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Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  969 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
From Obama's former communications director and current co-host of Pod Save America comes a colorful account of how politics, the media, and the Internet changed during the Obama presidency and how Democrats can fight back in the Trump era.

On November 9th, 2016, Dan Pfeiffer woke up like most of the world wondering WTF just happened. How had Donald Trump won the White Hous
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 19th 2018 by Twelve
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Agatha Donkar
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I miss President Obama.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid and substantive. It's really interesting to see how someone got to such a high level at such a young age, and Pfeiffer's work ethic and intellect certainly comes through. My only criticism is that it's more of a prescriptive politics and campaigning book than a book of anecdotes about life at the White House and as a top level Obama staffer. I think there's a lot of value in laying out what went right with Obama, what has gone wrong to get us to Trump, and how our relationship to the media ...more
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you listen to the pod, you're already getting this book and you know what to expect. I really can't say what this book would be like to read if you aren't already a Friend of the Pod. It's good. Not great, but good. There are some funny anecdotes. It doesn't get into the weeds, it's not that kind of book. It was interesting hearing his back story a little bit, but it's not really too gossipy either. It's more of an extended tweet of his. Which, if you follow him on twitter, you might recogniz ...more
I have a hard time putting a rating on this, because Dan is my favorite and this is really good, but this was absolutely the wrong time for me to read this book. Three stars it is.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since the election it has been hard to be positive about the state of our country. I read as much as I can stomach and listen to as many podcasts as my ears will tolerate and have been to more marches in my life, but this book does offer a sense of hope and lays out some steps on how to regain our country.

Dan Pfeiffer has always been a fave of mine, he always states some straight forward advice without sugar coating the bad parts and I have always appreciated that. This book shows what he did in
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is hard for me to review. I love Pfeiffer (Friend of the Pod) and was happy that this is not another Obama White House memoir but it was a bit too polemical for me. It’s a really nice deconstruction of WTF just happened and what can we do going forward.
Jun 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I am an avid Pod Save America fan, and I am always happy to invest in safe advice from the funniest political commentators around.

This book had some really good advice for Dems moving into 2018 and 2020 that I hope is heeded, and some even better stories of life in Obama's White House.

I think this book struggles some in knowing whether it wants to be a memoir or a manifesto and so never quite pulls off either. I'm also not sure if 12 is a new publishing house, but I struggled to understand som
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, memoir
Really enjoyed reading this one by Pod Save America host, Dan Pfeiffer. He writes just like he talks on the podcast, so I could "hear" everything the way he says it. I liked how he told stories about his time in the Obama White House, including his own missteps, and I also liked how he could talk about the pros and cons and the way forward for communication in the Twitter/Facebook age.
Ryan Humphris
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-challenge
Just the book I needed. Part therapeutic reminiscing of the good old Obama days and part a focused approach for the way forward, Yes We (Still) Can will give you a brief escape from the current insanity but also provide hope that we actually might survive. Will probably need to read again before the midterms...
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a really excellent deconstruction of how we went from Obama to Trump, focusing on messaging and communication both from the White House and the media. I felt like this book, more than any of the political memoirs I've read, really dove into what happened, what the larger societal forces were, and how things went down. It also has an unabashed liberal bias (Pfieffer was Obama's communications director & senior advisor, so he's going to be pro-Obama), but I felt like it was a really s ...more
Thoughtful analysis of politics and where we go from here sprinkled in with anecdotes about the Obama campaign and presidency.

I was provided an advanced copy of this book by the publisher via Edelweiss.
Soesja Schelling
I love politics, particularly American politics. I study political science, I follow the news regarding all things Trump religiously, and almost all the podcasts I listen to are about politics (Pod Save America is, of course, one of them). However, there was always one thing that I just could not seem to get into and that is reading actual politics-themed books. I don't know why, maybe because they always feel too much like reading for my studies to enjoy them for casual reading. Nonetheless, ev ...more
Brendan M.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am Dan Pfeiffer in the Buzzfeed "Which Crooked Media co-host are you?" quiz. Very enjoyable, and at 8 hours, feels like an extended version of the pod. A good mixture of policy, analysis, and memoir.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-books
Very readable, engaging, and hopeful.
Jamie McQuiggan
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Really engaging and smart look back at Obama’s campaign and presidency. Recommend to my political/liberal/Obama-loving friends!
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think Dan Pfeiffer might be my favorite person.
The book read like a podcast and I mean that in both a good and bad way. I appreciate that Pfieffer wants to buck up Democrats and explain that we can win in a post-truth era, but I am not so sure. After reading Rhodes' The World As It Is, this reads like Pfieffer trying to convince the reader and himself of the World As We Wish It To Be.
Sean Kelley
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's good to read stuff that makes you hopeful. I'm glad this book made me feel that way, even if it's only a little.
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
Part memoir, part ideas for the future, this book is super readable and informative. I am a regular Pod Save America listener, so yes, some of this was stuff I'd already heard from Dan. But I enjoy having it in print now that I can keep it and go back to it when I'm feeling down. What I love about this book and PSA is that even though the news seems to get more and more depressing, they still have hope, which gives me hope. And even though I miss Obama and feel like he might have been the most g ...more
Joel Szerlip
I became a fan of Dan Pfeiffer back in the Keeping it 1600 podcast days. It was at a time that I and much of the US was terrified of the mere thought of a Trump presidency. When that disaster became a reality I stayed with the crew and have continued to enjoy all of their Crooked Media ventures. The concept of Yes We Still Can is great, what worked well in the Obama presidency that we can tap to get a Democrat elected in 2020. To spur along this discussion Dan brings his extensive political back ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this book. It's a quick and entertaining read. It was kind of a no brainer since I already love Dan on Pod Save America, I mean I live by his rants lol He didn't hold back and told a good story. At times it was all over the place and a few times he started a story and never finished it because he had a different point to make but I guess he's lived thru so much in those Obama WH years that it's hard to tell it all and to kinda find and stick with a leitmotif.

