November 2, 2013 3:00 am -

060412_Jim-MessinaJim Messina was surely having more fun than a senior Obama campaign adviser should have been having. In May, 2012, The New York Times reported that billionaire Joe Ricketts was going to put the Jeremiah Wright kerfluffle into reruns, and included details from a supposedly confidential advertising plan– a story that drew immediate outrage from the Obama campaign:

“This morning’s story revealed the appalling lengths to which Republican operatives and SuperPacs apparently are willing to go to tear down the President and elect Mitt Romney,” Messina said.

Messina was no doubt holding back his laughter. According to Mark Halperin and John Heileman’s forthcoming book Double Down, it was Obama’s campaign team that had leaked the story to the Times!

Days earlier, a mystery woman had left a copy of the proposal in an unmarked manila envelope for Pete Giangreco, a “Democratic direct-mail maven” and 2012 campaign consultant. Giangreco then delivered it to Messina, who “convened an Obama world conference call to strategize” about what to do next, according to the book.

Obama’s team decided to leak the $10 million advertising proposal to the press, a move that would not only not only expose Ricketts’ plan but also “send a message to conservative mega-donors and Republican operatives that if they crossed the line when it came to race, the would be a price to pay.”

The Obama team rightly assumed the news would spark outrage. The group had proposed hiring an “extremely literate conservative African-American” to criticize Obama, who was described in the plan as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.”

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Bachmann reacts as she puts mustard on a corn dog at the Iowa State Fair in Des MoinesThe book  also provides details of a Michele Bachmann meltdown as she watched her campaign collapse:

Sitting in her campaign bus [during January 2012], in the same seat where she cried with joy in August, she now sobbed over her drubbing. “God, I’m a loser,” Bachmann said. “God, I turn people off.” With two debates ahead in New Hampshire, some of her advisers thought she should consider staying in the race. Bachmann wanted no part of it. Let’s draft a withdrawal speech for tomorrow, she said.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.