Sneak Peek, “Double Down”

double down(Community Matters) from Politico Playbook: 

SNEAK PEEK at “Double Down,” by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, out Tuesday from the Penguin Press – Some of James Hohmann’s favorite nuggets:

–“Obama had little patience for the ‘professional left,’ and vanishingly close to zero for what one of his senior African American aides, Michael Strautmanis, referred to as ‘professional blacks’ (as opposed to black professionals). Apart from Georgia congressman John Lewis and Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, Obama had nearly as much contempt for the CBC as he did for the Tea Party Caucus. New York’s Charlie Rangel he derided as a hack; Jesse Jackson Sr. was effectively banned from the White House. Obama remembered all too well a conversation with [Cornell] West in 2009, in which the professor used the precious time to complain about his seating at the inauguration.” (39)

–The Obama campaign leaked Fred Davis’s proposal to run ads linking Jeremiah Wright with the president to the New York Times, but they never identified “the mystery brunette” who dropped the slide deck Davis used to pitch GOP donor Joe Ricketts off at Obama consultant Pete Giangreco’s office in Evanston. “The Obamans didn’t want their fingerprints on the disclosure, so they used a third-party cutout to funnel the Ricketts document to The New York Times. To preserve deniability, Obama wasn’t told about the scheme. [David] Plouffe only informed him that a story about a super PAC planning to smear him with Wright would be appearing soon in the Times. ‘That’s probably going to make some people … uncomfortable,’ the president said.” (307)

–The Republican establishment looked seriously for a Romney alternative between Super Tuesday and the Michigan primary. Indiana Gov. Mitch “Daniels had delivered the Republican State of the Union response in late January, at [Speaker John] Boehner’s behest. The speaker had been briefed on the mechanics of a white-knight entry, and was increasingly warm to the notion. He made sure Daniels knew he wanted the Hoosier to reconsider his 2011 abjuration, while at the same time encouraging Paul Ryan to step into the fray.” (277)

–Bain stiff-armed the Romney campaign and refused to help push back against Obama campaign attacks on Romney’s tenure there. “A decade removed from the firm, Romney was a distant memory to all but a few executives; the institutional loyalty to Mitt was minimal, and the desire to wade into partisan politics nil. Bain’s upper management and employees were split among Republicans and Democrats. There were some Obama bundlers, who pleased with Messina and Axelrod not to draf the firm into the campaign – extracting only a concession that Chicago would refrain from using an infamous photo of a young Mitt and some Bain associates clutching greenbacks.”

“The Bain brigade found the attacks on the firm upsetting, but hurt feelings were less important than protecting the franchise … The only point of contact between Bain and Romneyland was managing director Sean Doherty, who spoke exclusively to [Romney friend Bob] White. Far from colluding with [him], Doherty more often gave him the stiff arm. In the spring, White had asked if Bain might provde an official breakdown of Romney’s tenure, deals, revenues, and so on. Doherty politely refused … now Romney was being ‘Bain-boated,’ as White put it, and Bain would do little to help.” (332-3)

–All five of the contenders on Romney’s shortlist for VP got aquatic codenames: Paul Ryan was “Fishconsin,” Marco Rubio was “Pescado,” Tim Pawlenty was “Lakefish,” Rob Portman was “Filet-O-Fish,” and Chris Christie was “Putterfish.” (348) *

–Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich swapped nastygram emails over how the former speaker was spending his time: “On a speaking jaunt to Chicago, Rover ran into a local business majordomo who asserted categorically that Gingrich could never win the nomination. When Rove asked why, the muckety-muck cited a recent visit by Newt to the Windy City during which, instead of fundraising or politicking, he frittered much of a Saturday touring the Field Museum’s dinosaur collection.”

“Rove found the tale astonishing and repeated it on Greta Van Susteren’s program on Fox. Soon after, he received a chippy email from Gingrich. ‘How many days did George W. spend at the rand? Reagan spent one year out of eight at the ranch. I don’t have a ranch. Half day at the Field Museum cleared my mind. Just a thought. Newt.’

“Now even more incredulous, Rove fired off a sharp reply: ‘With all due respect, I don’t remember Bush taking a single Saturday off in September of 1999 to visit a museum in a state that holds a late primary, not a Greek cruise that summer. Field Museum board member had been inclined to support you until he heard about your excursion and concluded you weren’t serious … When you get to be president, you can have the schedule of Nixon, Reagan, 41, or 43, and you’ll find the job doesn’t leave you at the ranch, or Kennebunkport, or Camp David. It just follows you.'” (219-220)

–Paul Ryan watched the “Game Change” movie on HBO in his Tampa hotel room just hours before his RNC speech.

–On the night that Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, Obama – holding a champagne glass, told then-White House political director Patrick Gaspard: “You know, they’re going to kick our asses over this.” Amazon.com pre-order: $19.79 hardcover, $11.99 Kindle, $26.96 audiobook CD http://goo.gl/oxpGMU

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