Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates|
| Crippled America,|
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
| The Truths We Hold,|
by Kamala Harris (2019)
| Smart on Crime,|
by Kamala Harris (2010)
| Guide to Political Revolution,|
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
| Where We Go From Here,|
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
| Promise Me, Dad ,|
by Joe Biden (2017)
|Conscience of a Conservative,|
by Jeff Flake (2017)
| Two Paths,|
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
|Every Other Monday,|
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
|Courage is Contagious,|
by John Kasich (1998)
| Shortest Way Home,|
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
| The Book of Joe ,|
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
| Our Revolution,|
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
| This Fight Is Our Fight,|
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
| Higher Loyalty,|
by James Comey (2018)
| The Making of Donald Trump,|
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
| Higher Loyalty ,|
by James Comey (2018)
| Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,|
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
| Outsider in the White House,|
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)
Promise Me, Dad
A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose,
by Joe Biden
(Click for Amazon book review)
Click here for 1 full quotes from Anthony Kennedy in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 4 full quotes from Barack Obama in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 2 full quotes from Bill de Blasio in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 10 full quotes from Joe Biden in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 1 full quotes from Lindsey Graham in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 1 full quotes from Rudy Giuliani in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 1 full quotes from Strom Thurmond in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
Click here for 1 full quotes from Ted Cruz in the book Promise Me, Dad:, by Joe Biden.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
This book is Joe Biden's diary for the year 2015. It begins in November 2014, when his son, Beau Biden, was diagnosed with brain cancer. It ends in January 2016, after Beau succumbed, with Joe's decision to not run for the presidency in 2016.
The title refers to something that Beau said upon accepting that his cancer was likely terminal: "I was jolted by the realization that my son was beginning to make peace with his own death. 'You've got to promise me, Dad, that no matter what happens, you're going to be all right. Give me your word, Dad, that you're going to be all right. Promise me, Dad.' I promised." (p. 201). Beau was insisting that Joe accept his likely death and promise to move on, as they had done together with the deaths of Joe's wife and daughter (Beau's mother and sister) when Beau was a child.
The theme of managing to move past tragedy is a major theme of the book (explored further in The Book of Joe). Biden cites Daniel Patrick Moynihan as the source of his philosophy on that theme: "To fail to understand that life is going to knock you down is to fail to understand the Irishness of life," said Moynihan. Biden echoed, "I had been knocked down hard enough by then to understand the Irishness of life, and this past year had reminded me of it all over again" (p. 250).
Beau was also a politician – he was elected Attorney General of Delaware in 2006 (when Joe was a Senator), and was planning to run for Governor when he was stricken (Beau was considered the frontrunner for the 2016 gubernatorial race).
Beau was supportive of Joe running for president in 2016 – that was quoted in newspapers at the time, and Joe confirms it (p. 222). Joe's campaign plan was that "I was best equipped to finish the job Barack and I had started. If Beau had never gotten sick, we would already be running. The thought of doing it without him was painful. But as the days passed, the idea of not running started to feel like letting him down, like letting everybody down" (p/223). Biden decided not to run in 2016; then he wrote this memoir instead, before the 2016 race, but published in November 2017 (the book mentions neither Hillary nor Trump).
Political diaries are hard to read; this diary is VERY hard to read. Political diaries are hard to read because they get too much into the daily details – for example, the Iraqi surge of 2015 takes up dozens of pages – without ever seeing the policy outcome beyond all the strategy and tactics. We attempt to find some policy statements in our excerpts, omitting the vast details of the Iraq war. This diary is VERY hard to read because, mixed in with daily briefings from Iraqi generals, are daily briefings from oncologists and brain surgeons about Beau's condition. That was Joe Biden's life for a year – reading it forces one to "understand the Irishness of life."
The real question arising for readers is: "Does this book lay the groundwork for a 2020 run?" The answer is "Yes." The final chapter, entitled "Run, Joe, Run," details the planning and decision-making in late 2015 and early 2016. Biden did a lot of preparatory planning; and really was ready to run. But he really needed some recuperation time, too – i.e. we believe his rationale that Beau's death was the reason Joe decided not to run. Joe will view the 2020 race as a somewhat-delayed fulfillment of the promise he made to his eldest son in the title of this book.
-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, editor-in-chief of OnTheIssues, March 2019
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy|
Took office in 2009 amid America's worst financial crisis.
Right to same-sex marriage is a fundamental right.
1990s: Can't gays be converted so they're like other people?
Reject killing police in retaliation for police killings.
Condemn killing police in retaliation for police killings.
Worried about why blacks need to be cautious around police.
1980s community policing worked to reduce crime rate.
No "time for healing" after police are killed.
Repair US relations with Central America's Northern Triangle.
Russia vs. Ukraine: Big country beating up a smaller one.
Create secure, democratic, middle-class Western Hemisphere.
Don't expect government to solve all problems; just some.
Reject Super-PACs: "We the People" became "We the Donors".
Principles & Values|
Son Beau died of brain cancer despite experimental surgery.
Memory of lost family members will someday bring a smile.
$15B initiative to rebuild energy & water infrastructure.
War & Peace|
Support Ukraine and sanction Russia but no military action.
Inviolate borders for Ukraine; no spheres of influence.
Arming Ukrainians against Russia will make things better.
Provide support to Ukrainian fighters against Russia.
Welfare & Poverty|
Defining issue as Obama VP: restoring the middle class.
The above quotations are from Promise Me, Dad
A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose,
by Joe Biden.
Books by and about 2020 Presidential hopefuls:
- United, by Cory Booker (2016)
- The Truths We Hold, by Kamala Harris (2019)
- Smart on Crime, by Kamala Harris (2010)
- Guide to Political Revolution, by Bernie Sanders (2017)
- Where We Go From Here, by Bernie Sanders (2018)
- Promise Me, Dad, by Joe Biden (2017)
- Conscience of a Conservative, by Jeff Flake (2017)
- Two Paths, by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
- Every Other Monday, by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
- Courage is Contagious, by John Kasich (1998)
- Shortest Way Home, by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
- The Book of Joe, by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
- Becoming, by Michelle Obama (2018)
- Our Revolution by Bernie Sanders (2016)
- This Fight Is Our Fight by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
- A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren (2014)
- The Two-Income Trap by Elizabeth Warren (2007)
- Higher Loyalty by James Comey (2018)
- The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston (2017)
- 2020 Presidential Hopefuls by OnTheIssues.org