If you can’t wait for former President Barack Obama’s forthcoming memoir, the New Yorker has your back—the magazine published an exclusive excerpt from the book on Monday.
The passage from A Promised Land: The Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1 details Obama’s fight to get the Affordable Care Act passed.
“His subject could not be more relevant: as the election approaches, and as Americans continue to suffer from the pandemic and the systemic failures it has exposed, health care is at the center of everyone’s attention,” wrote New Yorker editor David Remnick in an introductory note to the excerpt.
In the excerpt, Obama recalls his early optimism that Congress would be willing to go along with his plan for health care reform.
“When I think back to those early conversations, it’s hard to deny my overconfidence,” Obama writes. “I was convinced that the logic of health-care reform was so obvious that even in the face of well-organized opposition I could rally the American people’s support.”
He also recalls the moment when he realized the ACA was going to pass.
“I felt myself starting to relax just a little,” Obama writes. “We were going to make it, I thought. We weren’t docked yet—not even close, it would turn out—but thanks to my team, thanks to Nancy [Pelosi], Harry [Reid], and a whole bunch of congressional Democrats who’d taken tough votes, we finally had land within our sights.”
A Promised Land is slated for publication by Crown on Nov. 17.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.