Clash of the Titans

Politico’s Glen Thrush (very respected) is out with a new e-book about the Obama re-election campaign for 2012. It’s going for $2.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Apple iBook Store, and Politics & Prose, and is titled Obama’s Last Stand.

The book details a lot of conflict within the 2012 campaign, in stark contrast to the 2008 campaign that was hailed for its organization.

Some highlights from Politico:

  • President Obama told a friend of Senator Marco Rubio, “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get an ass kicked.”
  • Obama will only throw a punch if it doesn’t make him look foolish. In May, Obama sent advisor David Axelrod to Boston to make the case against Governor Romney. Axelrod was met by protestors who drowned out the event; Obama, watching from the West Wing, was less than happy. “We aren’t going to do that kind of thing again, are we?”
  • VP Joe Biden’s announcement of gay marriage approval In May created lot of tension without the White House. Biden felt thrown under the bus by the campaign after the VP screwed up  Team Obama’s planned roll-out of gay marriage support right before the Democratic Convention.
  • Axelrod and Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter went toe-to-toe and almost went off speaking terms after Axelrod felt Cutter was stealing TV appearances from him. The campaign was becoming less “all-for-Obama” and more “all-for-me.”
  • Obama advisers began (and still are) worrying about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as DNC head. Highly partisan and ready to hit the TV scene, she bothered the Obama campaign for many of her remarks. A private poll commissioned by the campaign ranked her near the bottom in terms of popularity with the public.
  • Obama hates Romney. Unlike 2008, where he had a lot of respect for Sen. John McCain for being a war hero, he has a general contempt for Romney.

“Time and again Obama has told the people around him that Romney stood for “nothing.” The word he would use to describe Romney was “weak,” too weak to stand up to his own moneymen, too weak to defend his own moderate record as the man who signed into law the first health insurance mandate as Massachusetts governor in 2006, too weak to admit Obama had done a single thing right as president.”

  • The two things President Obama feared most about Romney winning in November: the possibility of SCOTUS retirements making the court 7-2 in favor of the conservatives, and Romney taking credit for a recovering economy.“I’m not going to let him win … so that he can take credit when the economy turns around,” Obama said, according to an aide.
  • The campaign regrets not sending a more season pol to start up a pro-Obama Super PAC  to combat Karl Rove. Obama believed trashing Super PACs and taking the high road would win him the election, before having to backtrack a few months later and reluctantly endorse Priorities USA. “We’re going to lose this [f-ing] thing. Why don’t they get it?” Messina said of Axelrod and Obama’s Super PAC stance.
  • Obama and the DNC considered a historic convention staged in 4 cities in 4 nights. That turned out to be quickly scrapped.
  • Obama remains frustrated by Hill Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Lader Harry Reid, going so far as to ask them to put his re-election over political priorities. “Look, guys. I plan on winning this race,” he said, according to a person briefed on the interaction. “If I don’t win, then anything we say now doesn’t matter. I plan on winning this race. So let’s figure out how to win this race.”

What this means in the long run, who knows. But it is a far cry from the respectful and highly touted 2008 organization that defeated Senator John McCain.

 

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