"This book is the compelling story of President Obama's domestic policy decisions made between September 2008 and his inauguration on January 20, 2009. Barack Obama determined the fate of his presidency before he took office. His momentous decisions led to Donald Trump, for Obama the worst person imaginable, taking his place eight years later. This book describes these decisions and discusses how the results could have been different. Based on dozens of interviews with actors in the Obama transition, as well as the author's personal observations, this book provides unique commentary of those defining decisions of winter 2008-2009. A decade later, the ramifications of the Great Recession and the role of government in addressing the crisis animate the ideological battle between progressivism and neoliberalism in the Democratic Party and the radical direction of the Republican Party. As many seek the presidency in the November 2020 election, all candidates and of course the eventual winner will face decisions that may be as critical and difficult as those confronted by Barack Obama. This book aims to provide the guidance of history." -- Page  of cover.