It is with controlled giddiness that I announce that it was I, Martin Eisenstadt, of “Sarah Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent” fame who authored the most talked about media stunt of the year, the anonymous novel “O”. In the next few days, my editors at Simon and Schuster will fill in some blanks and answer any pertinent questions you might have while I commence a seven city book tour that the IFC channel will be filming for an upcoming reality show.
To be honest, the plan I had with Simon and Schuster was to keep the guessing game going at least through March. But secrets in Washington hold like grape jelly through a pair of fishnet stockings. Judging by the number of tweets I’ve been getting from suspicious friends in the media, the truth was about to come out - it was only a matter of time - and if there’s one thing I know in Washington, it’s that if anyone’s going to define you, it should probably be you.
To those paying attention, you should have seen this coming. My last book (”I Am Martin Eisenstadt” from Farrar, Straus, Giroux at Macmillan) was a critically-acclaimed success that was erroneously mistaken by many as a fictional “novel.” So now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my new book - which actually is a novel - is being treated as fact in some Washington circles. As my friend, the soon-to-be-departed Joe Lieberman likes to say, “Go figga.”
It was none other than my other good friend, The Washington Post’s chief book reviewer Ron Charles who told me point blank last year that “your publisher keeps accidentally sending me your book, but I only review fiction!” Of course if he had read it, he might have seen the syntactical and punctuational similarities between books and not embarrassed himself by failing to guess who the anonymous author of “O” was in his recent review:
The publisher is being coy, claiming it was written by someone who “has been in the room with Barack Obama,” which means we can rule out Kim Jong Il, but just about everybody else is still fair game.
My only regret was having to deceive friends like Ron for the last year: Hunching over my keyboard every time Anderson Cooper sat next to me on the Acela; forced to make petty smalltalk about Chinese currency restructuring at Georgetown cocktail parties lest I blurt out the truth; and downright lying to my editors at Farrar, Straus, Giroux that I wasn’t “cheating” behind their backs with Simon and Schuster. In a constant state of paranoia, I’d panic every time I heard a Carly Simon song. Yes, I thought, it really was about me.
You see, I played an integral role in the selling of the Iraq war to the American people, a cause I look back on with pride and gratitude. So you can say, I learned a thing or two about how to string along my esteemed colleagues in the Fourth Estate. But it was a fair battle for a noble cause, and we all did what we thought was right at the time.
So excuse me if I appear flustered, but four years ago crashing in my mother’s basement, I never imagined that not only would the Eisenstadt Group survive to the next budget year, but that I would rapidly emerge as a critical media figure. It just goes to prove what my hero Ronald Reagan liked to say, “if you’re smart, work hard, and go to church or temple, America will bless with you bounty.” That’s right. I believe in American exceptionalism and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
But still, you ask, how could one person have been an insider in both the McCain and Obama campaigns and then managed to wrangle double digit publishing deals with two separate elite corporations? Welcome to Washington, and that is the point of both insider tell-all books that I authored. “I am Martin Eisenstadt” exposes the dangers and foibles of Japanese-shoe shilling Sarah Palin and her Goebbels-esque puppeteer Randy Scheunemann while “O” reminds us that as Dante instructs, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
Because of these two books, my version of both the 2008 and now 2012 Presidential campaigns will be the one remembered by future generations. That’s something to think about. I will be featured in documentaries, asked to join panels and foundations, but let’s not let this article be about me or any other specific individual.
Like WikiLeaks, I represent a new era of politics where nothing can be kept secret no matter how hard we try, and my pitch to you is instead of hiding from this onslaught of openness, let’s own it. The Buddhists say that money is like water flowing over rocks. It is resilient. It will survive and soon dominate anywhere it is poured. So let’s trust that even in a society where any former business partner can write horrible things about you and have that be the second entry on your Google page for eternity, money can still be made and saved, if you’re smart, and smart I am.
Ask anybody, Marty Eisenstadt delivers for his clients. I’ve worked on six presidential campaigns. I have a locker next to David Gergen at the Washington Golf and Country Club. I know how Congress works. And I know how the mind of your average American works even better. So this campaign season, whether you need polling expertise, media manipulation or professional-looking, bitingly funny commercials for your candidate, I’m your man. For God’s sake, I’m a twice-published author. That must count for something. Wishing all of America a blessed new year. And please tune in to see me this Friday on “Hardball” when I square off against Chris Mathews and the rest of that pro-Pope Irish cabal over at MSNBC. LOL