Author Dan Balz writes, “Presidential elections are often retold from the inside out, as if all power and wisdom flow from the strategists plotting and arguing inside their secured headquarters.” This hits the nail on the head, and is part of the reason the book is such a great read. Balz has the insight needed to tell the story of this election, and in doing so, informs the reader quite well.
By the end of this year, two major books will have been released about the 2012 presidential election. One is Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America and the other is Double Down: Game Change 2012. Ironically, the two books are sequels, covering an election sequel. Also, the two books will both feature post-election interviews with Mitt Romney. Each book has its own strengths. However, when it comes to Collision 2012, one should not expect huge bombshells, unlike Game Change 2012. Readers should expect, however, deep and extensive reporting of the 2012 election. Collision 2012 also relies on on-the-record interviews, as opposed to Game Change‘s frequent use of unnamed sources. This book does break news, but it is not as sensational as it is telling. The book talks about how Christie did consider running for President, the Romney campaign considered the Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan a coin when considering him as a running mate, and the Obama campaign was confident that President Obama would win with a healthy margin. While the debate over which is better will surely go on for as long as there is secrecy in campaigns, Collision 2012 is a shining example of its class of political reporting.
The author, Dan Balz, is a writer for the Washington Post, and has been since 1978. He also co-wrote a book on the 2008 election, The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election. With his experience in political reporting, it should not be surprising the access that Balz got. When reading through the book, much of the information is known. However, the book’s major strength is the commentary by the advisors of the campaigns. The reader learns why certain moves were done or not done. The book takes the reader inside the minds of the campaigns.
THE TKNN REVIEW Q&A
On a scale of one to ten?
Ten. This book will fascinate and satisfy any reader. Political junkies, everyday readers, wannabe politicians, and campaign strategists, they will all love it.
Should I buy this book?
Yes, absolutely yes. This book deserves to be on your bookshelf and will shine there.