The brilliant cohesion that fueled Team Obama's 2008 campaign has given way to personal rivalries, political clashes, clumsy coordination, and a tense atmosphere in 2012, according to a new e-book called Obama's Last Stand. Published by Politico and Random House, the book reports that:
- Lacking the uplifting "Change" message of 2008, this year's joyless campaign is stoked above all by President Obama's competitiveness. Encountering a woman close to Sen. Marco Rubio in a hotel lobby this year, Obama inquired whether Rubio would run for VP. "Tell your boy to watch it," Obama said. "He might get his ass kicked."
- Obama has no respect for Mitt Romney and fears he would be incapable of running the country. "There was a baseline of respect for John McCain," says an Obama adviser. "That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero."
- Joe Biden's verbal misstep about gay marriage caused more White House acrimony than the public knew. Biden accused Campaign Manager Jim Messina of “throwing him under the bus” to reporters, and Obama urged Biden to cool it. "You and I have to make sure that we don’t get divided," Obama said.
- David Axelrod and Stephanie Cutter—close friends and senior campaign advisers—were barely speaking after Axelrod suspected her of taking one of his TV appearances. They eventually made up and organized a potent strike against Romney's work at Bain Capital.
- Many Obama aides regret that they failed to prepare for the deluge of GOP cash flowing through pro-Romney super PACs. Obama only reluctantly supported his own super PAC, which struggled to find funding.
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