Former president Barack Obama on Tuesday, published his well-defined book on his early life plus his political career, through his election as president and two-and-a-half years of his first of two terms.
His early-term story is to be followed by coverage of his second term in a second volume.
He writes in detail about his experiences as a rookie executive, plus triumphs and disappointments while his family members were residents in the White House.
He gives readers a first-experienced, personal anxiety-filled election night. Perhaps even more dramatic than how his supporters felt.
In his words here is what it’s like:
“Then suddenly a shot of my face flashed up on the TV screen and ABC News announced that I would be the forty-fourth president of the United States.”
He took the oath of office in January 2009. His ambitious plans for change ran into full, destructive heat in the partisan politics of Washington.
He wrote about the stimulus package. It was designed to help millions weather the economic storm, extending unemployment insurance for the jobless, food assistance for the hungry and medical care for those whose normal lives had been ended; his broadest on-time tax cut for middle-class and working-poor families since Reagan, which provided the nation’s infrastructure and transportation systems the biggest infusion of new spending since the Eisenhower administration.
One reviewer said that the memoir is masterful lament over the fragility of hope.
Obama wrote, “There comes a point in the speech where I find my cadence. The crowd quiets rather than roars. It’s the kind of moment I’d come to recognize in certain magic nights. There’s a physical feeling, a current of emotion that passes back and forth between you and the crowd … You’ve tapped into some collective spirit, into a thing we’ve all known and wish for, a sense of connection that overrides our differences and replaces them with a giant swell of possibility — and like all things that matter most, you know the moment is fleeting and that soon the spell will be broken.”
In covering the aftermath of the killing of Osama bin Laden, he reported on what happened that night:
“With a suddenness I didn’t expect, we heard McRaven’s and Leon’s voices almost simultaneously, utter the words we’d been waiting to hear — the culmination of months of planning and years of intelligence gathering.
“Geronimo ID’d … Geronimo EKIA.”
“For the first and only time in my presidency, we didn’t have to sell what we’d done. We didn’t have to fend off Republican attacks or answer accusations from key constituencies that we’d compromised some core principle. No issues with implementation or unforeseen consequences sprang up.
“I still had decisions to make, including whether to release photos of bin Laden’s dead body. My answer was no: We didn’t need to ‘spike the football’ or hoist a ghoulish trophy.”