I didn’t really plan on it, but ended up reading two books that were bookends to the historic 2016 presidential election. They were Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur and Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns and One Intact Glass Ceiling by Amy Chozick.*
No matter which candidate the authors followed, the work was exhausting, intense and didn’t allow time for a shower, let alone a personal life. Katy Tur experienced Trump like an abusive boyfriend, and Chozick often felt that she and Hillary were frenemies. It’s got to be weird following someone in an intense media bubble where everything means something and at the same time nothing. If you’re super interested in politics, specifically the 2016 campaign, then these are both satisfying looks into the inner workings of the long slog to the presidency. Both are good writers and both put enough of themselves into the story to make it personal, yet it’s really about their candidates. There is a lot of commonality between the two reporters’ experiences, including the fact that neither side believed Trump would win, Hope Hicks was professional and civil, and eating well on the trail was a herculean feat.
After reading these books, I now have further insight to what my budding political reporter will be doing if she ends up following a future campaign, which I’m sure will help us all manage our expectations as she walks into the eye of the political hurricane.
* Second and third books of my 52/2019 challenge.