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‘What am I supposed to do when he starts spewing his bullshit?’ Barack Obama preparing for his first debate with Mitt Romney In their runaway bestseller Game Change / Race of a Lifetime, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann captured the full drama of Barack Obama’s improbable, dazzling victory over the Clintons, John McCain and Sarah Palin. With the same masterly reporting, unparalleled access, and narrative skill, Double Down picks up the story in the Oval Office, where the president is beset by crises both inherited and unforeseen – facing defiance from his political foes, disenchantment from voters, disdain from the nation’s powerful finance figures and dysfunction within the West Wing. As 2012 looms, leaders of the Republican Party, salivating over Obama’s political fragility, see a chance to wrestle back control of the White House – and the country. So how did the Republicans screw it up? How did Obama survive the onslaught and defy the predictions of a one-term presidency? Double Down follows the gaudy carnival of Republican contenders – ambitious and flawed, famous and infamous, charismatic and cartoonish – as Mitt Romney, the straitlaced, can-do, gaffe-prone multimillionaire from Massachusetts, scraped and scratched his way to the nomination, while Obama is seen storming out of a White House meeting with his high command after accusing them of betrayal, and gradually transforming a tense détente with Bill Clinton into political gold. Double Down takes you into back rooms and closed-door meetings, laying bare the secret history of the 2012 campaign in a panoramic account of an election that was as hard fought as it was lastingly consequential.