Hope Never Dies: 5 key ingredients for turning Obama and Biden into literary sleuths
Andrew Shaffer, author most recently of the Trump satire The Day of the Donald, casts the former POTUS Barack Obama and his trusted veep, Joe Biden, in his mystery novel Hope Never Dies. Together the pair re-teams for a high-stakes investigation which takes them to the heart of the opioid epidemic, and features plenty of stellar banter along the way.
Shaffer shared with EW his five essential ingredients for turning Obama and Biden into literary sleuths. Read on below, and purchase your copy of Hope Never Dies here.
“Obama and Biden already have amazing Secret Service code names (“Renegade” and “Celtic”). In Hope Never Dies, Biden tries to persuade Obama they need new code names, although the name he’s chosen for himself — “Joe Tingler,” swiped from a men’s room vending machine — leaves Obama shaking his head.”
That Presidential Look
“In real life, both Obama and Biden are snappy dressers (tan suit incidents aside). In Hope Never Dies, Biden attempts to disguise himself with a beach look, hoping that the incongruity of it will allow him to snoop around Wilmington without being recognized. Obama, on the other hand, knows the best way to keep a low profile to just be himself. No one will suspect that sharp-dressed man with the salt-and-pepper hair in the corner booth at the Waffle House is really the 44th president.”
A Major Whip
“In the White House, Obama was driven around in an armored Cadillac limo nicknamed ‘The Beast.’ In Hope Never Dies, he blows his book deal advance on ‘The Little Beast,’ a black Cadillac Escalade upgraded with military-grade armor and shocks so good ‘you can drive over a land mine and not spill your tea.’ [And] contrary to popular belief — and the book’s cover — Biden has never owned a Firebird Trans Am. His prized possession is a 1967 Corvette Stingray convertible. In Hope Never Dies, he mostly tools around in a neon-green 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A — a midlife-crisis purchase du jour. Maybe the Firebird will show up in the sequel…”
“Obama and Biden both maintain offices in Washington. For the book, however, it was necessary to get them out of their element. Biden’s hometown, Wilmington, Delaware, ended up working perfectly. Not only does it have a noir-ish nickname — Murder Town, U.S.A. — but its stark divide between the rich and poor gives Obama and Biden an up-close look at the inequalities plaguing the country.”
The Opposition Party
In their political careers, Obama and Biden faced down lobbyists, Tea Party carpetbaggers, and Washington gridlock. In Hope Never Dies, the fictional Obama and Biden go up against drug traffickers, outlaw bikers, and other seedy opponents. They’re forced to use skills they didn’t know they had. Or, to put it another way: Unlike Jordan Peele’s Obama, this Obama doesn’t need an anger translator.