March 28, 2021 · 7 p.m.
‘A Promised Land’ is the first of two volumes by Barack Obama on his two-term presidency. Released in November last year, this section covers his path to becoming a Democratic candidate in 2008 and then highlights the major challenges he faced in the first two and a half years of his presidency, including the financial crisis, Afghan military operations. and Iraq, health care reform, climate change, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Arab Spring and the attack that killed Osama bin Laden.
Like many political memoirs, ‘A Promised Land’ is on the verbatim side, with more than 700 pages to match yet another volume. Obama is conscious enough to realize that his verbalism was an issue in his early campaign speeches, focusing too much on the details of politics and sometimes struggling to connect with voters on a personal level. Fortunately, what’s written on the page is appealing even when it explains the complex antecedents of politics, even if you’re more interested in life on the White House stage, Michelle Obama generally offers more insights into that side of things.
As a young African-American candidate, Obama is particularly aware of the weight of hope placed on him by his supporters: to build ”. He justified his candidacy for the presidency in part by the power of his campaign to inspire young people from such privileged backgrounds, while at the same time supporting the practical limitations of helping and improving their lives once elected. Even her most ardent followers would admit that it was too early to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 – there’s a big anecdote where she won the award she tells Michelle in their bedroom and says “That’s wonderful, darling” before she rolls out. to go back to sleep.
The burden of being a commander-in-chief and the burdens of responsibilities and complex decision-making processes carry a lot of weight on Obama, and he looks at himself for his seemingly positively offensive blunders compared to everything his successor has ever said. or made in his life. Sometimes Obama thinks so much about himself that it seems like a miracle that he has managed to do anything during his presidency. However, there were significant achievements, such as Do not ask, do not say repeal of the policy. The book also heralds the current political landscape. John McCain’s election of Sarah Palin as a candidate in 2008 normalized a kind of aggressive populist campaign that is now very popular, and Donald Trump appears in the background to spark false conspiracy theories about Obama’s birth certificate.
Aware of what happened after Obama’s presidency, ‘A Promised Land’ is probably as close as it can be to a reading of a political memory. I look forward to reading the second volume.