Obama’s Boswell: Jonathan Alter’s The Center Holds: Obama And His Enemies
Today’s guests include Mark Steyn and Bill Kristol, talking the marriage decisions and the immigration bill, and Congressman John Campbell making some news (transcripts as avaibale will be here). The third hour is devoted to Jonathan Alter, one of my lefty radio pals, who has a fine new book out on the second half of President Obama’s first term and especially on the election of 2012: The Center Holds: Obama And His Enemies.
Jonathan had extraordinarily good access and his book is much more nuanced than the “instagrams” that flooded out from various places as soon as the balloting was over. He also has some big blind spots when he examines the right –he still doesn’t get Rush or talk radio, at all– but he does understand how to write a campaign unfolding in real time, and this is a book that every Republican needs to read, especially on how the other side operates and how it understands the GOP and the GOP’s predictable failings in various aspects of campaigns. Really. My team needs to read the other team’s playbook, and Jonathan has it. The “geek gap” can be closed and demographic challenges can be met, but not without understanding the other side’s grasp of key technologies and demographic trends.