From Publishers Weekly
Known for his acerbic, take-no-prisoners style, Democratic political consultant and pundit Carville (Take it Back) does not pull punches in this aggressive manifesto. Surveying the political landscape, the bull-headed liberal finds the right pursuing "ridiculous positions" and "pontificating on silly-ass things that have been decided a long time ago" like global warming, WMD in Iraq, abstinence-based education, and rumors of Obama's secret Muslim heritage. Despite its provocative packaging, and some obvious recycling (yes, Bill O'Reilly and Fox News get a thorough rebuke), Carville has a serious message and some compelling analysis. Examining the demographics in the last election and the Bush administration's record, Carville concludes that the Democrats will easily defeat the opposition for years to come. A lead campaign strategist for both of Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns, Carville has plenty to say regarding Hillary Clinton's failed presidential run (though he's careful to note that she's the politician "I admire the most"). He also believes that if Pres. Obama follows the path set by Bill Clinton, enacting "solid, sensible policies," Americans will accept him as "the Real Deal." Pitched squarely in the southpaw strike zone, Carville hasn't mixed up his standard delivery, but he should find a larger audience of moderates than he has in recent years.
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The election of Obama in 2008 was partly due to a shift in American demographics that will favor the Democrats for the next 40 years, proclaims Democratic political advisor Carville. American voters are younger and more ethnically and racially diverse, a trend that favors Democrats. The old canard that young Democrats are prone to switch parties as they age and pay taxes doesn’t stand up against data showing a drop in Republican vote share. Republicans have sealed their current fate by persisting in ignoring the political middle and appealing to their ultraconservative base. Carville points to failed policies of the Bush administration and Republican philosophies: a reputation for fiscal conservatism ruined by record deficits to pay for the war in Iraq, the failure of tax policies favoring the wealthy and corporations to improve the economy, and the horrifying reality of an unresponsive government in the face of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans. What the Democrats have in their favor is demographics, techno-communications savvy, and the activism of grassroots supporters. Carville argues that contrary to the myth that Republicans are better on the economy, Democrats have more often delivered strong economies while providing needed social programs. The big challenge for Obama and future Democratic political efforts will be to restore confidence in government. He suggests emphasis on accountability and a “progressive patriotism” with broad appeal to Americans. --Vanessa Bush
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