Friday, 27 July 2018

A Writer's Dream Job - Ben Rhodes and Obama by Andrew Crofts



A few months ago I wrote about being a little envious of Michael Wolf for finding himself sitting in the White House at the moment when the Trump team came to power, allowing him to observe the mayhem from close quarters and to write “Fire and Fury”.

Well I have now read “The World as It Is – Inside the Obama White House” by Ben Rhodes, and I am even more eaten up with envy. Rhodes set out to be a novelist, became politically engaged and ended up as Obama’s speechwriter and advisor on matters international. For eight years the two of them were together virtually every day and Rhodes travelled more than a million miles in Air Force One, so that he could always be available to his friend and hero.


Image result for The World as it is by Ben Rhodes, images


Was there really a time when a man as good and gracious as Obama was able to be the most powerful in the world? Will liberals ever again see such a hopeful, idealistic situation in the White House, the Kremlin, Number Ten Downing Street, or anywhere else?

Rhodes writes beautifully about what happened during those eight golden years, and what it felt like to be there. Although I’m sure that in reality the toll it took on his health and his private life was close to intolerable, as a “dream job” for a writer wanting to be integral to the best action in the world, his must have been hard to beat.

Towards the end of the book Obama says to him; “ … that’s our job. To tell a really good story about who we are”.

What an incredible story it is – and how well he tells it. If only we could turn the clock back ten years and feel that optimistic again.



2 comments:

Dipika Mukherjee said...

"Will liberals ever again see such a hopeful, idealistic situation in the White House, the Kremlin, Number Ten Downing Street, or anywhere else?"...lets not leave out India and Turkey. Countries in Asia like Malaysia and Pakistan seem to be voting in change but whether the change is real or a facade remains to be seem in a world where the zeitgeist is turning to hate.

Umberto Tosi said...

Your lovely vignette leaves me swinging between hope (remember that?) and despair. Encore, Obama. Encore decency, which the current illegitimate Fascist regime lacks en toto. America is brought low. Let's work and pray not permanently by this Republican racist retrovirus erupted in full force, like tertiary syphilis that without treatment, blinds its host and causes noses, teeth and fingers to rot off. I'll have to read this book, if I can stand the nostalgia.