Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Campaign Poetry: Hardened

May 2, 2010

“Obama’s ambivalence and detachment could be a strength in politics and even in his personal life. It hardened him against failure, protecting him from the pain of defeat, or an absent father. But it also served to isolate him, pushing away those who could sustain him, as he strove to succeed. The price of political success seemed a certain sum of personal failure.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 123).

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) signs a book deal

May 1, 2010

If you’re planning to run for president: publish a book!

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is on the list of potential contenders for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and it’s finally official: He’ll be publishing a memoir in 2011:

Tyndale House Publishers of Carol Stream, Ill., will publish the volume. The company says in a press release it will include Pawlenty’s reflections on his life, career and vision for America.

Interested in the politics of a book release? Read THIS.

Campaign Poetry: Self-conscious staging

April 30, 2010

“Were the stories and the scenes less genuine for all the cameras and the self-conscious staging? Maybe so. But there was no way to win as a renegade without mastering a campaign’s language and look, its conventions and protocols. They were taking enough risks by running against the Clintons; anything else was beyond their powers of self-control and team discipline. For any other insurgent candidate, there would have been no press, no public, and no money for TV ads. That would have forced him to take more risks and create more opportunities. But even six months before the first votes of the 2008 election, there was no free-wheeling phase for Obama. His campaign was a magic lantern show, projecting something once real, and now sometimes hidden, onto a large blank screen.”

Richard Wolffe – Renegade. The Making of Barack Obama (p. 79).

Campaign Poetry: Biden’s hair

April 29, 2010

“As he turned away from me, I witnessed a classic Biden moment. Frank Greer, a legendary Democratic media consultat, was helping us by volunteering as our stage manager at all four debates. Frank had a full head of thick gray hair, and as the folically challenged Biden grabbed him to thank him on the way out, he said, ‘Man, Frank, if I only had your hair I could have been the number one guy on this ticket!’ And with that, our vice presidential nominee triumphantly entered his motorcade for the drive to the airport.”

David Plouffe – The Audacity to Win (p. 349).

Campaign Poetry: The new adage

April 28, 2010

“When I was coming up in politics, the saying was, Don’t put anything on paper you don’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times. The new adage should be, Don’t say anything you don’t want posted on YouTube and whipped around the Internet at warp speed. We were spared to an extent in that there was no video of his comments in California, and the audio recording was not great quality. The words were still replayed incessantly, but because online video is now king, the clip didn’t get the play it might have.”

David Plouffe – The Audacity to Win (p. 217).

Campaign Poetry: Late Night with Kent Conrad

April 27, 2010

“Obama was planning to do the national morning shows on Wednesday so it would not look like we were hiding in defeat. I decided to travel with him for a few days, so I had to be up early to meet him at the tapings. Sometime after 3:00 a.m. I had finally dozed off, and I was suffering through some fitful sleep when the hotel fire alarm started blaring. Dazed, I lurched into the hallway, where I ran into North Dakota senator Kent Conrad, who had endorsed Obama right before Iowa (our first senator outside of Illinois) and had been in New Hampshire campaigning for us. Standing in my boxers in a hotel hallway in the middle of the night with Kent Conrad, I suddenly experienced an overwhelming urge to get the hell out of New Hampshire.”

David Plouffe – The Audacity to Win (p. 152).

The Politics of a Book Release: 2012 Edition

March 9, 2010

(updated May 1, 2010)

The fact that most American presidential hopefuls write a book before they announce their candidacy seems to be a truism of American politics. Thus, most Republicans with their aims on the 2012 Republican presidential nomination will release a book upon announcing their candidacy.

It’s not exactly rocket science. Just take a look at this list, containing the names of former presidential candidates who released books upon running for the presidency:

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, John Kerry, John Edwards, Howard Dean, George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Pat Buchanan, Lamar Alexander, Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, George Bush, and Ronald Reagan.

And that’s just as far back as I’ve checked. Feel free to list older examples in the comment section below.

By releasing a book upon running for the presidency, the candidate can introduce his life story, the travails of his past, and his vision of America’s future. Furthermore, having a book with your face on the cover increases your name recognition, and it’s a nice way for potential voters to get to know you and your ideas.

Former Massachusetts Governor, and failed 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney just released his book, entitled No Apology. The Case for American Greatness.

The Economist (February 27th-March 5th, 2010: pg. 44) describes it as “a 323-page paean to American greatness and a thinly disguised presidential manifesto ending with a 64-point ‘Agenda for a Free and Strong America’.”

Along with Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Lamar Alexander and Jim DeMint are all potential (though more or less likely) 2012 Republican presidential candidates that have written or authored books, and Tim Pawlenty will be publishing a memoir in 2011.

According to the apparent release-a-book-before-you-run-for-president-logic, the following need to write a book pretty soon if they’re going to be among the top contenders in the 2012 Republican primaries (add other names below if you can’t find them here):

Indiana Representative Mike Pence, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, South Dakota Senator John Thune, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and Texas Governor Rick Perry (not a likely contender if he loses his re-election campaign for Governor of Texas).

Former actor, Tennessee Senator and failed 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson is set to release a book in May entitled Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances. The title doesn’t really sound like a political manifesto, but who knows, maybe Fred Thompson, the self-proclaimed “consistent conservative” is gearing up for another run for the presidency?

On an end note, take a look at what could’ve been the 1990s first-couple:

POST SCRIPT: According to several reports, newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has signed a book deal with Harper Collins for a book to be released next year. I didn’t mention him among the potential contenders for the 2012 nomination, but who knows? Barack Obama ran as a freshman Senator in 2008. BUT, while Obama was elected to the Senate in 2004 – four years prior to his historic win on November 4, 2008 – Brown was elected to the Senate this January – just two years prior to the 2012 Iowa caucuses…


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