President Obama and senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer / Charles Dharapak, AP
Given President Obama's dislike of news leaks, aides should probably keep him away from a hot new political book.
Double Down: Game Change 2012, to be publicly released Tuesday, is stuffed with inside dope from Obama's re-election campaign, not all of it flattering.
Authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann even recount a White House meeting in which Obama chews out his staff for leaking to the press, and then stalks out.
"We are not the first White House to deal with leaks," said White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer on ABC's This Week. "Every White House has dealt with it. I think we have been more leak-free than most. And where we find them we try to stop them."
He added: "The president is always frustrated about leaks. I haven't talked to him about this book. I haven't read it. He hasn't read it. But he hates leaks. Everyone hates leaks."
One section of the book discusses perhaps the lowest point of Obama's 2012 campaign: The poor first debate performance against Republican opponent Mitt Romney, and his frustration with the debate process in general.
An excerpt in New York magazine, based on leaks, records an Obama discussion with aides after that lousy first debate:
"'I can't tell you that 'Okay, I woke up today, I knew I needed to do better, and I'll do better,' Obama said. 'I am wired in a different way than this event requires.'
"'I just don't know if I can do this,' he said.
"Obama's advisers sat silently at first, absorbing the extraordinary moment playing out in front of them. In October of an election year, on the eve of a pivotal debate, the president wasn't talking about tactics or strategy, about this line or that zinger. He was talking about personal contradictions and ambivalences, about his discomfort with the campaign he was running, about his unease with the requirements of politics writ large, about matters that were fundamental, even existential. ..."
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