Game Change: Even More Juicy Stuff

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From Game Change, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

Why Sen. Kennedy was offended about his conversation with Bill Clinton (page 218):

"Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago this guy would have been getting us coffee."

Clinton senior strategist Mark Penn boasted to his staff how many times he managed to say "cocaine" on that famous Hardball segment (page 163).

Hillary Clinton was initially pleased when her New Hampshire campaign chairman, Billy Shaheen, mentioned Obama's previous use of drugs (page 161):

"Hillary's reaction to Shaheen's remarks was, 'Good for him!' Followed by 'Let's push it out.'  Her aides violently disagreed, seeing what Shaheen had said as a PR disaster. Grudgingly, Clinton acquiesced to disowning Shaheen's comments. But she wasn't going to cut him loose. Why should Billy have to fall on his sword for invoking something that had been fair game in every recent election?"

Elizabeth Edwards tried to lobby Roger Altman (who was secretly planning Hillary Clinton's presidential transition) to force the National Enquirer not to run one of the Hunter stories. (Altman was chairman of an investment group that had a stake in the company that published the Enquirer.) Page 140. Altman called Enquirer editor David Pecker and made sure that the story was accurate.

Harvard prof. and Obama friend Chris Edley played a much larger role at key moments in the campaign than has been previously reported. [Correction: Edley was a former Harvard prof and is now Dean of the Berkeley Law School.]

Before he decided to run for president, the Obamas flew to Nashville, TN to get Al Gore's assurance that he would not run. (Pages 73-74.)

McCain aides confront Cindy McCain over reports that she had an extramarital affair (page 281):

"The man was said to be her long-term boyfriend; the pair had been sighted all over town in the last few years. Members of McCain's senior staff discussed the unsettling news, and their growing concerns that Cindy's behavior had been increasingly erratic of late. [John] Weaver and others suspected that the Cindy rumor was rooted in truth. It was upsetting, Weaver believed, but not a threat."

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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