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West Winging It
Cover of West Winging It
West Winging It
An Un-presidential Memoir
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The West Wing meets The Office in this "funny, moving story about working in the White House that is a must read for anyone who misses having Barack Obama as President" (Dan Pfeiffer, cohost of Pod Save America), directly from his senior writer and former Deputy Director of Messaging.
West Winging It is the "fitfully funny...warm and observant" (Kirkus) story of Pat Cunnane and his journey from outsider to insider—from his dreary job at a warehouse to his dream job at the White House. Pat pulls the drapes back on the most famous and exclusive building in the United States, telling the story of the real West Wing with compelling and quirky portraits of the people who populate the place, from the President to the press corps. Pat takes you into the Oval Office, providing a "snappy, sunny" (USA TODAY) insider's glimpse of what it's really like—from the minutiae to the momentous—to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Along the way, Pat draws an intimate portrait of the side of President Obama that few were privy to—the funnyman, the nerd, the athlete, the caring parent. He describes both the small details—the time he watched in horror as the President reached over the sneeze guard at Chipotle—and the larger, historic moments, such as watching the President handle the news of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. In some ways, working at the White House is a lot like every office, and in some ways, it's like no office ever. Pat recounts the time he accidentally slammed a door on Joe Biden, plotted to have the Pope bless him by faking a sneeze, and almost killed America's First Dog.

"West Winging It is a fun, poignant reminder that the best part about working in the Obama White House was the people working with you, and knowing that everyone was there for the right reason: to try to do as much good, for as many people, as we possibly could" (Jay Carney, former press secretary). At its core, it's a fish-out-of-water story—only these fish are trying to run the United States of America.
The West Wing meets The Office in this "funny, moving story about working in the White House that is a must read for anyone who misses having Barack Obama as President" (Dan Pfeiffer, cohost of Pod Save America), directly from his senior writer and former Deputy Director of Messaging.
West Winging It is the "fitfully funny...warm and observant" (Kirkus) story of Pat Cunnane and his journey from outsider to insider—from his dreary job at a warehouse to his dream job at the White House. Pat pulls the drapes back on the most famous and exclusive building in the United States, telling the story of the real West Wing with compelling and quirky portraits of the people who populate the place, from the President to the press corps. Pat takes you into the Oval Office, providing a "snappy, sunny" (USA TODAY) insider's glimpse of what it's really like—from the minutiae to the momentous—to work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Along the way, Pat draws an intimate portrait of the side of President Obama that few were privy to—the funnyman, the nerd, the athlete, the caring parent. He describes both the small details—the time he watched in horror as the President reached over the sneeze guard at Chipotle—and the larger, historic moments, such as watching the President handle the news of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. In some ways, working at the White House is a lot like every office, and in some ways, it's like no office ever. Pat recounts the time he accidentally slammed a door on Joe Biden, plotted to have the Pope bless him by faking a sneeze, and almost killed America's First Dog.

"West Winging It is a fun, poignant reminder that the best part about working in the Obama White House was the people working with you, and knowing that everyone was there for the right reason: to try to do as much good, for as many people, as we possibly could" (Jay Carney, former press secretary). At its core, it's a fish-out-of-water story—only these fish are trying to run the United States of America.
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About the Author-
  • Pat Cunnane was President Barack Obama's Senior Writer and Deputy Director of Messaging at the White House where he worked for six years in many roles, responsible for everything from traveling with the President across the country and around the world on Air Force One to writing statements, jokes, op-eds, and more in the President's voice. Pat conceptualized, managed, and co-wrote the President's appearance on "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" with Jerry Seinfeld, which quickly shattered the series' viewership records and garnered an Emmy nomination. Pat graduated from the University of Miami Honors School where he studied political science, journalism, and screenwriting. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, where he now works as a writer on the TV series Designated Survivor, starring Kiefer Sutherland. He has written for The New Yorker.
Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2018
    The inside scoop on how a recent college graduate went from working in a warehouse to becoming a senior writer for the Barack Obama White House.Following memoirs by his colleagues Alyssa Mastromonoco (Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?, 2018) and David Litt (Thanks, Obama, 2017) and ahead of Dan Pfeiffer's resistance primer Yes We (Still) Can, former senior White House writer Cunnane, now a writer for the TV show Designated Survivor, offers his fitfully funny, often earnest insider's look at the Obama era. Beginning as a media monitor, the author stumbled through learning the ropes ("what's a POTUS?"), his first security briefing (Secret Service agent: "congratulations, you're sitting in the cherry on top of every terrorist's dream cake"), and his first significant lesson ("fortunately, sometimes at the White House, you fail up"). It's clear that the author has a little chip on his shoulder, earned from the affectionate teasing he endured, but overall, he offers a warm and observant portrait of what it's like to work for the White House. Among other stories: his engagement in the Rose Garden and Obama's sneaking out to Starbucks, where he tasked Cunnane with handling the press: "Let's test your wrangling skills." We learn that after Obama made his case at the 2013 G-20 summit, Vladimir Putin told him, "you've got some big balls." In his discussion of "disaster travel" following mass shootings, Cunnane shows us what a real president is made of. "He was more than our consoler in chief," he writes. "Obama pushed the conversation forward. He reminded us that though our politics are often small, these moments can lay bare the best in us, displaying our better angels and our big hearts." When he's truly candid, Cunnane nails it. "All in all, I wrote hundreds of pages in his voice," he writes. "It was the honor of my life."A revealing window into the fascinating aquarium of the "Obama people" and all their "hope and hard-won change."

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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West Winging It
West Winging It
An Un-presidential Memoir
Pat Cunnane
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