Over the last week I have been listening to the audiobook version of Double Down: Game Change 2012 by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. This is the sequel to the 2008 book Game Change. Double Down is the definitive account of the 2012 election. The book covers everything from the Republican primary all the way up through the reelection of President Obama. So far it’s been a great book (I’m about two thirds of the way done) and if you’re a political junkie like I am then you’ll probably love this book.
There is a lot of information in Double Down that you wouldn’t know just from watching the 2012 election as an outsider. This insider account of the election contains tons of interesting information. Here are a few things that have stuck out to me so far.
Republican Wives Club
Wow, who knew how prominent a role politicians’ wives play in things? After reading Double Down I have a much better sense of how important politicians wives are. Mitch Daniels wanted to run but his wive and daughters would not let him. Ann Romney was a major support system for Mitt, and she was his rock during the campaign. Jon Huntsman’s wife nixed a negative ad campaign about an opponent because she said something like her and Jon just aren’t those type of people. And there are plenty of other stories in the book that highlight how much influence politicians’ wives play in the campaigns. Very interesting, and I had no idea.
Jon Huntsman Is a Hack
Jon Huntsman comes off very bad in the book. He seems entitled, egotistical, and lazy. He could have had access to millions of dollars from his billionaire father, but Jon seems to have a daddy issue and would not accept any money from his dad. As a result, his campaign was constantly short on money. He and his wife constantly nixed negative attacks on Republican opponents, saying things like we’re better than that and we’re not going to that level. But in the end it was the Huntsman campaign who leaked Mitch Daniel’s wife’s ex-husband’s ex-wife’s cell phone number to the press. This example just shows just how hypocritical and dirty Huntsman’s campaign team was. The guy is an idiot, and he doesn’t have any chance to win in 2016.
Paging Chris Christie! This guy could have easily beaten Mitt Romney and then given Obama a run for his money. But instead Christie was scared to run and said he didn’t feel ready. You have to have a certain confidence and drive to run for president and win. Christie didn’t have it in 2012, and I don’t think he’ll win if he runs in 2016.
This guy had every billionaire in the New York and New Jersey area literally begging him to run. And they would have given him all the money he needed! Everyone pictures Mitt Romney being surrounded by billionaires telling him to run for president and what his agenda should be. But in reality Chris Christie was that guy in 2012! The east coast millionaires and billionaires literally had conference calls with Christie where they begged him to run. If Christie runs in 2016 he will have plenty of money behind him.
Newty! Newty! Newty!
In retrospect Newt Gingrich never had a chance to become president in 2012, but he sure did make for some entertaining debate moments during the Republican primaries. This guy was electric! Newt’s attacks on the media during those debates were legendary. It’s fun to read about those debate moments and then go rematch them on Youtube. Every time I watch his epic debate moments on Youtube I yell Newty! Newty! Newty!
The Obamans is the authors’ term for Obama’s campaign team. And man, these guys were ruthless! They accused Mitt Romney of potentially committing a felony when it came to some SEC paperwork, they said that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life even though she was a breast cancer survivor, has MS, and raised five children as a stay at home mom, and they were just generally ruthless in their desire to win. If I was a Republican I would want no part of running against the Obamans! Who would want to subject themselves to those kind of character attacks? I think a lot of the Republicans were smart to skip 2012 and avoid going up against the anything to win Obama team.
- Prediction: Mitt Romney Runs Again in 2016
- Republican Views On Israel
- Republican Views on National Defense
- Republican Views on Military Spending
- Republican Views On Global Warming
- Republican Views on Foreign Aid
- Chris Christie On The Issues
- Republican Views On Affirmative Action
- Republican Views On The Military
- Republican Views on National Security