"Game Change," the long-awaited and very gossipy chronicle of the 2008 campaign by journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, is chock full of revelations that are bound to stir the folks who live within ten miles of the Beltway -- and perhaps even reverberate beyond Washington.
The book doesn't officially go on sale until next Tuesday. The authors are slated to appear on 60 Minutes Sunday to preview it. I found it available for purchase at a Washington, D.C. bookstore tonight.
Among the more fascinating items:
On page 37, a remark, said "privately" by Sen. Harry Reid, about Barack Obama's racial appeal. Though Reid would later say that he was neutral in the presidential race, the truth, the authors write, was that his
encouragement of Obama was unequivocal. He was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama -- a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one," as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination.
E-mails sent late Friday to Reid staffers were not immediately answered. (Update: Reid apologized.)
The authors write on page 50 about the "war room within a war room" that Hillary Clinton put together to deal with questions about her husband's "libido." The circle of trust included media strategist Howard Wolfson, lawyer Cheryl Mills and confidant Patti Solis Doyle.
The war room within a war room dismissed or discredited much of the gossip floating around, but not all of it. The stories about one woman were more concrete, and after some discreet fact-finding, the group concluded that they were true: that BIll was indeed having an affair -- and not a frivolous one-night stand but a sustained romantic relationship. .... For months, thereafter, the war room within a war room braced for the explosion, which her aides knew could come at any moment.
The authors do not identify the woman.