A narrative thriller about the battle royale surrounding Barack Obama's quest for a second term amid widespread joblessness and one of the most poisonous political climates in American history.
The election of 2012 will be remembered as a hinge of history. With huge victories in the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party had blocked President Obama at every turn and made plans to wrench the country sharply to the right. The 2012 contest offered the GOP a clear shot at controlling all three branches of government and repealing much of the social contract that dated back to the New Deal. Facing free-spending billionaires, Fox News, and a concerted effort in 19 states to rig the election by suppressing Democratic votes, Obama repelled the assault and navigated the nation back toward the center.
In The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, Jonathan Alter uses his unmatched access and deep knowledge of politics and history to produce the first full account of America at the crossroads. He pierces the bubble of the White House and of the presidential campaigns with exclusive reporting and rare historical insight. More than a campaign book, this is the epic story of an embattled president facing a historic moment he considered more pivotal than 2008.
Alter relates the untold story behind Obama's highs and lows, from his daring decision to raid Osama bin Laden's compound to the frustration of the debt ceiling fiasco to his run-ins with black and Latino activists he expected to be his firm allies. There are fresh details about the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist, Roger Ailes, and the online haters who suffer from "Obama Derangement Syndrome". Alter takes us inside the GOP "clown car" primaries as well as Obama's disastrous preparation for the first debate. We meet Obama's analytics geeks working out of "The Cave" and the man who secretly videotaped Mitt Romney's infamous comments on the "47 percent".
The Center Holds, which follows Alter's acclaimed The Promise, will deepen our understanding of Obama's presidency, the 2012 election stakes, and the future of his second term.
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