At the start of an epic election, the team trying to reelect President Obama faced a mountain of challenges: a dismal economy, the faded hopes of the first campaign, and a struggle to raise enough cash to compete. No president had risen so fast, or fallen so far, in the modern era. And no president in living memory had earned a second term in such troubled times. To resell the president, they needed to redefine the world they were living in. They needed to retell their own story and rewrite the characters.
They needed to find The Message.
But first, they needed to fight the enemy within: each other. For six years they kept a lid on their internal disputes-the ego clashes, the disappointed ambitions, and the battle to control the Obama brand. Everything was out of public view and under wraps. They called their style No Drama Obama, and the phrase matched the mood of the candidate. But it was never completely true.
In 2008 they found a way around their rivalries. Four years later, their hostilities threatened to undermine the reelection of a president at a time when most voters were deeply unhappy and ready for change.
Drawing on unrivaled access to the key characters, The Message tells the inside story of the Mad Men-the marketers, message-shapers, and admakers-who held the Obama presidency in their hands.