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review 2014-08-14 18:03
The 2012 US Presidential Election from a Communications POV
The Message: The Reselling of President Obama - Richard Wolffe

There are always lots of books and memoirs about elections, and this book takes the reader through the lens of communications and messaging for the Obama re-election campaign. It's my understanding the author wrote another similar book about the 2008 election, but I haven't read that one yet.


Here, the author talks to the Obama team: David Axlerod, Jim Messina, etc. about the trials and travails of the campaign's messaging and what they wanted to tell the electorate in terms of the economy, their Republican opponent(s), why the President should be re-elected, etc. They were aided, of course, by the technological powerhouse that examined voters to get every single possible voter to come on Election Day. Wolffe talks a bit about how the data was sliced and diced to figure out who were the undecideds and who was up for grabs as a possible vote.


He also talks about the messaging from the campaign. The economy, economy, economy. How to talk about it when it was still really bad and hard for people to find work? How to define the eventual Republican candidate, Mitt Romney? What could they say? What should they say? Wolffe also talks a bit about the Republican side of things, about their messages and their communications response, but clearly he's writing this from the Obama campaign POV. But Wolffe does a good job in talking about the major events of the campaign (Romney's overseas trip, the Republican National Convention, the debates, etc.) and how communications and messaging was handled by both sides.


There's also quite a bit of drama within the Obama campaign. The "no drama Obama" ideal definitely never happened here (at all?) as it's clear different strategists have difference alliances, different goals and different ways of working. People dislike each other, disagree, work around each other, etc. When you read this it puts some future events into better context (main one that came to mind was David Axlerod and Jim Messina working on for the opposing main British political parties). I felt a little uncomfortable for the negative views on Stephanie Cutter, the deputy campaign manager. Wolffe says more than once that no one wanted to work with her and had ambitions for working in the White House. That she had a strong bond with First Lady Michelle Obama is hinted as a reason why others had to put up with her. Nothing wrong with ambitions campaign workers, but the men didn't seem to get the same treatment and so it makes me wonder a bit.


In some ways the book doesn't really tell anything that's new. It confirmed a statement by a Republican consultant that I listened to the day after the election in 2012. He said he by...8 PM (maybe later, can't remember) that the election would be called for Obama and went to sleep at a nice, regular time. The Obama campaign fought to define its opponent earlier in the summer, when the nomination wasn't official but Romney was clearly going to be the candidate. Because Romney and the GOP failed to respond in a timely manner (or at all, as Wolffe points out Romney avoided discussing his religion, which might have helped with the voters), the Obama campaign had the advantage of being able to bludgeon Romney over Bain.


It's not a bad book, and works as a complement to others out there (Game Change: Double Down, for example). But unless one is really interested in the communications and messaging aspects of the campaign, it wasn't exactly a page-turning like GC was. I enjoyed it but was glad I picked it up from the library.


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review 2013-07-18 00:00
Hot Communications - Carey Decevito Hot Communications - Carey Decevito Maybe more 2-1/2 stars. Another book that could really benefit from a good editor. The initial sex scenes were protracted and plentiful. But I couldn't get into them really. And I skipped a bit. (I'm not one to generally skip sex scenes.) And a bit too insta-love. Then, about halfway through, a different sort of story began that was interesting -- the ex-girlfriend stalker/abductor. And the bizarre plan. I still don't get why someone didn't just call the freaking police. BUT it's not my story and that might have cut the story a bit short. Still, it seems like the logical thing to do. I didn't dislike this story, but I didn't love it.
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review 2013-04-09 00:00
Great Jobs for Communications Majors
Great Jobs For Communications Majors - Blythe Camenson Quite insightful on job and interview processes and the parameters to follow while looking for a desired job.
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review 2012-06-18 00:00
Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World
Disaster Communications in a Changing Media World - George D. Haddow,George Haddow For me, this book was really kind of rudimentary, but it is an excellent introduction to social media (think Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc) and how they can shape and be shaped by emergency and disaster situations.

This text provides some good examples of successful communication strategies, as well as suggestions on how to improve existing communication plans. This should be "must read" for anyone in emergency or disaster management (EDM), no matter what their level of responsibility. Especially, this should be high on the list for anyone in EDM leadership, as well as local government leadership. The suggestions provided are well presented and thought out.

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review 2012-03-17 00:00
Cash Cab: A Collection of the Best Trivia from the Hit Discovery Show
Cash Cab: A Collection of the Best Trivia from the Hit Discovery Show - Discovery Communications,Discovery Communications For those that have watched the tv show and enjoyed it, you will enjoy this trivia book too. For those that like a mix of trivia, you will also like this. For those that just have some interest in trivia, curious about the book, and an interest in NYC, you also will like this book. For those that love the tv show, love trivia, and have any interest in NYC, who will love this!A mixture of trivia on different levels, red light challenges, double or nothings and a good bit of info on places in NYC makes this a must have. I got my edition from the library, after passing up on it once and finding myself drawn to it like a new toy the next time. I will be going out and purchasing my own. Ben Bailey has done what many have tried and failed, he's made a 100% enjoyable trivia book.
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