Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 partly because he was a Washington outsider. But if he'd come to the White House thinking he could change the political culture, he soon discovered just how difficult it was to swim against an upstream of insiders, partisans, and old guard networks allied to undermine his agenda---including members of his own party. Read more...
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Chuck Todd's gripping, fly-on-the-wall account of Barack Obama's tumultuous struggle to succeed in Washington.
Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 partly because he was a Washington outsider. But if he'd come to the White House thinking he could change the political culture, he soon discovered just how difficult it was to swim against an upstream of insiders, partisans, and old guard networks allied to undermine his agenda---including members of his own party. He would pass some of the most significant legislation in American history, but his own weaknesses torpedoed some of his greatest hopes.
In THE STRANGER, Chuck Todd draws upon his unprecedented inner-circle sources to create a gripping account of Obama's White House tenure, from the early days of drift and helplessness to a final stand against the GOP in which an Obama, at last liberated from his political future, finally triumphs.
- ISBN-13: 9780316079570
- ISBN-10: 031607957X
- Publisher: Little Brown and Company
- Publish Date: November 2014
- Page Count: 528
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Todd, the newly minted Meet the Press host and former NBC chief White House correspondent, provides an even-handed, concise, and thorough account of President Obama’s first six years in the Oval Office. Todd frames his perspective with his choice of title—President Obama “came to Washington on the strength of being a stranger to the city and to the political elites, but it hasn’t always served him well.” He covers in great detail the die-hard obstructionism, exemplified in Sen. Mitch McConnell’s proclamation that his priority was to deny Obama a second term, that has characterized the Republican response to the president’s agenda. But Todd doesn’t believe that right-wing extremism lets the president off the hook, and offers example after example of times when his aloof approach to Congress hobbled his legislative initiatives. The book also compares the efficiency of Obama’s electoral campaigns to his subpar management in office. There isn’t a lot here that will be news to readers who follow politics closely—no Bob Woodward–type revelations—but the thoughtful organization of material make this as good a summation of Obama’s successes and failures, and the reasons for them, as anything else out there. Agent: Matthew Carnicelli, Carnicelli Literary Management. (Nov.)