See what people are saying about The White Guy in the Room!

If “money is the mother’s milk of politics,” then politics is the machinery of democratic government. Not even a president, city councilmember, governor or mayor can get elected and govern successfully without knowing something about the mechanics of gaining and holding power. Smart political leaders know deep down inside that they don’t know enough about the mechanics of politics to get elected dog catcher. They have the good sense, however, to have on hand a good mechanic in the form of a campaign adviser who knows his or her way around the functional details of fundraising, polling, advertising and the all important-get out the vote activity. And like a good mechanic, the campaign and governance veteran is able to diagnose problems, clean and adjust parts of the operation, equipment, and machinery, and most of all, unearth defects and make repairs.


There are many pretenders around, but few genuine articles can be found. There are even fewer who are able to tell the story about how they came to learn, and ultimately direct, one of the most challenging aspects of the democratic process-the conduct of political affairs. Doug Patton, author of this book, is one of them. “


Patton cut his teeth on Democratic politics in Iowa, learning the nuts and bolts at his father’s feet, two Iowa farm-honed structured legs that took the elder Patton all the way to the state legislature. Doug Patton takes us through his own political odyssey, one that spans the country from coast to coast, as well as the gamut of political campaigns he waged-with wins and losses honestly disclosed. Presidential campaigns, races for governor and state offices; Patton was up to his eyeballs in all of them."


- Colbert I King

Columnist, The Washington Post

"Doug Patton’s memoir tells a little-told chapter in American history: In the 1960s and 1970s, when the Civil Rights struggle had become a conflict over power in U.S. cities, a cadre of white liberals played crucial roles in advancing the black cause. Rather than bleeding heart liberals, they believed in democracy and used their political and financial expertise to advance African-American candidates. Patton’s well-told account is a must-read for anyone interested in race, urban studies and political sacrifice.


Harry Jaffe

Columnist, Editor At-Large Washingtonian Magazine

Co-author: Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C.


“Ouch.  It sometimes hurts but it’s true!  From the magnificent to the mundane, from the serene to the surreal, Doug does a wonderful job illustrating the national historic and cultural implications in a series of wonderful, local DC stories.”


Honorable Tony Williams

 Mayor, District of Columbia, 1999-2007

“Doug Patton has, in a unique way, highlighted the transition of a committed group of young, gifted white and black activists from the moral struggles of the civil rights movement, to the political struggle to capture power and shape the life of the nation's capital and beyond.”

William Lucy

International Secretary Treasurer

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

1972 to 2010, and Former Chairman, D.C. Democratic State Committee