Is McCain strategist Mark Salter the "Anonymous" behind "O"? Do you even care?
All of Washington has been abuzz over who might be "Anonymous," author of the new White House novel "O." Well, no, scratch that. Let's be honest: The buzz has been scant. After a wave of hype, "O" was released Tuesday to tepid reviews and early Amazon rankings (it trails a four-month-old Vince Flynn thriller in the "political novels" niche) that suggest we're not looking at a "Primary Colors"-level hit.
So does anyone care who Anonymous is?
On Thursday, Time's Mark Halperin fingered John McCain strategist Mark Salter, citing "sources" who he said confirmed it and some circumstantial evidence: Salter's longtime editor is Simon & Schuster's "O" shepherd Jonathan Karp; Salter's been lying low in Maine since leaving McCain's staff.
True? Salter gave a standard non-denial to our colleague Rachel Weiner ("I've been asked not to comment, and I won't.") We'll get meta with our own analysis: Salter was a significant character in Halperin's bestseller "Game Change," so ... seems like he's a guy who might know.
Only hitch: S&S promised that the author was someone who'd "been in the room" with Obama. A McCain aide? Sounds like we're talking about a pretty big room.
The Reliable Source
| January 27, 2011; 10:00 PM ET
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