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Never mind the state of the union address – the real political intrigue lately has been who wrote “O,” the so-called Obama novel with thinly veiled references to people and places from the 2008 presidential campaign. The book was written anonymously, which many pegged as a smart gimmick from the Simon & Schuster marketing department, but now it appears we’ve found the answer to the question who wrote “O.” It was Mark Salter. Who is Mark Salter?
The father of two is a former aide to Sen. John McCain. In fact, he has been referred to as McCain’s alter ego and has penned many of his speeches as well as several books with the 2008 Republican presidential candidate. And Salter’s references to Sarah Palin (portrayed as a “lusty librarian type”) seem to indicate he’s not her biggest fan. Nor Obama’s.
The mystery brings to mind another anonymously written political novel, “Primary Colors,” based on Bill Clinton’s campaign. Time’s Joe Klein was eventually unmasked as the author, and in a funny twist, Time was also the magazine to unmask Mark Salter today.