The Right Fights Back, the first installment of Politico's e-book series about the 2012 election cycle by Mike Allen and Evan Thomas, was released at midnight, and naturally, we decided to stay up and read the whole thing. Here are some of the interesting tidbits and pieces of political gossip we picked up.
Mitt Romney's book was a big deal to him
During the third GOP debate back in September, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry started throwing quotes from their respective books at one another, prompting Romney to remark, "At least I wrote my book!" At first glance, the comment seems to be nothing more than Romney being Romney, but Allen says the process of writing No Apology: The Case for American Greatness gave the former Massachusetts governor "a sense of purpose and even a sense of comfort" in the wake of his unsuccessful 2008 candidacy. And he really did write it himself. According to Allen, Romney was assigned a ghostwriter, who he promptly turned into a fact-checker.
Haley Barbour was going to run as the "tech-savvy" candidate
Plans for the former Mississippi governor to enter the race were so far along last winter that staffers had begun scoping out houses in Jackson, where the campaign headquarters was going to be located. Barbour's handlers had even "planned each stop of the [presidential] announcement tour, starting at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, in California, hitting New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, and winding back to Jackson for a hero's welcome and mega-fundraiser." A Washington operative was planning "an all-Google infrastructure" (read: a cloud) for the campaign to save money, "but also to create the unlikely profile of Haley Barbour tech-savvy." These plans were put on ice when Barbour's aides got to see the giant "oppo" research folder on the candidate. "Flashing red lights," the duo writes, "included foreign clients of Barbour's lobbying business." Apparently, "some of the material [in the folder] was so embarrassing that Barbour was briefed in private." Soon after, in the spring of 2011, he announced he would not be running.