Jason Heller is a pop-culture journalist who has made contributions to dozens of publications. His debut novel, Taft 2012, is a speculative novel primed to coincide with the 2012 elections. What if William  Howard Taft, after a deep Rip van Winkle type sleep, awoke in time to consider  running for president, 100 years after his own presidency?

Taft, far from today’s presidential hopefuls, never wanted to be president. He was encouraged by Theodore Roosevelt, and finally accepted the nomination. His presidency was not what Roosevelt envisioned for someone he sponsored. Instead, Taft made decisions based on what he felt was good, rather than what was good for the party or progressives. This caused Roosevelt to turn away his support leading to Taft’s defeat.

Taft 2012 Brings William Howard Taft to a time of fast-moving cars, people, and electronics. He’s thrust into a new world with a wonder at all the changes, and a huge feeling of loss for those left behind. His introduction to 2012 is a bullet wound by secret service after he mysteriously appears. After he’s recovered, that same secret service agent is appointed to helping him and a friendship develops.

He’s introduced to his relatives, one is in government, and introduced to the new world he will face. As Taft finds out bars and women are legal and frequented by many he discovers a loss of the feeling of love for the one he left behind. He’s invited to run for president by independents and, eventually, accepts the nomination.

Taft will make good discoveries and not-so-good discoveries in his quest for a new presidency in a new world. The fly in the ointment will tell the tale. Does he go on to the primaries? You’ll have to read and see how he adjusts to this new world. Taft might just surprise you. 

I give Taft 2012 a 4 out of 5, just because it did drag in a couple of places (but not horribly!). 

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