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Double Down Hardcover – 7 Nov 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: WH Allen (7 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753555565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753555569
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Explosive" (Daily Mail)

"Compelling" (The Observer)

"Gripping …. Cements the authors as unrivalled chroniclers of campaign politics" (The Economist)

"An energetic and entertaining account of the knives-out behind-the-scenes living during the world’s most hard-fought election" (The Irish Times)

"Full of page turning details … translates insider politics for mass-market readers" (Washington Post)

Book Description

From the authors of the number one New York Times bestseller Game Change, an explosive account of the 2012 presidential election

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced account of the US Presidential Election of 2012. The authors give a detailed description of the twists and turns of the electoral cycle and in fairness it reads like an adventure story. The characters are well drawn and the authors narration of events is authentic and supported by other sources. The contest for the Republican Party nomination and the travails of Mitt Romney the eventual nominee is especially entertaining. The picture of Romney that emerges is of a far more humane and complex man than the one portrayed by the mainstream media. According to this book it would appear that the problem for Romney was that his humanity and complexity held no appeal for the Republican base, especially its Tea Party wing. There is little new in the portrait of President Obama in this book. His strengths and weaknesses are as they were in 2008 and there is no real evidence of change or evolution in his thinking and attitudes to the political process.
My main criticism of the book is that it moves swiftly along through the controversies and calamities of the election with undue haste and without sufficient reflection on the underlying causes of the various events that made this election one of the most keenly fought and bitter contests in a very long time. The scale of President Obama's victory obscures the fact that both camps had genuine reasons to fear they would lose the election and that almost to the very end the outcome was in the balance. That sense of fear and suspense is well captured in this book and for that reason I rate it highly and would recommend it as an entertaining and enjoyable read.
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By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Halperin and Hellemann's book of the 2012 election is forthright and impressive. Many of the big 'takes' have been promoted on their book tours, but there is a great deal of terrific information that is left. For political junkies like me, the inside scoop of what went on in the Obama and Romney's election campaign is stuff to gnaw on. One of the more interesting tidbits is about Christie's vetting for VP with Romney. What Romney's team found was so much negative info that could not and was not explained that Romney knew Christie could never take the heat of a Presidential campaign.

The authors concentrate on Obama's re-election campaign, and in particular his hatred of debates. The Denver debate where he failed, and then onto the rest of the campaign. The high level of good will for the First Lady, Michelle, helped to give her the highest of likability of anyone in the campaign. The finely tuned operation that started in Chicago that made this election so winnable. What did surprise me, and I think it is relevant today, is the lack of really good, close people to surround the President and make sure all of his efforts and policies were on the right track and evolving as they should. Note the ACA disaster, no one seemed to be leading this effort. The President is a great idea man, but he is not one who follows up or leads the policies on-going.

And then there was Mr. Romney . Bill Clinton "remarked to a friend, that, while Mitt was a decent man, he was in the wrong line of work. 'He really shouldn't be speaking to people in public.' ". Time after time, Mitt Romney made such faux pas that showed this man was an elitist. President Obama disliked Romney intensely, and he had difficulty hiding it. The 47% remarks by Romney, really seemed to close his electability.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Double Down" by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann is an extensive political study about 2012 U.S. Presidential campaign and following elections, but also the analysis of Barack Obama's previous Presidency term making it a significant work for the political analysts.

Due to the book's larger size the authors were able to afford to put in the book much more than the elections analysis therefore the book is divided into three parts; its first part is telling author's story about all the aspects of Obama's Presidential mandate, second part describes what was happening in the Republican Party before the elections and how nominations were received and lost, and last part speaks about the elections themselves describing in detail what happened during the political fight between Romney and Obama.

As already mentioned, the book is quite extensive and detailed, and its main advantage is that it allows people who are not so familiar with details to inform about this topic using just this one book.

On the other hand, for those who already know a lot about what happened before the elections, and is more familiar with the characteristics of the Barack Obama's political rule, the book in large part will be repeating of known facts, causing déjà vu feeling.

It seems that the main intention of the authors was to make a sort of encyclopedia for the previous political period, one of those books that when you open for 20 years will bring back memories of everything that has happened in those turbulent months and years.
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