Double Down is Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s new account of the 2012 presidential campaign, providing a closer look at the behind-the-scenes relationship between President Barack Obama and the Clintons.
Instead of wading through the entire 473-page tome, Marc Ambinder of The Week distills it down to seven of the most illustrative segments of Double Down, including:
- Obama was not only NOT annoyed with Vice President Joe Biden, but he actually developed a genuine fondness for his running mate. Obama admired Biden’s dedication, intelligence and integrity. The VP refused to hear any negative remarks about the president in his presence, once scolding Rep. Anthony Weiner for making such a statement. By 2011, public comments show Biden and Obama seemingly surprised at how deep their relationship became over the campaign.
- Obama and his staff were taken aback by Jon Huntsman’s considering a presidential run. White House chief of staff Richard Daley told Huntsman that it was a “pretty shitty way to treat someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime.”
- Romney removed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from consideration not because of his health. Christie was off the short list — that included Paul Ryan, Tim Pawlenty and Marco Rubio — because of a 2010 Department of Justice investigation into the governor’s spending while a U.S. Attorney, his time as a security industry lobbyist and his brother’s dealings with the Security and Exchange Commission. “The Garden State governor’s record was littered with potential landmines,” the authors write.
- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, observing the unfolding disaster of the Romney campaign, lobbied for Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush to enter the contest at the last minute.
Ambinder says that the segments from Double Down are “points of color” for understanding the political dynamic.
The full list is at The Compass blog at The Week.