Here's another (sorta) Obama-employee memoir. Except Dan Pfeiffer, former communications director and now podcaster, takes some different takes on it, focusing on how the world has changed, what mistakes he and the administration made, how their win led us to this shithole situation, how Facebook and Twitter have ruined/changed everything, etc. Dan admits his flaws and faults and especially mistakes in this.
- Quote from Obama: "I just banned torture. That's pretty cool, huh."
- Dan is besties with Alyssa Mastromonaco, who he cites as saving his behind frequently and presumably also getting the title of her book from moments like the ones he had.
- The time when Dan split his pants at work and then had to do a walk and talk with Obama.
- "Did you know that historically White House communications directors get fired and go to jail more often than any position other than the White House counsel?" --this was pointed out to Dan, who ran to verify its truth. You'll note how many people have gone through the job since Trump took the office.
- According to Dan, people in Silicon Valley have no idea how to deal with the monster they created either.
- Even after the birth certificate was presented, "four in ten Republicans still believed that Barack Obama was not born in the United States....They couldn't hear what Obama was saying because Obama was saying it."
- The Obama team couldn't work with the Republicans because "they were petrified of being tossed out in a primary challenge if they were photographed treating Barack Obama like a human being."
- Every Obama win came at a long-term cost and the Republican base got worse and worse.
- While on his very brief holiday break around the end of 2013, Dan read some books and realized that "at some point in every second term, a president and his team must learn to make an impact without Congress."
- Dan started having some stress-related health issues that put him in the hospital a few times, at risk for having a stroke. He got the bright idea to keep on tweeting so no one would notice he was absent, started tweeting while going under anesthesia, and accidentally made a really bad sounding typo. "The fact that I couldn't put Twitter down long enough to get my liver biopsied is a sign of the times."
- "I've never done meth, but I imagine the experience is much like using Twitter. You start it casually because you heard good things; next thing you know, you have been up for ninety-six hours, have lost all your teeth, and are living in a shopping cart outside the local supermarket."
- There is a page about the time when Kanye asked a question. And when I say asked a question, I mean "ranbled on about random shit until Obama politely broke in to stop him and then said "That shit cray" in the limo on the way home.
- I'm amused that the "lucky" thing the Obama team did was eat chicken tenders. "My wife even sent me chicken tenders on our wedding day to make sure we got our marriage off to the right start."
- He points out that whoever had the best message wins. Trump's was clear, Hillary's was not. "campaigns will always be decided by who tells a more compelling story about America."
- Like me, Dan may very well be afraid that "we may never have another election again and because we will die in a nuclear attack or Trump will seize power in an authoritarian coup." Or at least he mentions that in a footnote.
- Also, Dan absolutely looooooooooooves footnotes. Should you choose to read this book, I imagine this would be a whopping pain in the ass to read in an ebook, so maybe make it paper, eh?
- Sample footnote: "[Bradley] Cooper was a few years ahead of me at Georgetown and was known around campus as Fabio, because he had long blond and hair and tended to wear flowy linen shirts unbuttoned to his navel. This is not super-relevant, but I had to tell someone."
- Last quote from Obama in the book: "Maybe I am just looking for a silver lining, but I am hopeful that this will be the clarifying event that will show the public the two different versions for the country."