First in Line

First in Line

Presidents, Vice Presidents, and the Pursuit of Power

Book - 2018
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An intimate, news-making look at the men who are first in line to the most powerful office in the world--the vice presidents of the modern era--from Richard Nixon and LBJ to Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, and Mike Pence. Bestselling author Kate Andersen Brower took us inside the lives of the White House staff in The Residence. She followed that with an in-depth look at the modern first ladies in First Women. Now, in her signature style, she introduces us to the second-most-powerful men in the world, exploring the lives and roles of thirteen modern vice presidents--eight Republicans and five Democrats. In interviews with more than two hundred people, including all six living former vice presidents, their family members, insiders, and confidants, Brower pulls back the curtain to reveal the sometimes close, often chilly, and always complicated relationship between our modern presidents and their vice presidents. And she shares surprising revelations about the relationship between former vice president Joe Biden and former president Barack Obama, and how Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump interact behind closed doors. As Brower reveals, the president and the vice president, whether they began as allies or rivals, share a very tangible sense of admiration mixed with jealousy and resentment even when the relationship appears to be ideal. Vice presidents owe their position to the president--a connection that affects not only how they are perceived but also their possible future as a presidential candidate, which is tied, for better or worse, to the president they serve. George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan had a famously prickly relationship during the 1980 primary, yet Bush would not have been elected president in 1988 without Reagan's high approval rating. Al Gore's 2000 loss, conversely, could partly be attributed to the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal and Bill Clinton's impeachment. Current vice president Mike Pence is walking a high-stakes political tightrope as he tries to reassure anxious Republicans while staying on his boss's good side. The rich dynamic between the president and the vice president has never been fully explored or understood--until now. Compelling and rigorously reported, grounded in history and politics, and full of deeply personal stories told here for the first time, First in Line lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding this historic political office to offer us a spellbinding portrait of what it is truly like to be a heartbeat away from the most powerful position in the world.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062668943
Characteristics: xii, 336 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 24 cm


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