Meet the Press

High-Grade ‘Renegade’

“Given how often Barack Obama has been compared to John F. Kennedy, it makes sense that we now have a Camelot-style report on the great campaign of ‘08… clear, concise and well-written… the book will please the millions who lived and died with every test of the campaign and should satisfy a hunger to know more about the person at the center of these gravity-defying events…”

—Ted Widmer, The Washington Post, 6/2/09

Playing Basketball, Playing Politics: Lessons From the Top Game Changer

“In “Renegade: The Making of a President,” his insightful new book about Mr. Obama, Richard Wolffe — an MSNBC political analyst, who covered the Obama campaign for Newsweek magazine — …[depicts] the president as a clutch player, who, like Michael Jordan, lives for Game 7 of the finals. He likes getting into his opponents’ heads (though without talking a lot of trash), thinks of himself, in Mr. Wolffe’s words, as “a playmaker” who can “direct the game and outsmart his opponents,” and he knows how to raise his game when it counts, often cranking up the pressure on himself by raising expectations to deliver the game-winning layup as the shot clock is running down…“Renegade” was based on the author’s day-to-day coverage of the 21-month-long campaign and a series of interviews with Mr. Obama, who, shortly after his March 2008 speech about race in Philadelphia, suggested to Mr. Wolffe that he write a Theodore White-type book. The resulting volume showcases the author’s access to the candidate, as well as friends, aides and campaign strategists…a thoughtful meditation on Mr. Obama’s life and character…”

—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times, 6/2/09


“There’s a lot of great substance in the book, and there’s also little pin-points of less deep but certainly no less well known events that were critical in this campaign.”

—Keith Olbermann, Countdown, 6/3/09

“A real treat…hot stuff…fascinating…There’s a lot of candy in there for us political junkies for the Clinton relationship with Barack Obama and where that’s heading.”

—Chris Matthews, Hardball, 6/2/09


An interview with the unrivaled Charlie Rose can be found here.

Business Standard (India)

“This is an incredible account of a campaign for change not just in America but around the world. Only another work in progress, on the making of the president, could better this admittedly subjective, but hardly less illuminating for that, effort.”

—Kishore Singh, New Delhi, 7/11/09

Advance Praise for RENEGADE

“The first of the President Obama books – and a good one – insightful, thorough, and straight.”

—Ben Bradlee, Washington Post

“If you really want to know what happened inside the Obama campaign, this is the one book that will take you there. My jaw dropped time and time again reading details that, despite the coverage, were never revealed in the long campaign. A clear-eyed, up-close look at the campaign, Renegade is the one Obama book that should not be missed.”

—Michele Norris, All Things Considered

“A superb achievement. With an almost painterly eye, compelling insights, and extraordinary access to Barack Obama and his inner circle, Richard Wolffe’s Renegade tells the hidden, dramatic story of the 2008 campaign and also reveals much we did not know about the 44th president’s life before politics. Wolffe’s brisk, well-written narrative is fully in the tradition of Theodore White and Richard Ben Cramer, capturing a pivotal presidential contest dominated by one of the most luminous figures in modern American history.”

—Michael Beschloss, author of Presidential Courage

“Many journalists covered the 2008 presidential campaign for newsrooms and blogvilles. Not the intrepid Richard Wolffe. With gumshoe persistence he tracked Barack Obama’s historic march to victory with grace and cunning. Renegade offers a deft mix of biography, personal reflection, British wit, and old-style journalism. Destined to be a classic in its genre.”

—Douglas Brinkley, professor of history, Rice University

“Politics is a lot like basketball–complete with drives up the middle, clutch rebounding, and smart head fakes. In Renegade, Richard Wolffe takes us inside the game through unparalleled access to candidate-turned-president Obama and through his own canny eye and wit. I learned something new on practically every page.”

—Gwen Ifill, Washington Week in Review and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

“This is an insightful, unusually moving, fully observed portrait of the improbable candidate and complicated man who would be president, a riveting backstage drama set just at the moment America’s third act prepared to debut. If Jefferson started the exalted but flawed exercise and Lincoln enlarged it, then with Richard Wolffe’s wonderful book – graced as it is with a journalist’s eye and a historian’s breadth and command – we are granted the gift of access to the second skinny lawyer from Illinois who would save our country. Marvelous.”

—Ken Burns, award-winning filmmaker


Reviews of REVIVAL:


“A revealing look at life in the West Wing. Author and MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe gained extraordinary access to the president and his advisers for his explosive new book.”

— Carl Quintanilla, TODAY show, NBC


“If your gift list includes both Obama loyalists craving encouragement and Obama opponents craving insight into their adversaries’ thinking, consider Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House (Crown) by Richard Wolffe of MSNBC and Newsweek fame. This product of exclusive interviews with the president and his inner circle is a liberal commentator’s account of what’s gone wrong in this administration’s first two years and its outlook for the future.”

— Pittsburgh Tribune Review


“There’s a reason why few in Washington are calling the floundering President Obama the Comeback Kid. That’s because unlike the most famous Comeback Kid of all, Bill Clinton, the Obama White House is riddled with self-doubt, finger-pointing and a lack of direction. That’s part of the assessment of a favored Obama White House reporter, Richard Wolffe, who spent two months winning insider interviews to write his second account of the Obama administration: Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House. In his sequel to Renegade, Wolffe, a former Newsweek reporter, reveals that the White House staff is split between revivalists who want to return to the weighty theme of change, and survivalists who want to play the old game of compromise and combat. But what he also does in the book is point out the problems of the administration that have led to the current disarray and the lack of confidence that the president can stage a comeback in time for his reelection.”

— Paul Bedard, US News and World Report


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