Oh, political junkies, it’s time to feast on the red-and-blue deliciousness that was the 2012 election. As they did in their book about the previous presidential joust, Game Change (2010), the well-connected authors have worked their sources thoroughly to give readers a warts-and-all look at what went on behind the scenes. Fellow Mormons Jon Hunstman and Mitt Romney did not care for each other (Mrs. Huntsman felt Romney was part of the “Morman Mafia”); Chris Christie endorsed Romney but, behind his back, mocked the candidate’s Fred McMurray persona; and, on the Democratic side, nobody, except the Obamas, liked Valerie Jarrett, who was nicknamed The Night Stalker for her after-hour visits to the First Family. But this is more than tittle-tattle. Halperin and Heilemann give readers a real sense of why things shaped up the way the did, why events fell one way or the other, and who got clobbered as a result. While the book focuses on the election, it also delves into decisions being made at the White House that affected outcomes. This one is more clearly sourced than the previous book, and one incident in particular gives a hint as to how connected the authors were: In an early scene, the president is meeting dozens of advisors about the upcoming election, despite the fact he had been warned that talking with such a large group would lead to leaks. Obama, however, told everyone in the room he trusted them and proceeded to list his regrets about his first term. Six weeks later, he was informed that his list had leaked to two reporters writing a book on the 2012 election—Halperin and Heilemann. --Ilene Cooper
Praise for Mark Halperin and John Heilemann's Double Down
Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times:
"Those hungry for political news will read Double Down for the scooplets and insidery glimpses it serves up about the two campaigns, and the clues it offers about the positioning already going on among Republicans and Democrats for 2016 ... The book testifies to its authors’ energetic legwork and insider access ... creating a novelistic narrative that provides a you-are-there immediacy ... They succeed in taking readers interested in the backstabbing and backstage maneuvering of the 2012 campaign behind the curtains, providing a tactile ... sense of what it looked like from the inside."
Michael Kinsley, The New York Times Book Review:
“Chock-full of anecdotes, secret meetings, indiscreet remarks ... No one can compete [with Halperin and Heilemann]. That’s what it means to own the franchise. It’s a small club: these two guys and Bob Woodward. And with this book, they’ve earned their admission.”
“Sharp insights buttressed by startling indiscretions fill Double Down, a new account of Barack Obama’s win over his 2012 Republican rival, Mitt Romney. This gripping book—a sequel to Game Change, a bestseller about Mr. Obama’s 2008 path to the White House—cements the status of the authors as unrivalled chroniclers of campaign politics.”
"Compulsively readable follow-up to Game Change...A chronicle of the freak show that was the 2012 presidential election, the book illustrates how profoundly personality shapes history....Double Down amply demonstrates how our 44th President earned every one of those brand-new gray hairs."
“Many juicy disclosures ... [a] near-flawless narrative.”
Jeff Labrecque, Entertainment Weekly:
“Journalists Halperin and Heilemann don’t lack for access, delivering another down-and-dirty account of an election that plays out like high-stakes high school cafeteria politics…. Double Down looks less like a sequel to 2008 than a tantalizing prequel to 2016. I’m all-in.”
Peter Hamby, The Washington Post:
“Page-turning…. translat[es] insider politics for mass-market readers with behind-the-scenes reporting and Gonzo flair."
“A highly entertaining, dishy read, full of astonishing revelations about the strengths and, most intriguingly, the foibles of the nation’s political stars and egos… Like crack for political junkies.”
"Oh, political junkies, it’s time to feast on the red-and-blue deliciousness that was the 2012 election. As they did in their book about the previous presidential joust, Game Change (2010), the well-connected authors have worked their sources thoroughly to give readers a warts-and-all look at what went on behind the scenes. … Halperin and Heilemann give readers a real sense of why things shaped up the way they did, why events fell one way or the other, and who got clobbered as a result."
“Double Down succeeds by sticking to its story and having the main characters—Obama, Romney, Joe Biden and their key aides—reveal themselves through their actions. The result is a much more coherent experience of the campaign than readers could get by living through the contemporaneous news coverage. By letting the story do the work, the authors show us a lot.”
“Sharp writing and intriguing behind-the-scenes nuggets that are sure to get tongues wagging."
“Their in-depth look at the chaotic GOP primary also sheds light on the emerging schism between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party movement, which bubbled to the surface during the recent government shutdown. These insider insights help to breathe new life into old news, and make Double Down a must read for political junkies.”
“[Halperin and Heilemann] are without question two of politics ultimate insiders…Their first book about the 2008 election, Game Change, took the world of Washington by storm. Well they’ve done it again. Their brand new book Double Down is stirring up just as much controversy.”
Ezra Klein, The Washington Post:
“Double Down... is a joyous romp through the seedy underbelly of presidential campaigning....It’s also a marvel of reporting. Any time three staff members met in a room to badmouth a colleague or a candidate admitted to a moment of stress or self-doubt, ... John Heilemann and Mark Halperin appear to have been sitting in the corner, scribbling notes."
Joe Scarborough, MSNBC/Morning Joe:
“Done it before, and have done it again.”
“In many ways, an insight into America.”
Chris Matthews, MSNBC/Hardball:
“Great new book…. Great reportage.”
Barbara Walters, ABC-TV/The View:
“Authors of the bestselling book turned Emmy-winning HBO movie Game Change are telling all in their latest book ... It is terrific.”
“This is a great read.”
Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC’s The Last Word:
"I love this book.”
Anderson Cooper, AC360:
“Really fascinating details.”
Andrew Ross Sorkin, CNBC's Squawk Box:
“Buzz book of the moment.”
Dylan Byers, Politico:
“In an era when the most minute details of a presidential campaign are chronicled in endless tweets and seemingly instant eBooks they have published an old-fashioned print product filled with new revelations.”
Howard Kurtz, Fox News:
“You’d think there were no revelations left from the 2012 campaign, but Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, the Game Change duo, strike again in their new book.”
“Fascinating new insights.”
"Sizzling... They've done it again."
Willie Geist, MSNBC/Morning Joe:
“Halperin and Heilemann present another handsomely crafted nonfiction political thriller, never devoid of shocking disclosures….the scenes they construct are generally insightful and entertaining. These two accomplished journalists are adept at capturing the clash of personalities in contemporary American politics, and they have an uncanny ability to get scoops other reporters don't.”