We're with Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics

We're with Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics

2.7 4
by Alan Huffman, Michael Rejebian
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In politics, finding the dirt is a multimillion-dollar business.

It’s called opposition research—“oppo” to insiders. Few Americans are aware of its existence, yet oppo has become an integral part of the campaign process, hastening the implosion of countless office-seekers around the country.

For nearly two decades, former journalists

…  See more details below

Overview

In politics, finding the dirt is a multimillion-dollar business.

It’s called opposition research—“oppo” to insiders. Few Americans are aware of its existence, yet oppo has become an integral part of the campaign process, hastening the implosion of countless office-seekers around the country.

For nearly two decades, former journalists Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian have been uncovering the buried truths about political candidates, from presidential appointees all the way down to local school-board hopefuls. We’re with Nobody is the eye-opening account of their life as opposition researchers—a remarkable adventure across the American political landscape and through the often seamy underbelly of U.S. politics. From doing battle with reluctant, sometimes purposefully misleading bureaucrats to arriving in an unmarked police car for a clandestine meeting on the New Jersey waterfront, We’re with Nobody offers readers a revealing slice of national and political life: a close-up look at today’s political process, the fallible men and women we often choose to represent us and the little-understood industry of trying to bring candidates’ weaknesses to light.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this timely book, journalists Huffman (Ten Point) and Rejebian lift the curtain on political research to find dirt on opponents. While Americans are accustomed to hearing scandalous facts, lies, distortions, and gossip during campaigns, few people understand how legal political intelligence gathering has grown in scope since the Watergate break-in of 1972. Based on close to 20 years on the road, these two veteran practitioners, who worked for both parties, but mostly for Democratic clients, recount both minor legal infractions and major transgressions that they’ve uncovered on the part of individuals running for public office. While an occasional candidate has an unblemished record, most of Huffman and Rejebian’s subjects are unsavory. The authors defend their line of work, claiming the mantle of truth seekers, and asserting that their efforts are crucial to America’s “evolving democracy.” However, readers will likely shake their heads over the multiple car wrecks of people’s lives seen here. While possible solutions are mentioned in passing (such as truth-in-political-advertising laws that include fines and enforcement mechanisms, and resources like Factcheck.org and PolitiFact.com), the authors seem too accepting of this sorry state of affairs to clamor for change. Agent: Patricia Moosbrugger Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Sebastian Junger
"This book floored me. I could not stop reading about the strange, dark world that helps determine who we elect and who sinks back into the muck. It is phenomenal; for me politics will never be the same."
SEBASTIAN JUNGER
“This book floored me. I could not stop reading about the strange, dark world that helps determine who we elect and who sinks back into the muck. It is phenomenal; for me politics will never be the same.”
Kirkus Reviews
A bright romp through the world of opposition political research. Since 1993, former journalists Huffman (Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History, 2009, etc.) and Rejebian have worked in "oppo," gathering damaging information on political candidates and their opponents in local, state and national elections. "Everything we cite in our reports must be thorough, honest, accurate and, as we can't stress enough, documented," they write. How clients use the information is a different story. In this revealing, anecdote-filled account, the authors describe a year of investigations that took them from front porches to courthouses to presidential libraries in search of "political intel." We see them reviewing municipal records under guard, pitching prospective clients, fending off difficult people, fielding suspicious phone calls and using ingenious methods to deal with officious government clerks. No one knows quite what to make of them ("Who did you say you're with?"), and they vacillate privately over their own identity, seeing themselves on one hand as journalists without bylines and on the other as "part investigator, part critic, part paid informant." In fact, they are partners in the political research firm Huffman & Rejebian, part of a multimillion-dollar industry that is "a crucial underpinning" of American politics. Ironically, the authors are not deeply political people; they express disgust at the nastiness of American politics and amazement at the undocumented claims some candidates will make to get elected. They refuse to rely solely on online sources (often inaccurate or incomplete) and instead beat a path by foot to the doors of ex-wives and others in the know. They say many candidates don't know what's in their own record and don't want to. One prospective candidate, confronted with an incident report about the beating he gave his girlfriend at an airport, dropped his plans to run. A good book for anyone who has wondered how scandalous past behavior makes its way into campaign headlines.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062015778
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/24/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
191
Sales rank:
1,424,860
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Sebastian Junger
“This book floored me. I could not stop reading about the strange, dark world that helps determine who we elect and who sinks back into the muck. It is phenomenal; for me politics will never be the same.”

Meet the Author

A partner in the political research firm Huffman & Rejebian, Alan Huffman has been a farmer; newspaper reporter; and aide to a Mississippi attorney general and a Mississippi governor. A contributor to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times, Smithsonian magazine and other publications, he is the author of Ten Point, Mississippi in Africa and Sultana.

Michael Rejebian has been a journalist and newspaper reporter in Texas and Mississippi; director of communications for the Office of Mayor, City of Jackson, Mississippi; political advisor to the Attorney General of Mississippi; and a partner in Huffman & Rejebian.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >