Book Review: Double Down by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

Double Down Game Change 2012, behind the scenes of the 2012 presidential electionNonfiction – Politics
Released November, 2013

Bottom Line: Skip it.
Link to this book on Amazon

Plot Summary of Double Down:

The sequel to Game Change (about the 2008 Presidential election), Double Down goes behind the scenes of the 2012 Presidential Election campaigns – both primary and general, Republican and Democratic.

My Thoughts on Double Down:

Although I generally stay away from reviewing political books, I included Game Change in last year’s Biogossip List because it was so juicy and read more like gossip than politics – and it also equally skewered both parties. So, I figured I’d review Double Down about the 2012 election with similar expectations.

Turns out I shouldn’t have wasted my time! Double Down reads much more like a play by play of the Republican primary and general election. I was looking for more analysis of how and why it worked out the way it did, but I didn’t feel the authors included much of that (other than Romney’s campaign team clearly being inferior to Obama’s).

I was also looking for some good behind the scenes gossip – and there were a few juicy nuggets. But, the most juicy items had already been extensively covered in the press upon the release of this book. If you’re interested in the juice, you might as well save yourself some time and read the media coverage of Double Down‘s release because the actual book is LONG. Far too long…and I was bored less than halfway through.

The two parts I enjoyed the most involved big personalities that make for interesting reading no matter which political direction you lean – Bill Clinton and Chris Christie. The authors did a great job covering Obama’s roller coaster relationship with Bubba and the back and forth about how much to involve him in the reelection campaign. Romney’s Vice Presidential selection process and the focus on Christie (“Big Boy” – as he was supposedly named by George W. Bush’s camp) did include a fair amount of behind the scenes information that hadn’t already been covered as much by the media.

Double Down was nowhere near as good as Game Change and I wish I hadn’t wasted my time!

You May Like:
Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

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