I OWE DEBTS OF GRATITUDE to two sets of people: those who sustained me through the campaign and those who carried me through the process of writing this book.
The staff of the campaign was a unique, dedicated group of people who persevered with good humor in what was often an unpleasant environment. Working for the Messinger campaign was a great privilege. Friends like Giles Parley, Lee Jones, Roger Kosson, Libby Moroff, Pat Roach, and Kathy Viscardi made it a pleasure. My best friend from the campaign, Jordan Magill, had greater confidence in me than I had in myself at times. Special thanks to Ruth Messinger, who supported this project from its inception. As we lived through the campaign, neither she nor I imagined that she would be the subject of a book, and that, I am sure, must cause some ambivalence on her part. She has countenanced this endeavor, as she conducted herself throughout the campaign, with class and good cheer.
The path to the publication of this book was a bumpy one, but I was blessed with the patient support of many friends who carried me through some difficult disappointments along the way. Jennifer Apiscopa, Heather Beaudoin, Noam Bramson, Kari Butcher, Bruce Cooper, Peter Fante, Roslyn Goldstein, Lee Jones, Johannes Juette, Arthur Kaminsky, Ira Kaufman, Michelle Liblanc, Francis MacDonnell, Jordan Magill, Sherry Mandery, Mathew Mandery, Gary Saunders, Marla Simpson, and Ted Sturman read drafts of this book at various stages and offered comments, advice, and support that was always to the benefit of the project. Thanks to friends and former staffers Melanie Breen, Jen Kaiser, Melanie McEvoy, and Libby Moroff for thoughtful reflections on the campaign and filling in the gaps in the story. Thanks to Sal Albanese, Andrew Kirtzman, and Adam Nagourney for illuminating discussions about their own perceptions of the campaign.
Thanks to Leo Wiegman and Westview Press, who have treated me like family since I first contacted them in July.
Roslyn Goldstein, my guidance counselor from high school, has ungrudgingly continued in that role without pay for thirteen years beyond her obligation. Though after all this time I am still uncomfortable addressing her by her first name, she is a treasured friend and contributed to this book in many ways.
At difficult times throughout the campaign and the writing process, I depended, as I have since high school, on the utterly tasteless and childish sense of humor of