The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama’s Historic Victory by David Plouffe
Maybe it was growing up in Iowa that did it.
I can’t resist political campaign memoirs. I love, love, love them.*
And this one is fantabulous.
David Plouffe was Barack Obama’s campaign manager, and he’s got a great story to tell.
The first part of the book is the lead-up to the Iowa caucus, and it reads like a love letter to my home state.
And it was only then that the story really picked up… Of course, we know how it ends, but this book tells us what plans were being hatched (and foiled) to produce those results.
One of my absolute favorite lines from the book is this one, and I intend to borrow it for frequent use: “Something funky clearly happened here.” (p. 150)
That was a quote from David Axelrod, speaking with Obama after receiving the surprising results of the New Hampshire primary. For some reason, this line completely cracks me up. Though I realize it wasn’t funny to those present at the time.
Plouffe writes well, and he captures the moments that made the Obama campaign the phenomenon that it was. Even as he describes the lack of glamour—the sleep deprivation, the run-down hotels, the distance from family, the omnipresent concern about blindsiding political attacks—the very intensity of the campaign absolutely seems… glamorous.
Perhaps the appeal of these books is like the appeal of those scaling-Everest memoirs. Someone’s got to do it. Glad it ain’t me, but dang, it’s thrilling to read about. Here’s the guy himself, in one of the minimalistic videos (described by one of his friends as resembling hostage videos) that provided updates to the campaign’s volunteers:
* Other rip-roaring good campaign memoirs: All’s Fair: Love, War, and Running for President by Mary Matalin and James Carville, and All Too Human by George Stephanopoulos
Hey! Election day is Tuesday! Set your alarm clock just a little early, and go vote, dear people.