September

Professor Gary Rose Publishes Analyses of the 2016 Presidential Election in New Book

News Story: September 6, 2017

Gary Rose, professor and chair of the Government, Politics and Global Studies program at Sacred Heart University, knew he wanted to write a book on the 2016 presidential election four years ago.

The contest would be an open-seat race, with two new candidates duking it out. He would be able to capture the ins and outs of a modern-day election. With a strong desire to write a 2016 version of Theodore H. White’s The Making of the President—an analysis of John F. Kennedy’s election—Rose was inspired and committed. He researched, read and wrote non-stop.

But Rose, like most of the nation, had no idea the contest would evolve the way it did.

After years of hard work, early mornings and many cups of coffee, Rose released his 12th book, HAYWIRE: A Chronology of the 2016 Presidential Contest, in August.

“I said ‘Okay, I’m going to track and follow the candidates for the next four years,’” Rose recalled. “I knew it would be hard.”

Soon after President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2013, Rose began compiling data and biographies. He woke each day at 4 a.m. and wrote on his laptop for three to four hours. He said he needed to set aside this time and follow his rigid, regimented schedule, or he wouldn’t make his deadlines. With breaking news emerging daily, Rose often found himself working on the book between classes and at night, as well. “The coffee was always going,” Rose said.

Along the way, he made sure his narrative was fair and balanced. He analyzed information from both Republican- and Democratic-leaning publications.

“I wanted to provide a balanced account of what happened,” he said. “Sometimes it was a challenge to find an objective account. That was very important to me when I presented this narrative; it had to be balanced.”

Rose made progress with the help of two research assistants, SHU students Josh Murphy and Bridget Hughes. They provided him with news articles from all sides of the political spectrum, fed him valuable sources and updated him on polls and latest news.

Much had changed since the last open-seat race in 2008, especially with the evolution of social media, which added different dynamics and dimensions, Rose said. “It was time to tell the story of a modern day contest and how it unfolds. It’s important for students and non-students to read about this. I wanted to capture how fluid and porous it can be.”

As time went on, Rose realized the election was going to be unlike any other. At one point, 17 Republican candidates were running for president. “I could say the project grew far beyond what I had originally anticipated. Well beyond,” he said, noting the book doesn’t get into President Donald Trump’s campaign until deep into his account, because so much occurred before then.

While Rose is no novice at writing, HAYWIRE is not like anything he’s done before. “There’s a journalistic flair to it,’’ he said.

Rose delved into election coverage himself in 2016, producing a weekly podcast from February through November on SHUSquare’s SoundCloud website. With help from Hughes, who eventually joined him in the podcasts, he discussed what had happened during the previous seven days. He commented at the time, “Because there is never a dull moment in this contest, the talking points are easy to identify.” His audience extended to 35 countries.

Rose has been a professor for 40 years, he’s written 12 books and his thirst for politics has not waned. “I love what I do, and I had a passion for the project. I’ve always enjoyed writing and teaching. I’m not doing this to get tenure or to climb the career ladder—I want to make a contribution.”

HAYWIRE is available on Amazon. For more details, visit bit.ly/RoseHaywire.