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‘Electing the President 2012’ offers behind-the-scenes look at campaign

Heading into the 2012 election season, Barack Obama’s November victory, in which he captured 51.1 percent of the popular vote, was by no means a foregone conclusion. No incumbent since FDR, in 1936, had kept the Oval Office while having an unemployment rate as high as the one that dogged the first Obama administration. But with housing starts and the stock market up and unemployment down, Obama became the second Democrat since FDR to claim a second term.


How he got there and how key campaign decisions were made by Obama’s staff and that of his rival, Republican Mitt Romney, was the focus of a closed-door debriefing at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, at the University of Pennsylvania, on Dec. 6, 2012, just 30 days after the election.


“Electing the President 2012,” published Nov. 7 by the University of Pennsylvania Press (280 pages, $24.95), shares insider analysis and insights from that daylong meeting involving top campaign strategists who spoke freely and asked each other about their perspectives and decisions. Among them were members of President Obama’s campaign (David Axelrod, Joel Benenson, Stephanie Cutter, Anita Dunn, and Jim Margolis) and Romney’s campaign (Eric Fehrnstrom, Kevin Madden, Beth Myers, Neil Newhouse, and Stuart Stevens).


“Electing the President 2012” is the fourth debriefing book released by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, which has conducted campaign debriefings since 1992. The book includes a DVD of the sessions. It is edited by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She is author or co-author of 16 books, including “The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election,” “Presidents Creating the Presidency,” and “Echo Chamber: Rush Limbaugh and the Conservative Media Establishment.”


For information on ordering “Electing the President 2012,” which includes a DVD of the campaign debriefing, see the University of Pennsylvania Press website.


For more information about the book, click here.