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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Fire and Fury,
by Michael Wolff (2018)
Trump Revealed,
by Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher (2016)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2016)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
by Cory Booker (2016)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Mandate for Leadership: Project 2025

(Click for external website)

    Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
    from Project 2025: The 2025 Presidential Transition Project (number of quotes indicated):
  • Barack Obama (5)
  • Donald Trump (8)
  • Heritage Foundation (21)
  • Joe Biden (12)
    OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

"Project 2025" details how to "drain the swamp" in Trump's second term. It's a heavy-duty policy manual, with 920 pages of specifications broken down into 30 chapters, specifying how to reform each federal agency. It's not intended as a political document -- that is accomplished on Trump's campaign website called "Agenda47" -- Agenda47 provides the vision, and Project 2025 provides the nitty-gritty details.

The Trump campaign officially has nothing to do with Project 2025, and refer to Agenda47 when reporters ask their plans. But Agenda47 only asserts the general goals, while Project 2025 outlines how to get there. The intent is an action plan for early in Trump's term -- Project 2025 includes details of what to do during the presidential transition period in November/December 2024. The unspoken intent is that the authors -- there are well over 100 authors cited in this document -- become the Cabinet or sub-Cabinet appointees in the Trump administration, and implement the plans they wrote.

A major complaint in Trump's first term was that Trump failed to "drain the swamp" of the federal bureaucracy because so few Trump officials had the necessary experience. Now they do, and many members of the first Trump administration participated in authoring this document. Trump's liberal opponents point to this document as an indication that Trump's second term will be worse than his first term -- because the second time around, they know what to do.

Trump's liberal opponents also hint darkly about the horrors that will ensue from Trump's second term -- but there's no secret agenda -- it's all laid out here. The only secretive part is that the details are buried in 920 pages -- but we've excerpted the most important parts.

The Heritage Foundation, the organization behind Project 2025, is a long-standing conservative think tank. OnTheIssues has covered them for many years, mostly when they offer opinions on Supreme Court rulings or state legislation, alongside three other organizations with differing views (the Sierra Club, the ACLU, and the Cato Institute). The Heritage Foundation is much more "traditionally conservative" than MAGA, but recognizing that Trump's administration needs this document, there's plenty of MAGA policies here too.

So what's in Project 2025? We show the chapter headings to the right -- it's organized by federal agency. It's also organized with specifics about what to do -- not just in theory, but actual steps that could be implemented immediately. Our Biden excerpts are all about what Executive Orders the Biden administration put forth, and how the second Trump administration could immediately undo those (or sometimes not so immediately -- Project 2025 documents what Congress needs to do, too). Our Ohama excerpts are similarly about which Obama-era Executive Orders the Trump Administration should undo (evidently having missed them in the first Trump Adminstration).

So is Project 2025 a MAGA dream and a liberal nightmare? Well, it's a serious policy document, which means it avoids conspiracy theories and focuses on action plans. But it does kowtow to SOME conspiracy theories -- and they're self-aware that they're doing that -- our favorite: "the PRC's actions often do sound like conspiracy theories--because they are conspiracies" (p. 180, referring to the People's Republic of China -- wonky terms like "PRC" appear throughout). That's followed up with examples like that COVID was "almost certainly spawned in a CCP biological weapons lab in Wuhan, China (p.768, that's the "Chinese Communist Party", and use of the "CCP" acronym gives away the writer as anti-China). Some sections are more MAGA than others, reflecting the numerous authors.

Project 2025 largely ignores MAGA's biggest conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and Trump's criminal prosecutions. We excerpt a bit about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on correcting mail-in ballots (pp. 563-4) but there's nothing here that says "Trump won". There are several references to Hunter Biden's laptop, such as dismissing that the laptop was "Russian disinformation" (p.213). But Project 2025 was published in April 2023 -- before Hunter Biden's criminal conviction (which included evidence from that laptop). Project 2025 was also published before Donald Trump's criminal conviction and civil trials, so they're not mentioned either. But we're not so sure that the Heritage Foundation would discuss those anyway, since there's nothing there about which federal department to fix. The DOJ chapter does label the FBI and other agencies as "corrupt," (p.557ff) but the recommended fixes focus on "tough on crime" rather than "back off Trump."

