Obama: From Promise to Power

( 12 )

Overview

David Mendell has covered Obama since the beginning of his campaign for the Senate and as a result enjoys far-reaching access to the new Senator--both his professional and personal life. He uses this access to paint a very intimate portrait of Obama and his life pre and post Senate, including Obama's new status as a sex symbol now that going into a crowd to shake hands with constituents carries the added concern of being groped by women, and the toll this has had on his marriage. Mendell also describes the dirty ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (77) from $1.99   
  • New (18) from $1.99   
  • Used (59) from $1.99   
Obama: From Promise to Power

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

David Mendell has covered Obama since the beginning of his campaign for the Senate and as a result enjoys far-reaching access to the new Senator--both his professional and personal life. He uses this access to paint a very intimate portrait of Obama and his life pre and post Senate, including Obama's new status as a sex symbol now that going into a crowd to shake hands with constituents carries the added concern of being groped by women, and the toll this has had on his marriage. Mendell also describes the dirty tactics sanctioned by Obama--who has steeped his image and reputation on the ideals of clean politics and good government--to win his Senate seat by employing David Axelrod, a Chicago-based political consultant (consultant to the John Edwards's campaign) with what the author describes as "an appetite for the Big Kill."

Mendell also positions Barack Obama as in fact the Savior of a fumbling Democratic party, who is potentially orchestrating a career in Senate to guarantee him at the very least a vice presidential nod, if not a nod for the top job in 2008. The dream ticket would be Hilary Clinton-Barack Obama given his reception at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. Because he enjoys popularity among Whites (particularly suburban White women) and Blacks, it might not be such a far-fetched idea.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

National Review
The single best source of background information on our new president.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060858209
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/14/2007
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 1,453,890
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power, has been writing about politics and urban issues for the Chicago Tribune since 1998. Mr. Mendell lives in Oak Park, Illinois.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Obama
From Promise to Power

Chapter One

The Ascent

I'm LeBron, baby.
—Barack Obama

For those who know Barack Obama well, this might sound close to impossible, but the swagger in his step appeared even cockier than usual on the afternoon of July 27, 2004.

As summertime bathed downtown Boston in warm sunshine, Obama led a gaggle of reporters, aides and a couple of friends—a group occasionally two dozen deep—around a maze of chain-link security fences guarding the large-scale FleetCenter indoor arena. A former high school basketball player who, at forty-two, still relished a pickup game, the rail-thin Obama was carrying his upper body as if he were heading to the free throw line for the game-winning shot, a shot he believed was destined to sink. His shoulders were pitched backward. His head was held erect. His blue-suited torso swayed in a side-by-side motion with every pace forward. His enormous confidence appeared at an all-time peak. And for good reason: hours later, the Illinois state lawmaker and law school lecturer would take his first steps onto the national stage to deliver his now famous 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention.

Indeed, Obama's time in the bright sunshine had arrived. And though this moment had come upon him rather quickly, un-expectedly and somewhat weirdly, with only weeks of notice, his opportunity to prove to the world that he could play in this most elite league was at hand. Finally.

Having covered Obama for the Chicago Tribune since the early days of his U.S. Senate candidacy more than nine monthsbefore, I had already established a rapport with the state senator, and I was mostly trying to stay out of the way and watch the day unfold, watch the story of Barack Obama unfurl. Still, as a skeptical newspaper reporter, I was not completely convinced that, by day's end, all would come out well. I was still trying to gauge if this strut was something of an act, whether his winning free throw would clang on the rim and bounce away or whether he was on the verge of hitting nothing but net and making a national name for himself.

After Obama and I slipped through a security checkpoint and he momentarily broke free from the entourage, I sidled up to him and told him that he seemed to be impressing many people of influence in this rarefied atmosphere.

Obama, his gaze fixed directly ahead, never broke his stride.

"I'm LeBron, baby," he replied, referring to LeBron James, the phenomenally talented teenager who at the time was shooting the lights out in the National Basketball Association. "I can play on this level. I got some game."

I wasn't so sure. I fell back amid the marching gaggle of the Obama entourage and chatted with one of his closest friends, Marty Nesbitt, who had flown in from Chicago to accompany Obama during the convention week. I asked Nesbitt how he thought his friend would perform that night, given all the media attention and political pressure. "He sat down with Ted Koppel earlier this week and he hit the cover off the ball, didn't he?" Nesbitt asked. "Barack reminds me of a player on my high school basketball team back in Ohio. He could elevate his game to almost any situation. And when we needed a shot, he always hit it. Always."

