Renegade: The Making of a President by Richard Wolffe is a fascinating account of President Barack Hussein Obama’s improbable rise from freshman senator to become the forty-fourth president of the United States.
Renegade is highly-acclaimed for offering a compelling and in-depth portrait of the candidate Barack, wife Michelle, parents and grandparents, and inner circle of aides and friends.
The candidate Barack’s triumphs and struggles, as discussed in the pages of Renegade, are particularly meaningful at this point in history. Renegade clearly describes President Obama’s uniquely effective leadership style – a leadership style that has profound significance on the eve of historic health care reform.
Richard Wolffe explains how the enigmatic candidate Obama, who was named Renegade by the Secret Service, broke all of the rules by running for president before his time when he was untested and without financial resources.
Corporate management was significant in the Obama campaign, and community organizing was equally important. Before entering politics, Barack worked as a community organizer in Chicago, which helped to shape his personal and political identity. The Obama campaign relied upon his experience and organized voters at the grass roots level with phenomenal success.
Richard Wolffe uses the metaphor of a high-stakes basketball game to describe the competitive and risk taking, confident and cool-headed candidate Obama, who performs at his best under pressure when the stakes are highest. Our president believes in compromise and pragmatism, but he is not complacent and will move ahead if compromise is impossible.
During the campaign the pressure was intense when Reverend Wright’s polarizing speeches about race threatened to derail the campaign. Candidate Obama drew upon his unique perspective to see different sides of the race debate and bridge gaps.
Up against John McCain’s claim of greater experience, candidate Obama passed all tests when he traveled overseas and illustrated his understanding of foreign policy. When incendiary remarks were made by Sarah Palin, the candidate again told stories about his personal life and insisted that we are one America. In the face of economic crisis, which became the most critical debate of the election, John McCain floundered. Instead, Obama asked the opinion of experts and debated policy while looking and sounding presidential.
The inauguration of the first African American president took place on a bitterly cold day in Washington when hope took the place of the cynicism that was the outgrowth of the Bush presidency, war, and economic meltdown. “Yes We Can” had indeed become the mandate for change.
Richard Wolffe, an award-winning jounalist and political analyst for MSNBC television, covered the entire Obama presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. Renegade is an exceptionally well-written book based on exclusive interviews with President Obama.
Renegade: The Making of a President, published in 2009, is available throughout Los Angeles area Barnes and Noble and Borders bookstores and can be ordered through Amazon.com. It is also available at the Los Angeles Public Library, the Santa Monica Public Library, and the Burbank Public Library.