Bottom line: Yes, Project 2025 outlines what the second Trump administration would do. Yes, those opposing Trump's election should read it (or more plausibly, read our excerpts), because Trump really can't be accused of having a hidden agenda. Trump had no hidden agenda in 2016 either -- he outlined his plans and then tried to implement them -- but no one believed him in 2016. And now everyone should believe Trump, because he has a detailed implementation plan.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, June 2024

    Project 25 Chapters:


  1. White House Office
  2. Executive Office of the President
  3. Central Personally Agencies
  4. Department of Defense
  5. Department of Homeland Security
  6. Department of State
  7. Intelligence Community
  8. Media Agencies / Public Broadcasting
  9. Agency for International Development
  10. Department of Agriculture
  11. Department of Education
  12. Department of Energy
  13. Environmental Protection Agency
  14. Department of Health and Human Services
  15. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  16. Department of the Interior
  17. Department of Justice
  18. Department of Labor
  19. Department of Transportation
  20. Department of Veterans Affairs
  21. Department of Commerce
  22. Department of the Treasury
  23. Export-Import Bank
  24. Federal Reserve
  25. Small Business Administration
  26. Trade
  27. SEC and CFPD
  28. FCC
  29. FEC
  30. FTC
 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
    Heritage Foundation: Ban mailing abortion pills.
    Joe Biden: Trump's second term takes away reproductive freedom.
Civil Rights
    Heritage Foundation: Eliminate the term "DEI" from every federal law.
    Joe Biden: Revoked "management rights" in union collective bargaining.
    Heritage Foundation: Corporate tax rate 18%; plus two income tax rates, 15% & 30%.
    Barack Obama: Fully disclose corporate advice to workers on union rules.
    Donald Trump: Respect management rights in union collective bargaining.
    Heritage Foundation: Rescind the "persuader rule" on disclosing advice to workers.
    Joe Biden: MAGA Project 2025: handouts to the ultra wealthy .
    Heritage Foundation: Enforce death penalty and pursue more cases.
    Heritage Foundation: Address fentanyl crisis; reduce availability at border.
    Barack Obama: Focus discipline on disparate impact and restorative justice.
    Barack Obama: Publicize colleges that claim faith-based Title IX exemption.
    Donald Trump: Rescinded policy on "disparate impact" in school discipline.
    Heritage Foundation: End"List of Shame" of faith-based college Title IX exemption.
Energy & Oil
    Barack Obama: Quadrennial Energy Review for economy-wide climate policy .
    Heritage Foundation: No industrial policy nor economy-wide climate policy.
    Heritage Foundation: Climate mitigation instead of war on fossil fuels.
Families & Children
    Donald Trump: Close loopholes that allow food stamps to millionaires.
    Donald Trump: Religious exemptions, including contraception, in ObamaCare .
    Heritage Foundation: Eliminate the woke ideology Gender Policy Council.
    Heritage Foundation: Married mother, father, & children are nation's foundation .
    Joe Biden: Gender Policy Council: promote gender-affirming care.
Foreign Policy
    Barack Obama: OpEd: Iran nuclear deal gave a crucial monetary lifeline .
    Heritage Foundation: Pressure Iran away from nukes & toward democracy.
    Heritage Foundation: Dismantle USAID's DEI apparatus.
    Heritage Foundation: PRC actions sound like conspiracy theories because they are.
Government Reform
    Heritage Foundation: Correcting mail-in ballots counts as voter fraud.
    Heritage Foundation: Terminate federal FEMA emergency grants; switch to states.
    Joe Biden: $3.5B in FEMA emergency grants for 2023.
    Joe Biden: Protect democracy against MAGA's Project 2025.
Health Care
    Heritage Foundation: COVID-19 was almost certainly spawned in a lab in Wuhan.
Homeland Security
    Donald Trump: Develop Sea-Launched Cruise Missile-Nuclear program.
    Joe Biden: Cancel Sea-Launched Cruise Missile-Nuclear program.
    Donald Trump: Stricter rules for federal employee disciplinary actions.
    Heritage Foundation: Work ethic at the heart of Judeo-Christian tradition .
    Joe Biden: Loosen rules for federal employee disciplinary actions.
Social Security
    Joe Biden: Never let Republicans cut Social Security .
    Joe Biden: Industries of the Future: robotics & green/clean products.
    Donald Trump: Industries of the Future: AI , 5G, and biotech.
    Heritage Foundation: Reset Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.
    Joe Biden: Set up Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework.
War & Peace
    Heritage Foundation: Restore offensive deterrence, including Space Force.
    Joe Biden: Eliminated most offensive deterrence capabilities.
Welfare & Poverty
    Donald Trump: Waive work requirement only if unemployment over 6%.
    Heritage Foundation: Re-implement workfare; close food stamp loopholes .

The above quotations are from Mandate for Leadership: Project 2025.

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Jul 11, 2024