Start reading Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse [Kindle Edition]

Calvin Trillin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $8.01 (50%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.99  
Hardcover $11.87  
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

In his latest laugh-out-loud book of political verse, Calvin Trillin provides a riotous depiction of the 2012 presidential election campaign.
Dogfight is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what the author calls a pause for prose (“Callista Gingrich, Aware That Her Husband Has Cheated On and Then Left Two Wives Who Had Serious Illnesses, Tries Desperately to Make Light of a Bad Cough”). With the same barbed wit he displayed in the bestsellers Deciding the Next Decider, Obliviously On He Sails, and A Heckuva Job, America’s deadline poet trains his sights on the Tea Party (“These folks were quick to vocally condemn/All handouts but the ones that went to them”) and the slapstick field of contenders for the Republican nomination (“Though first-tier candidates were mostly out,/Republicans were asking, “What about/The second tier or what about the third?/Has nothing from those other tiers been heard?”). There is an ode to Michele Bachmann, sung to the tune of a Beatles classic (“Michele, our belle/Thinks that gays will all be sent to hell”) and passages on the exit of candidates like Herman Cain (“Although his patter in debates could tickle,/Cain’s pool of knowledge seemed less pool than trickle”) and Rick Santorum (“The race will miss the purity/That you alone endow./We’ll never find another man/Who’s holier than thou.”)
On its way to the November 6 finale, Trillin’s narrative takes us through such highlights as the January caucuses in frigid Iowa (“To listen to long speeches is your duty,/And getting there could freeze off your patootie”), the Republican convention (“It seemed like Clint, his chair, and their vignette/Had wandered in from some adjoining set”), and Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded “47 percent” speech, which inspired the “I Got the Mitt Thinks I’m a Moocher, a Taker not a Maker, Blues.”

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A longtime staff writer at The New Yorker, Calvin Trillin is also The Nation’s deadline poet, at a fee he has been complaining about since 1990. His acclaimed books range from the memoir About Alice to Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin: Forty Years of Funny Stuff. He lives in New York.

Product Details

  • File Size: 283 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (November 20, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008QLSS4K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,407 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Calvin Trillin is at it again, covering the 2012 presidential campaign in rime. While I suspect most readers would agree that he will never be in the league with Dorothy Parker and Ogden Nash-- sometimes his lines get a little forced but they of course do finally rime-- Mr. Trillin is quite good at covering practically all that happened in one of the most god-awful campaigns in recent history. A Rip Van Winkle awaking the day after the presidential election would get a pretty accurate account of the circus or zoo (either metaphor works quite nice-- and forgive me-- would suffice) that the campaign became from reading DOGFIGHT. And there is a very good chance that Mr. Van Winkle would wish that he had remained asleep.

Here are some of my favorites of Mr. Trillin's letter bombs in verse:

As in DECIDING THE NEXT DECIDER, he reminds us again that the people on the Sunday shows are "Sabbath Gasbags."

On Mike Huckabee:

"But would he run? He'd hinted that he might,
Then said he had no stomach for the fight.
(Although the actual stomach he'd once shed
Was starting once again to get widespread.)"

On Michelle Bachmann:

"Emerged as Palin lite--or even lighter. " [a scary thought.]

On Donald Trump:

"Gas-filled as if by some gigantic pump."

On Rick Perry:

"With even more impressive hair than Kerry" but Texans
"The space beneath the hair, they say, is airy."

On Herman Cain:

"His ignorance is not what did him in.
No, Cain's campaign was sabotaged by sin."

On Newt Gingrich:

He is such an easy target. Trillin says he has the moral standards of a tick and says he
"Just floated away like a hot air balloon.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but.... November 28, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Dogfight", Calvin Trillin's new offering regarding the 2012 presidential race, has much of the old Trillin in evidence...wonderful insights measured and often matched by clever verse. There are some real gems, too....."Michele, our belle", (referring to the Michele of the Bachmann, not Obama variety) is the best in this collection. In fact, the author is at his peak here when he delivers new lyrics to old songs.

What is lacking, however, is cadence. Trillin's poems don't trip off the tongue so much as they stumble. A few too many syllables spoil much of his work and many are easily "correctable" to fit a rhythm that would work perfectly. It's a shame because his poems reveal such a wonderfully expansive mind. "Dogfight" has its moments of brilliance but there could have been many more.
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trillin leaves you grinnin' November 28, 2012
By Chuck
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'v got quite a few books by Trillin. This one is a nice book of the 2012 election in rhyme. Almost overlooked it, glad I bought. Very entertaining. Low price, fast read. Worth the money.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As Expected January 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Somehow, although the poems are clever, this one did not "grab" me the way some of Trillen's other stuff did. In fact, after getting half-way through, I put it down. But remember, ANY criticism is merely an opinion; e3ven the so-called experts. And I'm certainly not that!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Calvin Trillin! December 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the most fun thing of the whole campaign. All the ads should be written by Trillin -- clever, light-hearted, pithy and to the point.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short but excellent book! December 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very nice book, it is funny, intelligent, surprisingly accurate to the point of being somewhat of a historical account. I bought it on kindle but am re-buying in hard cover, this is a book that one may want to keep in one's library.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, but amusing December 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've long been a fan of Calvin Trillin's work. He's brilliant and funny, and consistently entertaining. This book, sadly, is a letdown. The verse doesn't scan and is only mildly amusing.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 10, 2014
Very Funny.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
As advertised!
Published 13 days ago by Willard Strozier
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Interesting. Arrived in timely fashion
Published 1 month ago by LINDA LEE MILLER
5.0 out of 5 stars The best part is the Republican primary race
Highly amusing and accurate account of the election. The best part is the Republican primary race. The ending is a lot less hopeful than his book about the 2008 election but that... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alice L. Bendheim
2.0 out of 5 stars Great content, but....
Loved the content. Just got tired of the style. Hard to believe anyone thought the GOP ran a serious campaign. Scary to remember that they had so many wackadoodles... Read more
Published 5 months ago by William Conn
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of the Race
Presentation different but fun to read. The race is over however I still pick this up for a quick read the section that shows up.
You have to have a sense of humor. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Happy's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars A Quick & FUNNY read
This is a great author who has a wonderful sense of humor and a interesting political viewpoint. A terrific and quick read
Published 9 months ago by Jerry Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars It was a gift
I have not read this book as I bought it as a gift for someone. While I am sure it is a perfectly nice book, apparently the reader is not a fan of verse so it did not go over so... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Catherine
3.0 out of 5 stars funny man
The Mark Twain of the 21st century. Or perhaps James Thurber? Always a pleasure to read, whether poetry or prose.
Published 10 months ago by Joan E. Camara
3.0 out of 5 stars dogfight
thought this would be much funnier than it is. good poems/essays on politicians as we were going through the 2012 Presidential campaign
Published 11 months ago by cann
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, and full of fun!
I choose this ranking because the book is just out right amazing! If you are looking for a good educated laugh read it! I would suggest this book to everyone!
Published 16 months ago by Caitlin clingman
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Topic From this Discussion
Architecture Be the first to reply
Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category