Destiny Calling: How the People Elected Barack Obama

Destiny Calling: How the People Elected Barack Obama

by Charles M. Madigan


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On a bitter cold day in 2007—nearly 150 years after Abraham Lincoln's inauguration—United States Senator Barack Obama of Illinois gathered his supporters at the old state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Very new to the national political arena, he made an audacious announcement: "If you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I'm ready to take up the cause . . ." With those words Obama launched one of history's most remarkable presidential campaigns, a forceful intent that revived a moribund political party, cornered its adversaries, gathered increased political momentum with each new day, and ultimately placed a black man in the White House, something nay–sayers proclaimed would never happen. Emphasizing the revealing experiences of representative Americans from around the country, who tell how the previous eight years of failed policies shaped their personal fate and prompted them to vote for a newcomer blazing the banner of change, Destiny Calling traces a political campaign that fulfilled Lincoln's promise even as it illuminated for the world—anew —America's commitment of hope and freedom. Charles Madigan avoids the "inside politics" tack and the redundancy of most contemporary political coverage. Instead he taps an unheard–from–until–now range of American voters—the most important sources of all, the people who made the decision to send Obama to the White House. Their frustration with the wars, with the response to Hurricane Katrina, with a flat–lining economy, and with the cynicism of politics as usual helped fuel the movement that set a new standard for national campaigns, made the impossible the real, and changed forever how the nation views the process of choosing its leader. For additional information, see www.destinycallingbo

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566637787
Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date: 10/15/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 4 - 17 Years

About the Author

Charles M. Madigan, who spent many of his forty years in journalism writing about politics for UPI and the Chicago Tribune, is presidential writer in residence at Roosevelt University in Chicago. He recently edited –30–: The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper. He lives in Evanston, Illinois. For more information, see

What People are Saying About This

James OShea

"In a refreshing change, Charles Madigan gives us a unique look at a historic election in a book that focuses on the people who voted and why they made their choices. In contrast to the usual 'back of the bus' political coverage, Madigan got off the bus and actually talked to people, giving us a rich, vivid portrait of an America and an election that too many political commentators ignored or barely covered. It is an arresting and captivating story delivered in a forceful narrative by a gifted writer."--(James O'Shea, author, former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune, and former editor of the Los Angeles Times)

Jon Margolis

"A wonderful trip through the 2008 presidential race (and the country) with the best possible tour guide. Charlie Madigan has been on those campaign buses, so he knows politics from the inside, but now he stays off them for the broader perspective. Insightful, original, readable as hell. What more could one want?"--(Jon Margolis, former chief political reporter for the Chicago Tribune and author of The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964)

Robert Shogan

"Even Americans who can't stand politics were sorry to see Barrack Obama's victorious quest for the presidency come to an end in 2008. That man-whips-windmill saga provided a burst of positivism and energy in a bleak year of economic angst. The good news is that Charles M. Madigan has brought this story back to life-with value added in the form of color and insights honed by the author's more than four decades of covering presidential campaigns. Destiny Calling not only illuminates the history Obama's precedent-shattering run in 2008, it should also help guide us through his White House years that lie ahead before he takes another shot at making history in 2012."--(Robert Shogan, former national political correspondent of the Los Angeles Times and author of No Sense of Decency: The Army-McCarthy Hearings: A Demagogue Falls and Television Takes Over National Politics)

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