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We're with Nobody: Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics [Kindle Edition]

Alan Huffman , Michael Rejebian
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $11.79
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Book Description

We're With Nobody is a thrilling, eye-opening insider’s view of a little-known facet of the political campaign process: the multi-million dollar opposition research industry, or “oppo” as it’s called.  For sixteen years authors Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian have been digging up dirt on political candidates across the country, from presidential appointees to local school board hopefuls. We're With Nobody is a fascinating, riveting, sometimes funny, sometimes shocking look at the unseen side of political campaigning—a remarkable chronicle of a year in the life of two guys on a dedicated hunt to uncover the buried truths that every American voter has a right to know.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"It's very well written and very entertaining. If you want to get a sense of how this stuff operates, this is a great way to do it." -- Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show"

"Whether they're typical voters, hardened political junkies or would-be candidates who have unflattering college-days photos posted on Facebook, readers' perceptions of campaign rhetoric and advertising will be changed by this book." --Pittsburg Tribune

"...a clean memoir of a filthy business is a welcome perspective shift: It illuminates without slaking our blood thirst... The authors contribute something more valuable by exposing the mechanics behind their profession." --Brett Berk, Businessweek

"There is humor and personality in every paragraph of We're with Nobody. The writing is intelligent, detailed, and intimate... I did not want the book to end. I wanted to know where we were going next." -- New York Journal of Books

"If you could in some way take the best parts of your favorite political memoir and blend it perfectly with the most engaging political thriller you've ever read, then you would likely come up with something akin to We're With Nobody." - Jackson Free Press

“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, author of War and The Perfect Storm )

“A bright romp … A good book for anyone who has wondered how scandalous past behavior makes its way into campaign headlines.” (Kirkus Reviews )

“This timely book lifts the curtain on political research to find dirt on opponents.” (Publishers Weekly )

From the Author

The best endorsement for our book is the Feb. 20, 2012, edition of "The Daily Show." Not surprisingly, Jon Stewart got the book's unique vantage point and our intent in writing it. (You can watch the episode on the show's website; the link is listed on our own werewithnobody website.)
Otherwise: Troublemakers. That's how most people view us, and it's true, trouble does sometimes follow in our wake. We're what's known as oppo guys -- independent political researchers hired by campaigns to find out about their opponents, and about themselves. Say you're running for office. You hire us to find out everything there is to know about the opposing candidate, good and bad. Then we look at you, so you'll know what the other side's oppo guys are finding out, and how it could be used against you.
 
We roam the U.S. from coast to coast during campaign seasons, searching for the truth about the people who want to represent you, and us, in government. We're attracted to trouble. It's our job to find it. But we don't manufacture it -- that's for others do. Our job is to  try to find out what makes individual politicians tick --  presidential appointments, congressional candidates, would-be governors, candidates for local school boards. 
We've learned much in the process, about what people in power do right and what they do wrong, and about how their constituents view their behavior. For us, it's all about the facts. We document precisely what those leaders and would-be leaders have done and are doing now, to make it easier for voters to envision what they'll do in the future. In an era when the truth seems sadly malleable in politics, our reliance on old-timey facts makes us a bit of a throwback. But we still think the truth matters, and fortunately, finding it can be wildly entertaining.
 
The point is this: You, as a voter, do not have to be with anybody. Sure, you're going to cast your votes for the candidates you support, but you don't have to blindly cast your lot with anyone or any group. You can be a Democrat or a Republican, but that doesn't mean you have to support hypocrites, scofflaws or criminals. You can determine the truth, and vote accordingly. Really, it's that simple. We can show you how. And if you happen to be running for office, we'll be happy to research you and your opponent, with an objective eye, so you can see yourselves, and your record, just as the voters will. It may sound strange, but many political candidates can't do that on their own, nor can their campaigns. They're too close to the action. They're with someone, lock, stock and barrel. That's why they need someone who isn't. 
 
As we travel the nation piecing together the intricate riddle of politics, never knowing where we'll end up, we like to think of ourselves like those two guys in the old "Route 66" TV show, roaming the country in a drop-top Corvette, getting involved in bizarre and telling episodes and meeting interesting people along the way. OK, we're a bit older and driving in a rented Hyundai, but there's no shortage of stories about the back roads and back rooms of America.
While we are technically with someone in the sense that we provide our opposition research reports to the campaigns that hire us -- which are primarily Democrat, we would be useless if we weren't objective in our assessments. Still, as independent researchers we are, essentially, with nobody. We do not name names. We're here to share what we've learned about politics in America while on a long road trip that no one else would ever take. We hope you'll enjoy the ride. 

Product Details

  • File Size: 1189 KB
  • Print Length: 211 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00570MI26
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for those interested in opposition research. February 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not hard to be a little cynical here: more than a few of these reviews appear to be written by friends. No shame in that. After all, as the saying goes, what are friends for? As for me, I am just a reader with a more than a little unhealthy interest in opposition research. I was disappointed that there was not more detail about the actual techniques of the trade. But that said this book is filled with alternating anecdote that has the feel of a southern noir novel stocked with philosophical musings. So for those who are interested in opposition research I do recommend this book. It is a quick read that comes as close to an intimate personal conversation about the subject that you will find in a book.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin and less than compelling... March 4, 2012
By DCHoo02
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I expected a serious dive into opposition research, especially given the glowing reviews to date. This was a fast read and an entirely entertaining book, but would have made a better New Yorker article or piece in The Atlantic. Even at less than 200 pages, it is still 80-90% too long--dropping the dozens of bizarrely detail-less anecdotes, trips to some vaguely described town in fill-in-the-blank state to research a candidate who they don't name, and interactions with a very-helpful/entirely-useless local government official would not diminish the book in any way. The authors also seem to have decided that their relationship is more interesting than opposition research or their anecdotes. The subtitle "Two Insiders Reveal the Dark Side of American Politics" should perhaps be changed to "Two People in an Ersatz Marriage Describe Their Travels Through The Country." Again, not a terrible choice (it actually could be interesting, since bot authors seem like interesting people), just not what they book was purported to be about.

The core failure of the piece, though, is that the authors' choice "not to name names" has yielded a book that feels adrift in repetitive stories that blur together without differentiation. It's a laudable choice, but one that would have required magic that never quite materialized.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every voter should read this book January 29, 2012
Format:Paperback
If you have ever wondered how a candidate for public office finds out the dirt on their political opponent then you have to read this book. Even better than learning the inner workings of "opposition research" in political campaigns are the hilarious stories of courthouse clerks and and ex-wives who find their way into this book. The writing is great. It made me wonder who are these wanna-be politicians who think their skeletons would not be found. How naive can you be! As bad as some of our elected officials are, thank God there are 'oppo-guys' out there making sure some of the real bad ones never give victory speeches on election night.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, Entertaining read, Light on Insight February 23, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like a lot of people I found this book interesting after seeing them on the Daily Show. Unfortunately, most of the comments they made in that interview are about as interesting as this book gets in terms of mind-blowing insight into the "dark side" of politics. I did enjoy reading their stories of searching for that needle in a hay stack, and the entertaining way in which the stories are written keeps you reading. So again, definitely a fun book to read, but don't expect to be blown away by anything you didn't know.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding where the bodies are buried February 21, 2012
Format:Paperback
Opposition research continues to be the black art that most decent politicians dare not speak of and something that most voters are unaware of, but with "We're With Nobody" Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian pull back the curtain and allow sunlight in on this somewhat shadowy world of various operatives. And what a shadowy and unseemly world it is: hired researchers devoid of ideological basis save the almighty dollar, sources with questionable motives, and in general people willing to stop at nothing to dredge up "the truth" on opposing candidates. What results is a vast wonderland of mirrors: what is the truth, how do well "sell" candidates, how do you reveal "the truth" about your opponent in the most unflattering way? "We're With Nobobdy" is replete with numerous examples of the lengths to which opposition researchers will go to dig up dirt, the unsavory characters they utilize to get that dirt, and the people who serve that dirt up. Meanwhile voters claim to express distaste for the dirt served up, yet lap it up with a voraciousness that would make Caligula blush. "We're With Nobody" is a scathing indictment and exposure of opposition research, but ultimately an expose without an end goal. The authors certainly aren't here to glorify the role of opposition research, nor are they calling for reforms. Instead they are attempting to lift the veil from voters eyes. Well written and enjoyable, "We're With Nobody" couldn't have been timed better what with this years election.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read! January 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An antidote to this season's politcal wingnuttery! Just knowing that some politicians could find themselves under the microscope of these honest and devoted researchers is reassuring. The authors let you into their mysterious world of opposition research which turns out to be hilarious, quite shocking, and very enlightening. Great book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I hoped for July 13, 2013
Format:Paperback
This book disappoints in about three ways. First, it pretty much avoids fulfilling the promise of its title, or at least its subtitle, "Two insiders reveal the dark side of American politics." We know there's plenty of dark to politics, but the dark side recounted in the book is hardly being "revealed," since it comprises no more than some shenanigans practiced by and nowadays expected of politicians and all sorts of people in positions to engage in them. The main title itself promises nothing, since it's somewhat cryptic -- little more than an eye-catcher. Although, when we learn what it's supposed to mean, it seems a bit misleading, since the authors are "with" the Democratic party in spirit and usually in fact, regardless of how objective their work may be.

Second, any punch the book might have delivered by revealing the misdoings of actual politicos is missing, since the authors have chosen not to name anyone involved in their adventures. Since they claim to collect only documented facts, found largely in public records, it would seem that any fear of prosecutions or attacks arising from publishing names, or indeed entire documents, would be minimal. It may be, though, that the subjects are of insufficient renown to make their stories particularly compelling. We'll never know.

Then there's my personal disappointment in finding that the book doesn't delve into the general practice of political campaign research beyond the personal experiences of the two authors in their travels. And many anecdotes seem of only tangential relevance. There isn't one interview with any other researcher as to his approach to the work, his relationship with his clients, his experiences in the field, etc. Or an interview with a campaign manager about what he expects of his researchers, his success in getting it, or his view of how research is and should be used.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want a lame, possibly fake narrative from a couple of guys ...
If you want a lame, possibly fake narrative from a couple of guys who's craft is quickly changing - then this book is for you!
Published 1 month ago by Alex Pavloff
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay
Okay book. I was expecting more but all it did was give some vague experiences with not much details. Read more
Published 1 month ago by newbooks
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very informative, I learned a lot about a here-to-for unknown process.
Published 3 months ago by Ron Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good war stories by a couple of investigative journalists turned opposition researchers.
Published 5 months ago by Charley B. Gee
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Read but Not Exactly What I had Expected
The authors did a good job of letting the reader know what it was like on a daily basis to "do the dirty work" of their job and reading that was interesting. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Grey Gardens
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos for a information and perspective
At first thought you might see the folks digging up political dirt as low-lifes. But as the authors point out, they generally deal in information accessible to anyone and the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Eric Williams
2.0 out of 5 stars The authors should take their own advice.
That the authors decided to not get into the specifics of any single campaign probably hurt the book worse than any other single issue. Read more
Published 19 months ago by John Towler
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, unexpectedly good read
If you had asked me a week ago to characterize what a two-man team of political opposition researchers are probably like, I might have dreamed up images of slimy political... Read more
Published 20 months ago by jtk
3.0 out of 5 stars personal story of two opposition researchers
Describes the personal experiences of two former journalists now opposition researchers.Some interesting stories,but on a job that can be mundane. Read more
Published 23 months ago by carlos
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Inside Story
I bought this on Kindle after seeing it on the Daily Show. It took me a while to get to the point of reading it (lots of books... Read more
Published on April 4, 2013 by P. Perrier
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