"Renegade" tells the whole amazing story, restating how unlikely it seemed, only two years ago, that President Obama would ever be identified as such. When the campaign started, he was 99th out of 100 senators in seniority. In 2000, he couldn't even gain admission to the Democratic convention, and his credit card was declined when he tried to rent a car in L.A. Wolffe explores all of the ups and downs of 2008, relaying anecdotes both new and familiar. There are not quite as many flashbulb revelations as I expected, beyond a horrifying glimpse into just how directionless the Bush White House was at the time of the economic collapse last fall and some provocative suggestions that the Obama marriage was in trouble around 2000, when his political ambitions were surfacing.
Judging by the reviews, like this one by Ted Widmer, this seems to be the best of the crop of books on how the White House was won.