Double Down 2012 Authors Speak at Union League Club of Chicago

On Nov. 21, 2013, the Union League of Chicago hosted political analysts and co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, who wrote the newly released book, Double Down 2012.  The program, featuring Halperin and Heilemann, centered on the authors’ discussion about their book, which covers the Republican primary battle through election night Nov. 6, 2012 when President Barack Obama was re-elected to his second term.

The book is revealing about many of the political actors leading up to and concluding with that election. It focuses on primary candidates on the Republican side and features the aftermath of the first presidential debate when Obama appeared so listless. The book also reports on the sense of how things were going from advisers and consultants closest to the candidates. Halperin and Heilemann look at the behind-the-scenes puzzlement that produced the Clint Eastwood “chair speech” during the Republican National Convention’s final evening and how a Neil Diamond song may have inspired that weird event.

Halperin and Heilemann also co-authored their bestseller and New York Times No. 1 best-selling book recounting the 2008 presidential campaign and election, Game Change:  Obama and the Clinton, Palin and McCain, and the Race of a Lifetime. In 2012, Game Change was made into an HBO film, which also was well-received and won accolades from reviewers.

The  morning breakfast program began with the remarks by Heilemann, who discussed among other features the many  behind- the-scenes interviews of those political operatives the authors considered to be in the know. Heilemann said more than 500 interviews were conducted in preparation for the book. Heilemann mentioned his affinity for Chicago and his time at Northwestern University. He is the national affairs editor for New York Magazine and  He is also a regular contributor and political analyst for MSNBC.

Halperin described the preparation the authors did before writing the book. Halperin is the editor-at-large and senior political analyst for TIME; he covers politics, elections and government for the magazine and In addition, Halperin is senior political analyst for MSNBC. He regularly appears on “Morning Joe” and other programs on the cable channel.

After the introductions by the authors, they generously gave their time and answered many thoughtful questions from the audience. Questions were not limited to any particular subject covered in the book. Haperin and Heilemann spent another 30 minutes signing books.  The morning event was a well-attended and a very compelling discussion on American politics.

Robert Kreisman is a member of the Union League Club’s board of directors and attended this event.

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