Anyhow, I highly recom
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
"As it turns out, the ability to memorize an entire set of Trivial Pursuit cards and being pretty good at bullshit combined with perfect attendance is the exact combo of skills needed to succeed in a liberal arts college with more than a touch of grade inflation."

"Whether it was from watching The West Wing on a loop or reading every book ever written about Robert Kennedy's 1968 campaign, I had an unrequited relationship with politics. I desperately wanted to experience a politics that felt more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very good book. I don’t think it will be good in 10 years - it’s definitely aimed at a 2018 audience - but it’s still good. Pfeiffer’s voice really comes through as you can tell there was no ghost writers. I also like how, after he’s done ranting about Fox News lol, he spends a great deal of time talking about what Dems can do moving forward.

Minor quibbles:
Footnotes. Omg so many footnotes. We get it Dan. You have comments for everything.

Lack of self- praise. This sounds weird but Dan spends a
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you listen to a lot of the Crooked Media podcasts such as Pod Save America and Lovett or Leave It, this book is somewhat redundant. It essentially is a bit of an analysis of why the last two presidents won, focusing specifically on social media and message, how we can't focus as much on traditional media and how the Democratic party should work on their own strong policies as opposed to simply being reactionary to Trump (and you can see this working with the slew of Democratic Socialists who ...more
Bethany Jackson
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I never really knew a whole lot about the initial Obama campaign back in 2008 and as a British person American politics was always on the periphery of my radar, especially throughout my teenage years (which happened to coincide with the early Obama years) but I became more aware of the Pod Save America family due to my obsession with Podcasts.

I have to say, I found Dan's book captivating - I laughed, I cried, and most of all I learned. I think from being outside of the American political sphere
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't a book that will stand the test of time. However, it is a good book for the moment that we find ourselves in. It's got a definitive voice, you an easily hear his voice throughout, and especially in the (numerous) footnotes. The final words of wisdom from Obama definitely brought a tear to my eye. Good read.

"Basically, I was asking him, “How fucked are we?” Obama knew what I was asking, and he sighed and shook his head and said, “Look, this isn’t an ideal situation to say the least,” a
Max Wright
Obama’s former communications director ruminates on his career in politics, what Obama taught him, and what the path forward for the Democratic Party could look like.

If you’re looking for the true inside story of the Obama campaigns or administration — this is the wrong book. The central figure of the book is Pfeiffer (it is, after all, his memoir) so it operates along his experiences in politics. Pfeiffer’s familiar gallows humor infused this book with some charm; if you like him on the Pod th
Didde Elnif
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Yes we still er fin underholdning, men ikke stor kunst. Faktisk overvejede jeg kun at give den to stjerner. Den giver et udmærket indblik i hvordan det var at være i Det Hvide Hus under Obama, ligesom alyssa mastromonaco Who thought This was a good idea gjorde. Men ingen af bøgerne hæver sig stort over det banale. De er begge kloge mennesker, der kan fortælle og skrive, men måske er de simpelthen for tæt på og for imponerede af Obama. Læs dem for underholdning, men intet andet. En anden ting, de ...more
Geoffrey Clapp
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love @CrookedMedia and @PodSaveAmerica. If you love that podcast, you will love this book. It's like reading a version of the pod, full of intellectual insight but wrapped in snark, humor, emotion, and passion. I fully enjoyed the use of footnotes to add humor - even though I thought it would get old, I enjoyed it. But, to be fair, I also like hashtag punchlines still, so....shrug emoji.

This is not simply a memoir - Dan is super smart and mixes stories of the campaign and governing years with
Julie Porter
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alternatively maddening and hopeful

Full disclosure: I am a huge Pod Save fan. I was super-excited to read this book, and it did not disappoint. Pfeiffer’s transparency with his mistakes and his triumphs makes for good reading, and the book lays out How We Got Here in a very compelling way. Strangely enough, it also left me with hope. While heinous Republicans may be calling the shots for now, America still has more good people than bad, and we did once elect a good, kind, and intelligent person
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