In this distinctive and personal narrative of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign for the American presidency, Carlos Rangel chronicles the underlying currents of social change that led to this successful campaign. The results were a president with a clear majority of the votes cast; elected by a commanding majority of electoral votes; and who won states on both coasts, in the South, the Rust Belt, and the West. There were no recount battles, or intervention by the courts.Rangel notes that the effective professional politician gathers coalitions around positions on the issues and uses these coalitions to formulate policies that bring these positions to fruition. The Obama Campaign coalesced expectations that he would be able to rapidly transform the way the country is led and lead Americans to a better future. These expectations were multiplied by an effective, well-run campaign. Certainly, Obama's capacity to inspire during the campaign led many to believe he could do the same as president.Management of high expectations became one of President Obama's greatest challenges in the immediate period after the election. In transforming ideals of hope and change into reality, he faced political resistance from multiple fronts, an economy with structural flaws, and an internationally isolated United States. Rangel's unique background in Latin America enables him to make sharp observations about policies and campaign statements that may have influence in that region, including trade deals, drug wars and the populist rhetoric, and actions emanating from the region. This book is a solid start at analysis of the years ahead, as well as the year that was.
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