That evening, Obama introduced himself to America. He delivered a keynote address of historic proportions, so inspiring that even some conservative commentators would concede they were moved by it. His rich baritone voice resolute and clear, he hearkened back to his beloved mother's philosophy of a common humanity, a philosophy that had been ingrained in him throughout his childhood. He declared that America is a land of good-hearted people, a nation of citizens who have more unifying traits than dividing traits, a country of individuals bound by the common purpose of freedom and opportunity for all. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America—there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America—there's the United States of America. . . . We are one people. . . ."

Across the arena, many Democrats from various states, various walks of life, various races, had tears in their eyes. And as the woman seated next to me in an upper level of the FleetCenter joyously shrieked—"Oh my god! Oh my god! This is history! This is history!"—I looked around at the energized and emotional crowd and heard myself speak aloud to no one in particular.

"Yes, indeed. Tonight, Barack, you are LeBron, baby."

Throughout 2004, the political and cultural mood in Obama's home state of Illinois—and much of the country—was sharply polarized. A bevy of Democratic presidential aspirants had vied to challenge President George W. Bush, who had led the country into war in Afghanistan, and then Iraq, in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington. Chagrined from being in the minority in both chambers of the Congress, Democrats desperately craved a strong candidate who could defeat Bush in the November election. Among those Democrats, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had won the party's nomination, but despairing Democrats were having difficulty warming up to him. They hungered for something more than Kerry could offer—a political savior, an inspirational figure who could lead them out of one of the darkest periods in their party's history. Kerry surely seemed electable, but his reserved nature and plodding public style made him far from a savior who could stir the souls of the masses.

At this point the nation was evenly divided on the Iraq war, but the Democrats were not. In the eyes of many moderate Democrats who had initially supported the war, the nationalistic fever that had washed over America in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist strike was beginning to wear off. For most left-leaning party members, the war had been nothing short of a colossal mistake from the . . .

Obama
From Promise to Power
. Copyright © by David Mendell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
The Ascent     1
Dreams from His Mother     14
Just Call Me Barry     32
The Mainland     50
The Organizer     64
Harvard     80
Sweet Home Chicago     93
Politics     107
The Legislator     121
The New Rochelle Train     140
The Candidate     150
The Consultant     163
The Race Factor     180
The Real Deal     192
Hull on Wheels     206
The Small Screen     219
A Victory Lap     235
A Dash to the Center     247
The Ryan Files     260
The Speech     272
Back to Illinois     286
The Senator     303
South Africa     321
Nairobi     338
Siaya: A Father's Home     355
LeBron Revisited     375
Notes     388
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Obama
From Promise to Power

Chapter One

The Ascent

I'm LeBron, baby.
—Barack Obama

For those who know Barack Obama well, this might sound close to impossible, but the swagger in his step appeared even cockier than usual on the afternoon of July 27, 2004.

As summertime bathed downtown Boston in warm sunshine, Obama led a gaggle of reporters, aides and a couple of friends—a group occasionally two dozen deep—around a maze of chain-link security fences guarding the large-scale FleetCenter indoor arena. A former high school basketball player who, at forty-two, still relished a pickup game, the rail-thin Obama was carrying his upper body as if he were heading to the free throw line for the game-winning shot, a shot he believed was destined to sink. His shoulders were pitched backward. His head was held erect. His blue-suited torso swayed in a side-by-side motion with every pace forward. His enormous confidence appeared at an all-time peak. And for good reason: hours later, the Illinois state lawmaker and law school lecturer would take his first steps onto the national stage to deliver his now famous 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention.

Indeed, Obama's time in the bright sunshine had arrived. And though this moment had come upon him rather quickly, un-expectedly and somewhat weirdly, with only weeks of notice, his opportunity to prove to the world that he could play in this most elite league was at hand. Finally.

Having covered Obama for the Chicago Tribune since the early days of his U.S. Senate candidacy more than nine monthsbefore, I had already established a rapport with the state senator, and I was mostly trying to stay out of the way and watch the day unfold, watch the story of Barack Obama unfurl. Still, as a skeptical newspaper reporter, I was not completely convinced that, by day's end, all would come out well. I was still trying to gauge if this strut was something of an act, whether his winning free throw would clang on the rim and bounce away or whether he was on the verge of hitting nothing but net and making a national name for himself.

After Obama and I slipped through a security checkpoint and he momentarily broke free from the entourage, I sidled up to him and told him that he seemed to be impressing many people of influence in this rarefied atmosphere.

Obama, his gaze fixed directly ahead, never broke his stride.

