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If you subscribe to Mr. Stanton's blog or follow HONY on Facebook you are already familiar with his photos and conversations with his photographic subjects. If you are not, and you love New York, you should get familiar. Here is a book I can pick up again and again - pictures tell a story, but these pictures in combination with what Stanton finds out about his subjects makes the stories far richer. I also appreciate that this book is NOT oversized, or overpriced. I had been waiting impatiently for its arrival, and I was not disappointed.
This unit I put together for a friend, after they saw mine working. This is an outstanding unit for portable use including being a great book reader. I still use my desktop computer, but now do a lot with my outstanding tablet. Some of the Android phone applications still only work in the portrait orientation, but that will improve once the application writers step up to the new Android 4+ operating system that supports both tablets and phones.
I may be one of the only “political junkies” in America who did not read GAME CHANGE nor see the film about the 2008 election. I did read at the time Dan Blaz and Haynes Johnson’s THE BATTLE FOR AMERICA 2008.
My intention this year was to skip reading any postmortems of the 2012 election. But then I found myself being drawn reluctantly to DOUBLE DOWN. To my surprise I found the book extremely well written and entertaining despite its leaning heavy on political gossip. It’s not really a book that distills for the reader the policy consequences of either a Romney or Obama win. It’s more a book about the candidates personal foibles and relationships (campaign staffs) as viewed through a present time narrative of what each campaign (especially Romney’s) was thinking during the race (through the primaries and general election).
The book has much more on Romney than Obama but given the need to walk Romney through the various primary challengers while Obama has none is bound to fill more pages. Bottom line there is not much new for those who followed the campaigns but if journalism is the first step in the writing of history this book will offer a very good perspective on all the participants.
The main things I thought of interest were:
1. Obama’s complete dislike of Political Theater and especially debates. No doubt his almost unwilling ability to take the debates seriously or to wrap his head around the fact that debates are more theater than a vehicle to make lawyerly explanations of policy almost cost him the election. The frustration of his staff and Obama’s interaction with them is a major part of the book. (In truth the polls never changed much from where they were in early June of the year. And remember that John Kerry won all three debates over Bush in 2004.)
2. The Obama/Bill Clinton relationship gets a lot of space in the book as does Clinton’s convention speech and subsequent support and apparent friendship. Bill Clinton is the star of this story.
3. The almost unanimous move by Wall Street contributors from support in 2008 to almost hatred of Obama this time around. And Obama’s disinterest in catering to them while Romney went into overdrive catering to the ultra-rich (even holding a Park City, Utah gathering for them). Obama did not even know or seem to want to know the names of his top ten contributors. The fact that Romney’s campaign was out of money and he had to borrow $20 million with a personal guarantee (all because he had few small donors). And much on the impact of super PACS and those running them.
4. Romney never wanted to disown his healthcare program “Romneycare” but had to in order to win Primaries and he subsequently never found his voice on the issue. Saying at one point another nominee might have been better able to make the anti-Obamacare case.
5. Romney knew even when he first read his op ed on Let Detroit go Bankrupt that he had made a huge mistake politically.
5. No doubt Halperin and Heilemann felt Romney believed his 47% takers comment and Romney’s view was that Obama handed out “gifts” (this despite Romney saying he only miss-spoke).
6. Romney’s strategy was based early on that he would not flip-flop on any positions he took in 2008 and would campaign on the economy and competence. But when he took Paul Ryan on as Vice President his campaign had to accept that it was a choice election (which is what Obama’s Chicago strategist wanted).
7. It is not new to say that Chris Christie is the Republican villain exhibiting strange and self-promoting behavior. The author’s maintaining this because Christie never thought Romney could win.
8. Neither candidate liked or respected the other. Obama thought Romney unprincipled and Romney thought Obama incompetent. Both underestimated the other. (I don’t see the two becoming friends any time in the future.)
And there is much more on who like who, who believed who, and how money, media and advertising were used in the winning and losing of the Presidency. I really enjoyed reading the book.
You want depth? You want cross referencing? You want impossible coincidence?
Clearly Mr. Horn has used his expertise and knowledge in compiling this awesome text. You may have read about some pieces of the information in other books, but I can assure you that this compilation puts it all together with new facts. Clearly, the ancient hope has been manipulated in recent times to bring about a new order. A MUST read.
My sister had been trying to get me to use BareMinerals foundation for years before I actually tried it. I am so glad that she did because I absolutely LOVE this product. It is so light.
HINT: If you have a few areas of redness on your face, lightly use a concealer stick first, then apply BareMinerals on top of that.
HINT: Don't apply too too much because then you will get the cakey look that the other people are talking about. It doesn't take much, LESS IS MORE : )