New E-book on Obama: 'Don't Let the Mr. Cool S*** Fool You'

New E-book on Obama: 'Don't Let the Mr. Cool S*** Fool You'

A new e-book titled Obama’s Last Stand by Politico’s Glenn Thrush offers a behind-the-scenes take on President Obama as he prepares for his final election. The thrust of the book, at least as far as Obama himself is concerned, is that the President is not a laid back idealist but a hyper-competitive politician who gets moody when he loses at anything.

Thrush offers several examples of this competitive streak, starting with the one that opens the book and also appears in a story timed for the book’s release. In February, the President was on a swing through Florida to raise money. He saw a woman whom he knew to be friends with Senator Marco Rubio. Calling her over in a hotel lobby, Obama asked, “Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?” When she replied that Rubio might, Obama responded with a juvenile taunt, “Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked.”

It’s far from the only example of competitive Obama in Obama’s Last Stand. Thrush reports that a round of golf with Speaker Boehner was delayed “for weeks” last summer, in part because the President “didn’t want Boehner kicking his ass.” Elsewhere he notes that Obama would become peevish if he thought someone was missing a putt to let him win a round.

An unnamed Democrat “with ties to the campaign” gives Thrush a quote that sums up who the President really is behind the scenes, “Don’t let the Mr. Cool shit fool you; he hasn’t been happy, and everybody in Chicago knows he hasn’t been happy.”

The issue of Obama’s happiness and that of his campaign has itself been a campaign issue recently. Having faced an onslaught of particularly ugly attacks, including an attack ad that accused him of indirectly causing a woman’s death from cancer and comments by the Vice President that suggested Romney would prefer a return to slavery, Romney said Obama should take his campaign of “division and anger and hate back to Chicago.”

It was Romney’s statement which led MSNBC co-host Toure to suggest Romney was trying to N-word-ize the President. Toure later apologized for using the word but not for the sentiment. But if Thrush’s reporting is accurate, the Barack Obama running in this election is not the no-drama personality he advertised in 2008. The Obama of 2012 is a competitive partisan who “hasn’t been happy” with his own campaign and who has “a healthy disrespect” for his opponent.

Obama is also shown to have no respect for one of Romney’s primary challengers, Rick Santorum. When Santorum discussed Obama’s decision to let his daughters travel to Mexico on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Obama “lost his composure.” Thrush quotes an unnamed presidential adviser saying “Obama really hates that guy.”

Obama’s transition from Mr. Cool to Mr. Chicago was helped along by Vice President Biden. Thrush describes Biden as one of two people close to the President who really understood the changed dynamic from 2008 to 2012. So it was Biden that the campaign sent in to swing-states to deliver early hits on Mitt Romney. That strategy may have worked initially, but obviously there has been a downside. Biden made several embarrassing gaffes last week, including his highly controversial remark to an audience, about half of whom were African American, that Romney was “gonna put y’all back in chains.” Since then, Biden has had two meetings with the President and apparently been restricted to campaigning in safe blue states.

Thrush reports that Nancy Pelosi, of all people, has been using her “face time” with the President to push him in a more positive direction, “Mr. President, I think the American people really need to hear your vision for the next four years…” When Sen. Harry Reid, who was also present, rejected this by calling positive advertising a “waste of money,” the President reportedly smiled. Obama wants to win. If that means going negative and personal, he’s willing to do that.