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Monday, May 2, 2016

Obama's Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House by Connie Corcoran Wilson - Review

Obama's Odyssey:The 2008 Race for the White House by Connie Corcoran Wilson - Review

Obama's Odyssey

Publisher:† Quad City Press (September 3, 2015)
Category:†U.S. Federal Government, 21st Century, Politics
ISBN-13: 978-0692527382
Tour Date: April/May
Available in: Print and ebook, 282 Pages

Obama's Odyssey: The 2008 Race for the White House is a reporter's-eye view of events unfolding in 2007 and 2008 as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd, Bill Richardson (et al.) jockeyed for position for the Democratic nomination for president, while John McCain, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and others attempted to wrest control of the Republican nomination for their party. All ran for President in a wide-open free-for-all following the end of George W. Bush's 8 years in office. Author Connie (Corcoran) Wilson, a veteran reporter for five newspapers and numerous blogs, followed the candidates from the Iowa caucuses all the way through to the convention (Volume I) and, after that, from the convention through the tumultuous presidential campaign itself (Volume II), until President Barack Obama's Inauguration as the 44th President of the United States in January of 2009 (covered in Volume II). Writing as a member of the Yahoo Content Contributors' Network, retired sixty-something schoolteacher Wilson set off on an adventurous odyssey of her own that earned her the title 2008 Content Producer of the Year for Politics with 1,000 articles that garnered over three million hits. Filing three articles daily from the field, her adventures inside the Democratic National Convention in Denver, the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, the Ron Paul Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis, the Belmont Town Hall Meeting in Nashville or elsewhere (Florida, Nevada, etc.) are detailed, insightful and, at times, humorous. The parallels and insights gleaned from following the presidential campaign in 2008 provide useful background material for the presidential race of 2016 now underway--with some of the same candidates that ran 8 years ago in the field again today. Never one to ignore an amusing anecdote or photo, the quotes, facts and polling data are only one small component of an engrossing read with multiple pictures that sum up the end of an era in presidential campaigns as the use of the Internet and the increasing importance of money in campaigning are clearly cataloged. If you are a Progressive, Independent or simply a Democrat with a sense of humor, this book is for you! An entertaining, informative and relevant slice of recent history.

Praise for Obama's Odyssey by Connie Corcoran Wilson

"Not many people get to have a behind the scenes glimpse of what goes on in a campaign. And, sometimes when we do read accounts, they are partisan. This book is different. The author travels as a reporter, covering different candidates, in different locales, letting us into those grueling, exciting days in 2008. This is a collection of live articles written by a reporter covering the possibility of the first woman President and the first Black President."-Sharon A. Mitchell, Amazon Reviewer
"I loved this and can't wait for Wilson's next great project." - †Rose Richmond, Yahoo Contributor "The election of Barack Hussein Obama in 2008 was politically startling. It captured the imagination of a nation in a way that no other political event ever did or ever will.... As his double term as President of the United States comes to an end, there is no better time to reacquaint oneself with Obama's campaign trail, one of the most unbelievable sojourns in American history."- Bonnie McGrath, Chicago lawyer, Blogger, †and award-winning journalist

About Connie Corcoran WilsonConnie Corcoran Wilson

Connie Corcoran Wilson is the award winning author of 'The Color Of Evil' series and the 'Hellfire and Damnation' Series. Book 3,†'Khaki=Killer' was named one of the Top Indie Thrillers of 2015 in the Dec./Jan. issue of Shelf Unbound magazine from among 12,000+ entries and one of her children's books was named one of the Best† Books of 2014 by the Chicago Writers' Association, while the Chicago chapter of the Illinois Press Women named Wilson their Silver Feather winner in 2012 and 2014. Wilson†is a University of Iowa grad in Journalism and English†(additional study at Western Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, the University of Chicago and Berkeley)†and a college professor with 6 decades†of writing experience. She has written for 5 newspapers and many†blogs, founded†3 businesses, plays 4 musical instruments, and has 2 children (born 19 years apart). She followed the '04, '08 and '12 presidential campaigns "live" for Yahoo, which named her its Content Producer of the†Year for Politics in 2009.†She is sometimes referred to as T.Q. (Trivia Queen) from her misspent hours in the British Pub Quiz room on AOL. She blogs at and maintains 4 ongoing fiction series while also†writing about†nonfiction subjects.(politics and movies). Connie†also has 7-year-old twin granddaughters who are great fun and for whom and with whom she writes the Christmas Cats series (

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Obama's Odyssey by Connie Corcoran Wilson

My Review:

If you are looking for a raw daily look at a political campaign from a reporter often right on the ground at caucuses and primary voting, this book is for you. As a Yahoo Content Contributor, Wilson blogged regularly at the Iowa Caucuses and at the Florida Primary. Other of her information often was reported, vote and delegate count data, for example, directly from contemporaneous CNN reports. Wilson also adds commentary, from time to time, from an unabashedly Obama supporter point of view. This is refreshing reporting, on the one hand. It can be viewed as biased reporting, by some. It didn’t really bother me, because I understood her intent and interests. Personal background information is also added, generously, in her daily reports. We learned, for example, how and for whom her father voted in earlier Iowa caucuses in years long past.

If you are looking for a clean, well edited narrative with all the details of the 2008 Primary Election circuit, you will be disappointed. That is not what this volume is about. This is virtually a download of her daily upload to the Yahoo blog, with virtually no editing of content. It is rare to get this kind of inside look, both at the primary process and at the Yahoo blogging process, as well.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this volume, once I was clear what I was reading. Often there were big breaks in the reporting, especially on election nights. We would learn all about the buildup to the night, and then often jump to the next week’s activities, without a report of the outcome of the first election. That is understandable, of course, if you were an election junkie, reading this blog. You would be following the election results, yourself on CNN or MSNBC, and didn’t need those re-reported in the blog the next day. With that understanding, I was able to continue on, enjoying the next set of ‘on-scene’ reports.

With these caveats, I recommend the book highly.

Happy Reading,

Dr. Bill  ;-)


  1. I'm so glad yo enjoyed 'Obama's Odyssey', I did as well. I thought it gave a lot of incite into the people and the process.

    1. Yes, it provided unique insights not available anywhere else... that is for sure! Thanks for organizing this tour! ;-)

  2. Thanks, Dr. Bill. (Are you related to Mr. Bill from SNL?) I appreciate the time you took to plow through my 2008 adventure with me. It was the experience of a lifetime for my then sixty-ish self. If you write me at with a snail mail adddress, I'll send you Volume II as thanks!
    Connie (Corcoran) Wilson
    CEO, Quad Cities' Learning, Inc.
    dba Quad City Press

  3. I do sometimes feel like Mr. Bill, Connie, that is for sure. Thanks for asking! ;-)
    I would never trade my years with Governor Ray for anything, either, but don't care to repeat them, either... I'll send you a note. Thank you, very much. Best wishes!! ;-)