A new book is out that purports to blow the lid off of the true conservative Republican lifestyle -- a lifestyle of casual sex and "a seemingly endless supply of narcotics."
The book is called “Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All.” It was written by Lisa Baron, who was a political press officer for several GOP figures during the Bush era.
(A 2009 report from Politico said Baron was shopping the book around with the title "My Burning Bush.")
The book opens with a description of an "intimate encounter" between Baron and former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer in a hotel room during the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary.
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Baron said Fleischer never returned her phone calls afterwards, but they awkwardly ran into each other several times during the ensuing campaign. She wrote:
Note to self: If you’re going to sleep around, sleep around with Democrats.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, explaining why she went to Fleischer's room in the first place, she wrote:
To be able to say, "I'm with the such-and-such campaign," or "I work for Senator So-and-So" is to us political junkies what "I’m with the band" is to Pamela Des Barres. 'My remarkable encounter with Ari in that unremarkable hotel room perfectly summed up my groupie-like relationship to politics at that time - I wanted it, I worshipped it, and I went for it.
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Much of the book focuses on Ralph Reed, who was then the leader of the Christian Coalition. By all appearances, Reed was a Bible-thumping, straight laced family man. But Baron writes that he had "a hard-drinking past, a soft spot for the ladies, a taste for the good life and a hunger for power."
With his baby blue eyes and impeccably-styled hair, he was the perfect poster child for the large faction of conservatism that had, until he came along, been known for being angry, intolerant, and disheveled.
Baron worked for Reed for years as his spokeswoman. The most damning accusation against Reed is that Baron suspects that he was responsible for a rumor about John McCain that cost him the South Carolina primary, and perhaps the nomination in 2000.
The story was that McCain's adopted child from Bangladesh was really the result of an affair with a black woman. The false rumor helped George Bush win South Carolina, giving him the boost that propelled him to the nomination.
Reed and Baron parted ways after it was revealed that Reed took money from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
He had skated too close to the moral line he pretended to walk, and he had tripped.
Despite the harsh words, Reed, who is attempting a comeback for this political cycle, has nothing but kind things to say about Baron, writing in an email to The Washington Post:
"Lisa was a valued employee and an outstanding member of our team, especially in her skillful handling of the press. As a struggling author myself, I wish her luck. I have not read the book, but I hope Lisa enjoys great success."