several thoundsands people and what do you get? ....... a man who will lie, cheat and play the blame game to win. He has ruined our country.............

    1 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Flight

    Good s**t.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A must read!

    This is a great book to read and find out what goes on with politics and complements Game Change!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2013

    FYI, I'm opinionated

    I'm not necessarily saying this as a good or bad thing, but this book praises Obama and is very biased in his favor.
    Personally I believe Obama is one of the worst presidents we've ever seen so, reading about him doing "wondrfuk things" certainley isn't for me.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2013

    Biased Characterizations

    The repeated characterization of Romney as a bumbling, impersonal, self absorbed,rich man while Obama is painted as a caring, savior of the middle class was an extremely annoying disappointment of this read. The factual recount of events was interesting and kept me reading to the end.

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

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