chapter FIFTEEN

A Structural Dynamics Analysis of Barack Obama

Immediately after the 2008 presidential election, journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin interviewed scores of campaign participants from both major parties, collecting their first-person, behind-the-scenes accounts of the performance of the candidates’ teams in the primary and general campaigns. Their 2010 book, Game Change, captured the workings (sometimes spectacular, sometimes awful) inside the leadership teams of contenders Clinton, Obama, Edwards, McCain, and others. In doing so, it illustrated the main concern of this book: the grim extent to which a high-stakes leader’s success or failure hangs on his or her skills in creating and leading not far-flung networks of supporters ...

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