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Game Change is a detailed account of the 2012 race for office of President of the United States. Its joint authors are reporters Mark Helperin and John Heilemann who are the famed author of "Game Change" which was a chronicle of the 2008 presidential race won by POTUS Barack Obama over Senator John McCain of Arizona the GOP hopeful.
The book begins in the White House where POTUS Obama is dealing with a querulous staff . The White House all along believed that Mitt Romney the richer than Croesus Bain capital mogul would be their opponent in the fall contest for the White House. Romney's road to the nomination was not a smooth sail over a placid sea. He had to face such opponents as:
Rich Santorium-The former two term right wing Senator from Pennsylvania who defeated Romney in the Iowa primary by a handful of votes. Santorium a Roman Catholic appealed to the religious right in his anti-abortion stance. His campaign had little money to enable Santorium to stay in the ring with the big boys.
Newt Gingrich-The former Speaker of the House of Representatives sputtered after doing well in the beginning of the primary season.
Jon Huntsman-The very rich former governor of Utah and a Mormon did poorly among the GOP faithful. Huntsman was a rival of
Romney in securing the leadership of the St. Lake Olympic directorship of the 2002 games. Hunstman and fellow Mormon Romney loathed one another even though they were distantly related. Huntsman was also tainted in Republican eyes by his service as United States Ambassador to China under the Obama administration. Huntsman decided not to pursue a third party race for the Oval Office.
Michelle Bachmann -The Minnesota congresswoman and social conservative tax lawyer did poorly soon dropping out of the race after gaffes in the debates against her primary foes. (The Republicans conducted twenty debates among competitors for the GOP nomination won by Romney at the Tampa Convention).
Rick Perry-The Texas governor dubbed "Governor Haircut" by the late Molly Ivins stumbled badly in the debates leading to his early withdrawal from the race and endorsement of Romney.
Hermann Cain-The African-American former CEO of Domino's Pizza who was a failed candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Georgia and a radio talk show host in Atlanta. His 9-9-9 tax plan interested some Republicans but the revelation of a string of adulterous relationships stopped him in his pursuit of the nomination.
Ron Paul the libertarian did poorly failing to win a primary.
Chris Christie "called Big Man" among GOP operatives decided to stay out of the race but endorsing Romney.
Romney ran a campaign which was well funded but failed to ignite passion. His running mate was Paul Ryan a conservative congressman from Wisconsin. Romney was viewed by the voting public as remote from average people. His comment about the 47% who lived off the government which he said at a fat cat Boca Raton fundraiser hurt him. Even though Romney bested Obama in the Denver debate he lost the presidential election by over five million votes.
Obama gained confidence as the race progressed doing well in his last two debates with Mitt Romney. His campaign was well financed and he used the power of incumbency to defeat Romney. Obama 's greatest asset was his wife .
This book is written using the slang and profanity endemic to American politics. Readers will have to have a dictionary handy to look up many of the unusual words used by the authors. The authors are becoming the modern equivalent to the late Theodore White who became best known for his series "The Making of the President" series which began with White's story of the JFK-Nixon contest of 1960. This book is the sine qua non of tomes dealing with the 2012 race for the White House. One is riveted by the insights presented. The name of the game in American politics is big money and PACS. Every American interested in the future of the nation would benefit by the hours spent reading "Double Down." Well recommended by this reviewer.
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