10 things I learned about the 2012 election

Collision 2012There are certain topics I ramble on about on my blog more than others, like movies, hikes, music and food. Two things I haven’t written a lot about are politics and books. That changes today.

As I was riding in a cab on the way to the airport about a month ago, I overheard an interview on NPR with Dan Balz, a writer with The Washington Post. Balz was discussing his new book, Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America. I just happened to be on the market for a new, interesting read, and because I like to dabble in and out of non-fiction, it sparked an interest. I downloaded this in-depth election examination and chewed through it in a couple weeks.

One of the things I love about reading on my Kindle Fire HD is that it gives me the ability to highlight key passages and take notes, which I can then go back and review. While reading Collision 2012, I captured dozens of interesting facts about our president, the pool of colorful Republican challengers in the 2012 election, and the evolving election process.

Here are ten of my favorite things I learned or was reminded of, reading this book, that you might equally enjoy, in no particular order:

  1. By the time Mitt Romney ran for president in 2012, his net worth was estimated at more than $200 million.
  2. Barack Obama almost always speaks, in formal and some informal settings, with the aid of a teleprompter.
  3. The Obama campaign employed hundreds of developers that spent a year building a software platform that compiled and integrated an unprecedented amount of data including voter lists, donor lists and volunteer lists. Eventually named Narwhal, this platform allowed for integration between a campaign online and a campaign on the ground, for the first time ever. (The Obama campaign built a second and equally impressive platform called Dashboard that allowed thousands of field organizers scattered around the country to communicate and share important information over the web.)
  4. Nancy Reagan lobbied Mitt Romney to run for president.
  5. Mitt Romney loves Brooks Brothers non-iron shirts.
  6. Republican nominee Newt Gingrich pledged at one point during the campaign that he would establish a permanent moon colony if he were elected president.
  7. When Mitt Romney formally announced Paul Ryan as his running mate on the deck of the USS Wisconsin, he introduced him as, “the next president of the United States.”
  8. When Michelle Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention, she was interrupted by applause almost 50 times in 23 minutes.
  9. Through savvier ad buying and negotiations, Obama paid significantly less for his ads than Romney. For an ad during the Emmy awards, Romney paid $3,600 and Obama paid $1,200.
  10. More than $2 billion was spent during the 2012 presidential election.

If you’ve got an interest in politics, elections or just well written non-fiction, I recommend this book.

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