THE MESSAGE tells the untold story of the hired guns who held the Obama presidency in their hands: the consultants behind his advertising, polling and messaging. It explores the inner workings of their world: the egos and exchanges of ideas, the mix of idealism and cynicism, the teamwork and competitive drive, the attention to detail and the panoramic view. Amid the economic uncertainty and political doldrums of Obama's first term, the message team had to overcome monumental challenges. Above all, they had to answer a simple question: Can you convince voters to believe once again in hope and change, when so many of their hopes have been dashed? That was the daunting challenge facing the single most important-and most expensive- team within the Obama orbit in 2012. As THE MESSAGE reveals in surprising fashion, the fate of the president was resting in the hands of his own Mad Men.