First line: "A president's legacy takes years, even decades to fully reveal itself."
In 2008 the United States elected its first African-American president, a man with little Washington experience and few inside connections. NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd believes voters overwhelmingly chose a fresh face with unconventional ideas because they wanted radical change. But Todd points out that “in order to create a new set of rules, you have to succeed by the old ones.” And Barack Obama hadn’t succeeded by any rules yet.
The Stranger is Todd’s unadorned examination of the 44th US Commander-in-Chief’s presidency. From his initial election through the hard-won Affordable Care Act and its disappointing implementation, two wars he inherited, and a decimated economy, Obama faced a politically divided governing body prepared to dig their heels in to remain so.
While not completely free of personal opinion, Todd illustrates a mostly unbiased picture of Obama’s successes, failures, strengths and weaknesses. Todd also presents a fair view of the president’s detractors and foes.
The Stranger takes the foreign world of Washington politics and makes it accessible to the average reader, most of whom will likely find unexpected and fascinating tidbits about both Obama and Washington. But they may also find frustration in the egos and mindsets of many who appear on the pages.
As Todd explains in the opening to his book, “A president’s legacy takes years, even decades, to fully reveal itself.” Barack Obama’s legacy will not be realized for some time, and The Stranger isn’t meant to predict it. Instead it offers an insider’s view on who this history-making American really is.
The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House is available in hardcover (ISBN: 9780316079570) from Little, Brown and Co. There is also an unabridged audiobook download version narrated by the author available from Hachette Audio.