The Promise

June 17th, 2010

President Obama came to office with less experience then most of our contemporary Presidents. His was an improbable and unlikely victory. He inherited a country on the brink of depression, engaged in two wars, an ongoing threat of international terrorism, increased partisan gridlock and extremism, growing unemployment and the increased power of big business. And if that wasn't enough, his first big goal was to try and expand healthcare coverage, something that had beguiled Presidents since Teddy Roosevelt. All of this was in year one!

Newsweek senior editor and NBC correspondent Jonathan Alter's new book The Promise: President Obama, Year One, is the first definitive account of Obama's first year in office. My conversation with Jonathan Alter: