According to a new book that will be published later this month, President Barack Obama "quickly developed a genuine disdain" for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
"One factor made the 2012 grind bearable and at times even fun for Obama: he began campaign preparations feeling neutral about Romney, but like the former governor's GOP opponents in 2008 and 2012, he quickly developed a genuine disdain for the main [sic]," an excerpt of the book reads. "That scorn stoked Obama's competitive fire, got his head in the game, which came as a relief to some Obama aides who had seen his interest flag when he didn't feel motivated to crush the opposition. Obama, a person close to him told me, didn't even feel this strongly about conservative, combative House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Hill Republican he disliked the most. At least Cantor stood for something, he'd say."
The book claims that "a longtime Obama adviser" said of Romney, "He was no goddamned war hero," unlike Obama's 2008 rival, John McCain.
"When he talked about Romney, aides picked up a level of anger he never had for Clinton or McCain, even after Sarah Palin was picked as his running mate. 'There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero,' said a longtime Obama adviser. 'That doesn't hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero.'"
Additionally, the book excerpt suggests that President Obama is motivated to win the 2012 presidential election by his competitive drive.
The dozen or so diehards Obama trusted most rode his competitiveness to a historic victory in 2008. And they knew he would need that competitive fire even more in 2012... Obama's will to win everything he undertakes is not an element of his personality that he tends to emphasize. Biographers, led by Obama himself, were more enamored with his complexity, his commitment to elevating American politics. ...
"It's why he played to win-and why so many of his top staffers were former high school and college jocks, guys-and they were, after all this time, mostly men-who'd start a fifteen-hour day with a ninety-minute run. 'He's the single most competitive man I've ever met,' Robert Gibbs, his first press secretary, told me, adding: 'What's the one thing Barack Obama hates more than losing? Losing twice.'
Obama's "genuine disdain" for Romney, the book suggests, is helping to motivate the president's drive to win this year's presidential contest.
The new book is Obama's Last Stand by Politico's Glenn Thrush. An excerpt of the book excerpt was published earlier today by Politico.