In "Game Change" John Heilemann and Mark Halperin document what occurred behind the scenes during the 2008 presidential election.
From the fall of the Hillary Clinton campaign to Sen. John McCain picking then-Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, the two political journalists chronicle the ups and downs of the historic election.
Read a chapter from the book below, then click here to explore the "GMA" Library for more great reads.
THERE WERE THUNDERSTORMS IN Chicago, bringing air traffic to a grinding halt in and out of O'Hare. So Hillary Clinton sat on the tarmac at Martin State Airport, outside Baltimore, eating pizza and gabbing with two aides and her Secret Service detail on the private plane, waiting, waiting for the weather to clear so she could get where she was headed: a pair of fund-raisers in the Windy City for Barack Obama.
It was May 7, 2004, and two months earlier, the young Illinois state senator had won a resounding, unexpected victory in the state's Democratic United States Senate primary, scoring 53 percent of the vote in a seven-person field. Clinton, as always, was in great demand to help drum up cash for her party's candidates around the country. She didn't relish the task, but she did her duty. At least it wasn't as painful as asking for money for herself—an act of supplication that she found so unpleasant she often simply refused to do it.
As the wait stretched past one hour, and then two, Clinton's pilot informed the traveling party that he had no idea when or if the plane would be allowed to take off. To the surprise of her aides, Clinton displayed no inclination to scrap the trip; she insisted that they keep their place in line on the runway. The political cognoscenti were buzzing about Obama—his charisma and his poise, his Kenyan-Kansan ancestry and his only-in-America biography—and she was keen to do her part to help him.
"I want to go," she said firmly.
By the time Clinton finally arrived in Chicago, she had missed the first fund-raiser. But she made it to the second, a dinner at the Arts Club of Chicago, where Barack and Michelle greeted her warmly, grateful for the effort that she'd expended to get there. For the next hour, Clinton worked the room, charming everyone she met, regaling them with funny yarns about the Senate. Then she and Obama raced off to the W Hotel and spoke at a Democratic National Committee soiree for young professionals. The house was packed, Obama rocked it, and Hillary was impressed. These people know what they're doing, she said to her aides— then flew back east and gushed about Obama for days. He was young, brainy, African American, a terrific speaker. Just the kind of candidate the party needed more of, the kind that she and Bill had long taken pride in cultivating and promoting. Clinton told Patti Solis Doyle, her closest political aide and the director of her political action committee, HillPAC, to provide Obama with the maximum allowable donation. And that was just the start: in the weeks ahead, Clinton would host a fund-raiser for him at her Washington home, then return to Chicago to raise more money for his campaign.
Clinton's aides had never seen her more enthusiastic about a political novice. When one of them asked her why, she said simply, "There's a superstar in Chicago."