O: A Presidential Novel: A Bit Dull, but On the Mark Post reviewer: Not 'as good as you hoped or as bad as you feared' By Nick McMaster, Newser Staff Posted Jan 19, 2011 3:27 PM CST 2 comments Comments President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial service for the victims of Saturday's shootings at McKale Center on the University of Arizona campus Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – O: A Presidential Novel is not the gossipy bombshell one might have expected of a novel, penned anonymously by an insider, depicting the 2012 Obama campaign, writes Ron Charles for the Washington Post. In fact, it suffers a bit in that the fictionalized Obama and his GOP opponent—a flattering blend of John McCain and Mitt Romney, devoid of demagoguery—are relatively respectful of each other. In a way, the book is "an uncanny response to this month's call for a more civil political discourse." All in all, it's like presidential candidates themselves: Not "as good as you hoped or as bad as you feared." So who wrote it? Ben Smith, writing for Politico, notes that the author clearly knows the mechanics of political campaigns well, but mainly from the standpoint of the press, which suggests either a political reporter or a campaign staffer with experience in PR. Another hint: the author seems to hate Arianna Huffington. Check out the Week for 6 theories on the author's identity.