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- ISBN: 9780670021116 | 0670021113
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 8/4/2009
The definitive account of the landmark election from two of America's best known political reporters. The election of 2008 shattered political barriers, illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class, and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable political rivals ever to seek the presidency in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. It was an election that played out against a backdrop of wars, a shattered economy, and deep pessimism about the future. Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson followed this campaign from the candidates' first forays into Iowa and New Hampshire to the historic night of Obama's victory celebration. They take readers on a gripping journey through the epic battle for Iowa, Clinton's dramatic comeback in New Hampshire, the racially tinged primary in South Carolina, the stunning endorsement of Obama by Senator Edward M. Kennedy over the Clintons' objections. They reveal the strategic mistakes of the Clinton campaign and the story behind Obama's breakthrough organization. They cover McCain's struggle for survival in the Republican primaries, Sarah Palin, and the economic meltdown that ensured Obama's victory. Exclusive interviews with the candidates and their top strategists produce intimate portraits of Obama, Clinton, and McCain under stress throughout the longest and most expensive presidential campaign in American history. Balz and Johnson also move far off the campaign trail to listen to voters in battleground states express their deep anxieties about the darkening economic climate and the challenges facing the United States. This book is a riveting account of how this election not only marked a new era in American politics but also offered a test of historic proportions at a watershed moment for our nation.