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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Setting the Record Straight About 2008

The remarkable 2008 presidential election isn’t that far in the rear-view mirror. But as many arguments about alleged contradictions between Barack Obama’s campaign message and his current agenda show, memories fade quickly, and history quickly becomes spin.
So it’s a very good thing that Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson have published an old-fashioned, Teddy-White-style Big Campaign Book that captures what actually happened in 2008, enriched by lots of insider interviews and some sure-footed analysis of events as they occurred.
I’ve written a review of the book (The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election) for the Washington Monthly, which in advance of their print edition is available online here.
I offered a lot of praise for the book’s command of details and its handling of several key issues, from Hillary Clinton’s fateful decision to go for broke in Iowa, to John McCain’s vetting process for Sarah Palin. I had a few criticisms as well, but the more I hear people mangling the facts about this election, the more I am grateful for Balz’s and Johnson’s efforts to set the record straight.

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