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Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
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."

On Rick Santorium:

"We'll never find another man
Who's holier than thou."

On Ron Paul:

"So he won't do flip-flops. He long ago flipped."

On Mitt Romney:
(Of course Mitt gets most of Mr. Trillin's bombs since he eventually emerges as the Republican candidate, but this is my favorite:)

"Reveal himself? No, Mitt would not be forced;
The humanizing had to be outsourced.
And so Ann Romney, Mitt's appealing bride,
Proclaimed there was a human being inside
This mannequin. Of this she seemed assured.
No details though. We'd have to take her word."

There isn't much for President Obama to do, but his performance in the first debate with Romney is worth quoting:

"The President seemed listless all the while--
Less certain of the points that he would share
And wishing he were anyplace but there."

Finally, Mr. Trillin gets my thanks and gratitude for calling out the neocons for being "draft dodgers all."

So until 2016, we bide this astute observer of our political zoos a fond farewell.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified 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.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified 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.
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VINE VOICEon December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Political junkies of all persuasions will find a laugh or two when reading Calvin Trillin's Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse. I prefer Trillin's prose over his poetry, but found a few laughs in this short book. The account of Callista Gingrich's cough is the best of the lot, in my opinion. There's more content on the Republican side, given the primary contest, but Trillin pokes some merry wit at Obama as well. Readers who have the courage to revisit the 2012 campaign and can do it with the intention of laughing are those most likely to enjoy this book.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
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on January 25, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
THIS BOOK IS REALLY FUNNY. CALVIN TRILLIN IS A VERY HUMORUS GUY. THE REASON I DIDN'T GIVE IT FIVE STARS IS BECAUSE I DIDN'T LIKE THE INTERRUPTION WHERE HE WROTE THINGS IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS POEM AND CAUSED ME TO HAVE TO GO BACK ON SOME OFTHEM TO REFRESH MY MEMORY. POLITICS WRITTEN AT IT'S BEST. A GOOD READ FOR ANYONE WHO LIKES FUNNY STORIES IN RHYME. AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE A DEMOCRAT.
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on July 10, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
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 was to be expected.
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