"I'm LeBron, baby," he replied, referring to LeBron James, the phenomenally talented teenager who at the time was shooting the lights out in the National Basketball Association. "I can play on this level. I got some game."

I wasn't so sure. I fell back amid the marching gaggle of the Obama entourage and chatted with one of his closest friends, Marty Nesbitt, who had flown in from Chicago to accompany Obama during the convention week. I asked Nesbitt how he thought his friend would perform that night, given all the media attention and political pressure. "He sat down with Ted Koppel earlier this week and he hit the cover off the ball, didn't he?" Nesbitt asked. "Barack reminds me of a player on my high school basketball team back in Ohio. He could elevate his game to almost any situation. And when we needed a shot, he always hit it. Always."

That evening, Obama introduced himself to America. He delivered a keynote address of historic proportions, so inspiring that even some conservative commentators would concede they were moved by it. His rich baritone voice resolute and clear, he hearkened back to his beloved mother's philosophy of a common humanity, a philosophy that had been ingrained in him throughout his childhood. He declared that America is a land of good-hearted people, a nation of citizens who have more unifying traits than dividing traits, a country of individuals bound by the common purpose of freedom and opportunity for all. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America—there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America—there's the United States of America. . . . We are one people. . . ."

Across the arena, many Democrats from various states, various walks of life, various races, had tears in their eyes. And as the woman seated next to me in an upper level of the FleetCenter joyously shrieked—"Oh my god! Oh my god! This is history! This is history!"—I looked around at the energized and emotional crowd and heard myself speak aloud to no one in particular.

"Yes, indeed. Tonight, Barack, you are LeBron, baby."

Throughout 2004, the political and cultural mood in Obama's home state of Illinois—and much of the country—was sharply polarized. A bevy of Democratic presidential aspirants had vied to challenge President George W. Bush, who had led the country into war in Afghanistan, and then Iraq, in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington. Chagrined from being in the minority in both chambers of the Congress, Democrats desperately craved a strong candidate who could defeat Bush in the November election. Among those Democrats, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts had won the party's nomination, but despairing Democrats were having difficulty warming up to him. They hungered for something more than Kerry could offer—a political savior, an inspirational figure who could lead them out of one of the darkest periods in their party's history. Kerry surely seemed electable, but his reserved nature and plodding public style made him far from a savior who could stir the souls of the masses.

At this point the nation was evenly divided on the Iraq war, but the Democrats were not. In the eyes of many moderate Democrats who had initially supported the war, the nationalistic fever that had washed over America in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist strike was beginning to wear off. For most left-leaning party members, the war had been nothing short of a colossal mistake from the . . .

Obama
From Promise to Power
. Copyright © by David Mendell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2008

    Great book!

    Written from a journalists' perspective during Obama's early days, his rise into the state senate and eventually on to the US Senate. Great 'behind-the-scenes' stories.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 23, 2007

    The real Obama

    I am not a Democrat, but I wanted to get to know the real Obama by an objective source because I think he will be our next president and if not next then some day. David Mendel writes an objective and very interesting look at Obama and how he came to run for president. I am a political junkie but not a political insider. Mr. Mendel writes for the novice in a captivating way that keeps one entertained by what could be a really boring subject.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Rater

    The only interest I have after seeing him up close as presidemt is to see him GO AWAY!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Obama

    Great book to know the individuals that helped Obama behind the scenes. Gives a glimpse as to what he is like and what his vision is for the future of the United States.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    Read David Mendell¿s intimate portrait of Barak Obama and `change the way you look at things ¿ so the things you look at will change.¿ Obama: From Promise to Power by David Mendell (Amistad 2007) Going from obscurity to star of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he may become the next President of the United States, yes Barak Obama. One of the most charismatic democratic contenders is reveled by David Mendell who has chronicled Obama since the beginning of his campaign for the Senate. Obama: From Promise to Power provides a unique insider perspective of the man who may become the next President of these United States. David Mendell is a journalist for the Chicago Post Tribune.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 4, 2013

    -.- really people? -.-

    You couldnt even spell 'Romney' right. You know, I am 14 years old, but still im amazed how stupid how people can be.

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

    Posted November 6, 2012

    DOWN WITH OBAMA

    UP WITH ROMNY(IS THAT HOW YOU SPELL H NAMR)VOTE VOTE VOTE

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Go Mitt romney

    Obama needs to go! THE PERSON WHO SAID THE STUFF ABOUT THE TREES AND BABYS IS SO RIGHT? I WHIS THST I DIDNT HAVE TO GIVE THIS STAR BUT I HAVE NO CHOICE

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 12 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)