Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Review: Audacity To Win

Speaking of divisive politics, here's a great excerpt from the "Audacity To Win", a great book I just finished:

It concerns me-- and this is strictly a personal observation -- that some quarters of the Democratic Party seem to worry that the effort it will take to pass health insurance reform, and then energy reform, could do damage to the party, because some recent polls have shown a not insignificant amount of unease among voters. In my view, this is looking three yards downfield instead of thirty. In the long run , the economy will be healed, and growing; landmark health insurance reform has has languished in Washington for seventy years will have been passed; and we will have done the hard work required to make us the worldwide leader in new energy and green jobs for generations to come. But to make that happen, we need to lay the groundwork now.
I hope Republicans will assist with these efforts. Only a few helped to push through the stimulus package, which I believe will come to be seen as an important cornerstone in our economic recovery. When the smoke clears, the Democrats will have a remarkable record of leadership that moved the country forward and will consequently have great political appeal. Contrast that with Washington Republicans, who will likely have played little role, with the exception of a few principled individuals. And let's not forget that the economic politices they still embrace played a large role in creating this crisis.
When their fearmongering on health care proves to be just that -- when reform passes and voters still have their choice of doctors, care remains unrationed, and Sarah Palin's death panels have killed only her political prospects -- the Republicans in Washington will truly be exposed as the emperors with no clothes. They will have zero credibility. They are putting all their rotten eggs into one basket, using misinformation and outright lies to try to deny the president a victory.

If you got involved in the last election, you should definitely give David Plouffe's book a read. Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, gives a no-holds-bar insider look at the campaign. I personally found it fascinating to learn about Obama's strategy to win the election. To me though, there are three reasons to read this book:

REASON 1: Obama comes across as an even great leader than I already believe him to be. If Plouffe is to be believed, Obama always took the high road throughout the campaign. Plouffe takes full credit for all the negative things the Obama campaign did when it came to "politics as usual". I often got frustrated during the election when I would read or hear about a negative ad released by the Obama camp. I understand fighting fire with fire but I remember thinking, "I thought Obama was above this." It's good to know that apparently he was.

REASON 2: It was really entertaining to read about how much Plouffe despised Hillary Clinton's Campaign and staff. It was a political book but it felt like you could have been reading about the Red Sox vs. Yankees or any great rivalry.

REASON 3: If you're still on a high from Obama winning, this is a great way to relive the moment. When I read the last words in the book, I had chills running down my spine. Just like on election day, I felt proud as hell to be an American.