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Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost

Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost

by Michael C. Bender
Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost

Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost

by Michael C. Bender


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Michael C. Bender, senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, presents a deeply reported account of the 2020 presidential campaign that details how Donald J. Trump became the first incumbent in three decades to lose reelection—and the only one whose defeat culminated in a violent insurrection. 

Beginning with President Trump’s first impeachment and ending with his second, FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION chronicles the inside-the-room deliberations between Trump and his campaign team as they opened 2020 with a sleek political operation built to harness a surge of momentum from a bullish economy, a unified Republican Party, and a string of domestic and foreign policy successes—only to watch everything unravel when fortunes suddenly turned.

With first-rate sourcing cultivated from five years of covering Trump in the White House and both of his campaigns, Bender brings readers inside the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One, and into the front row of the movement’s signature mega-rallies for the story of an epic election-year convergence of COVID, economic collapse, and civil rights upheaval—and an unorthodox president’s attempt to battle it all. 

Fresh interviews with Trump, key campaign advisers, and senior administration officials are paired with an exclusive collection of internal campaign memos, emails, and text messages for scores of never-before-reported details about the campaign. 

FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION is the inside story of how Trump lost, and the definitive account of his final year in office that draws a straight line from the president’s repeated insistence that he would never lose to the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol that imperiled one of his most loyal lieutenants—his own vice president.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538734803
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 07/13/2021
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 129,869
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

MICHAEL C. BENDERis the senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal whose coverage of President Trump has been recognized for its deep sourcing, balance, and valuable behind-the-scenes portraits of Trump’s administration and presidential campaigns. Bender was awarded the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2019 for work that “set a consistently high standard of reporting” and “provided a valuable chronicle of the president, his team, and the movement that has reshaped American politics and national policy.” In 2020, he received the National Press Club award for political analysis for a series of stories that detailed the sights, sounds, and inner workings of Trump campaign rallies. Since 2000, Bender has covered local, state, and national politics for the Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction, Colorado, Dayton Daily News, Palm Beach Post, Tampa Bay Times, and Bloomberg News. He joined the Journal in 2016 and published more than eleven hundred stories about Trump in the next five years. He has also served as an on-air political analyst for CNN. Born and raised in Cleveland with his six younger sisters, Bender graduated from the Ohio State University in 2000 with a degree in history and now lives in Washington with his wife, Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker, and their two daughters. 

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Prologue 1

1 Battle Creek 5

2 The Forty-Year Itch 19

3 Momentum 35

4 Acquittal, Part One: The Perfect Call 44

5 Victory Lap 58

6 Covid, Part One: Hyperbole in the Time of Pandemic 80

7 Covid, Part Two: Retooling the Reelect 108

8 Law and Order 131

9 Anarchy and Chaos 156

10 Juneteenth, Observed 181

11 The Last MAGA Rally 193

12 Stepien's Shot 214

13 The Trump TV Convention 239

14 Hell Week and a Half 255

15 Where's Hunter? 287

16 Final Stretch 307

17 Election Day 335

18 Acquittal, Part Two: The Insurrection 351

Epilogue 380

Acknowledgments 387

Source Notes 393

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