- File Size: 932 KB
- Print Length: 161 pages
- Publisher: Blue Rider Press (January 15, 2013)
- Publication Date: January 15, 2013
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AR48WB8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#361,893 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #195 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Campaigns & Elections
- #703 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Elections & Political Process > Elections
- #714 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > United States > Federal Government
Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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Panic 2012: The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story of Obama's Final Campaign (A BuzzFeed/Bl ue Rider Press Book) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a fun read, with plenty of behind-the-scenes anecdotes collected in one lengthy format. Hastings' accounts of his often contentious relations with fellow journalists and Obama campaign officials are entertaining and snarkily told. His reporting - a lot of which his endnotes explain was compiled by and credited to other journalists - gives a good, broad overview of the last couple months of the Obama campaign, when things looked good for his reelection, then horrible, then okay, then unsure, until the victory that with hindsight looks inevitable - I mean, President Romney? Really? Just three months later, that seems so silly.
Hastings is at his best when he goes after everyone with his brand of lacerating humor. He describes Press Secretary Jay Carney as a "regime collaborator," which is just so over-the-top and meanspirited and original - and appropriate. Carney, a former Time reporter, crossed over to the bigtime of politics, so if he's not a "collaborator," what is he?
The biggest flaw is there's not enough in the book of what makes Hastings work so fun to read. In The Operators, which I also liked, he related point-by-point conversations with exquisite detail - he looked bad, they looked bad, everybody looked bad. But it was honest, and that gave it value.
Here, he often starts what could be an equally great scene, but doesn't go far enough.Read more ›
Here's a typical sample, describing the election night party in Chicago:
"Obama delivered his address. The confetti fell, looking even more incredible in digital high definition. The Obama campaign tweeted Barack and Michelle hugging: Four more years. Obama gave a speech, accepting his victory for a final term. Parties at the Fairmont and the Boss Bar went pretty late; there were a few meltdowns at the InterContinental."
...and that's it. What sort of meltdowns? He doesn't say. Instead, we're on to the day after, and another slew of disjointed, unrewarding observations. (BTW, I don't remember Obama giving two speeches that night. Again, dude: a second draft wouldn't have killed you!)
All the expected junctures are dutifully hit, including a big fat section on Obama's terrible first debate performance. Hastings recounts the lead-up day in tedious detail, but there's no takeaway, just scattered speculations. Obama got some bad advice. He was tired. He had a bumpy plane flight. The moderator killed the room's enthusiasm. It's essentially a chapter-long tap dance around "Geez, I have no idea".
And as for that painfully edgy subtitle: "Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story", there's nothing the least bit sublime or terrifying here.Read more ›
Accordingly, the first-person account of Hastings' experience inside the bubble of Obama's re-election campaign was highly anticipated. Hell, it even had the endorsement of Glenn Greenwald, possibly the greatest analyst of American politics we have out there.
So the book is a pastiche of hit or miss, with the hits making this quick read well worthwhile. Hastings made it obvious that he wasn't into the Buzzfeed assignment of hanging out with the slobbering, pro-Obama press corps who shadowed the president everywhere on the campaign. In a terrific, candid moment, Hastings basically says he's slumming with this assignment. "I told [a war vet] how campaign reporting was for me a kind of methadone, a weak substitute, but that I could take what I could get." Brilliant analogy, but also highly confessional. Hastings was so-not-into this assignment at the outset.
But he learned how to get into it.
He admits at the end: "Obama's America. I love it here." He also confesses to being utterly charmed by Obama when the president came out for an "off-the-record" encounter with the press corps at an Orlando hotel. "I was riding high . . . Cool!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good book. Michael Hastings' writing is always a breath of fresh air.Published 2 months ago by Jaybee90069
To be honest, it was more about the author writing about the author. There were some interesting tid bits about the campaign, but not enough to hold me interest.Published 4 months ago by Byron Jones
Elections are terrible events to cover if you're a journalist. Don't do it.Published 20 months ago by Greg Leonov
I am just so happy Pres.Obama won.I would be panicking now if he didn't.Published 24 months ago by Maria Victoria Cinquemani
Michael Hasting's account of covering the 2012 Obama campaign is a must read if you are a political junkie. He was an outsider in a group of insiders. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Deannanel
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