Magazine August 27, 2018, Issue

The World as It Wasn’t

Ben Rhodes (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House, by Ben Rhodes (Penguin Random House, 480 pp., $30)

Five days before the 2016 election, after campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Florida, President Obama boarded Marine One. Aides flagged an email from the White House political director relaying the Clinton campaign’s final requests of the incumbent: Would he, the day before the election, stump in Penn­sylvania and Michigan?      

“Michigan?” Obama asked, eyes wide. “That’s not good.”

In the weeks that followed Donald Trump’s victory, the president struggled to understand how his onetime rival and former secretary of state had squandered what had appeared, at virtually all points, to be a nearly insurmountable polling lead. At times Obama seemed to

To Read the Full Story
James Rosen — Mr. Rosen is a reporter for Sinclair Broadcast Group and the editor of A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century (2016), an anthology of essays by William F. Buckley Jr.

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