When Alyssa Mastromonaco began working for political campaigns, she had no idea she would one day serve as President Barack Obama’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is a collection of stories about her life, interspersed with solid career advice and the quirky lessons she learned while wending her way through the strange world of high-stakes politics.
Told in a frank and funny voice, Mastromonaco’s memoir is as much about the intricate details of working for the president as it is the importance of carrying emergency stashes of stomach medication when visiting foreign dignitaries. From scheduling snafus to the unique challenges of finding a women’s bathroom in the White House, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is a delight from start to finish.
“When I first met Barack Obama in December 2004, I’m not sure he liked me very much. I had worked for John Kerry on and off for four years, and although the secretary of state has a reputation for being aloof, the two of us had had a very warm and close relationship, pretty much from the moment I started as an assistant in his press and scheduling office in the spring of 2000. I expected my rapport with Senator-elect Obama, who was much closer to me in age and disposition, would be similar. Plus, I was coming off the presidential campaign for the Democratic nominee. I figured Obama, who was basically unknown at the time, would be thrilled that someone with so much experience — as well as so much wit and charm and talent! — would want to come and work for him. I was wrong; Barack Obama is tougher than that.”
Alyssa Mastromonaco was Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations for President Barack Obama from 2011 to 2014. Since then, she was worked for Vice Media and A&E Networks. She is originally from Rhinebeck, New York, and Who Thought This Was a Good Idea is her first published book.
Length: 244 pages
Set in: Washington, D.C., United States
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