The fascinating story of four women who got into politics in the 1960s and ’70s and are now the rare Washington insiders who understand people from all areas of the nation.
The authors—Brazile (Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House, 2017), a Democratic political strategist and TV commentator; Caraway, a public relations executive and Democratic strategist; Daughtry, a preacher, organizer, and CEO of the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions; and Moore, a former assistant to Bill Clinton—all came from different parts of the country but had in common strong family upbringings and a devotion to civil rights. The list of their mentors is an all-star cast: Ron Brown, Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver, Vernon Jordan, and the Rev. Willie Barrow. Each author remembers vividly the first time she met Jesse Jackson; Brazile worked on his first presidential campaign. Caraway has held key leadership roles in nearly every major presidential campaign of the past couple decades. Daughtry was CEO of the DNC, twice. Moore served in Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition and became director of political affairs at the White House. They shared their lives as true friends, weathering setbacks, disagreements, and breaks but always trusting each other. Their individual strengths increase significantly when they’re together, as they were during the 2004 election. Washington power brokers regularly host informal dinners for presidential hopefuls, and the authors decided to do the same. The rules were simple: The candidate would come alone, be responsible for the bill, and everything was off the record. The dinners would include the candidate, the four women, and some of their associates—though the meals with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were jam-packed. The authors’ description of the professionalism and political savvy exhibited and/or lacking at those meals is eye-opening.
You don’t need to be black or a minority to grasp the need to stand up and fight in today’s political world. The authors lay it out well in this solid primer on how to “dare to enter the halls of power.”