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Co-author of tell-all book on Bachmann: It’s primer on how not to run a campaign

John Gilmore
MinnPost file photo by Bill KelleyJohn Gilmore

“I just broke the top 10 in political books on Amazon,” John Gilmore, co-author of the just-released and insider depiction of Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign, told me today.

The book, “Bachmannistan: Behind the Lines,” was written with Peter Waldron, a consultant who worked with the Bachmann campaign in Iowa to win over evangelical voters during the Iowa caucuses in January, 2012. It breaks no new ground, and Waldron has given numerous interviews, to MinnPost and other news organizations, about concerns he had during the campaign.

But Gilmore says he hopes the book will serve as a primer on how the campaign disintegrated following missteps by the candidate and consultants who, he says, were more interested in hefty fees than winning.

“There was no reason in the world she should not have been one of the top three in the Iowa caucus,” he says. “She lost the evangelical vote to a Roman Catholic [Rick Santorum].”

James Pollack, finance chairman for the Bachmann for President campaign, called the book “a reprehensible piece of fiction.”

In statement, Pollack said:

“This former staffer [Peter Waldron] with an ax to grind has been peddling these same reckless falsehoods, half-truths, and innuendos for well over a year in his attempt to maliciously smear Congresswoman Bachmann’s name. Doing this to someone of her immense character is despicable. Whether his motivation is an attempt to selfishly get 15 minutes of fame, or reap an economic benefit on this e-book, it is unconscionable.  

“Congresswoman Bachmann always complied with all laws and regulations during her Presidential Campaign. To the extent this e-book claims otherwise, it lacks credibility, and is thus a reprehensible piece of fiction.”  

The book not only reveals no surprises, it contains no scandals, although Gilmore says he was privy to information that he described as “salacious.” He says he chose not publish the information  “because I was a decent human being.”

BachmannistanGilmore, a lawyer, says he became interested in working on a Bachmann book through his friendship with Andy Parrish, Bachmann’s former chief of staff and campaign aide, who later became his legal client when the Office of Congressional Ethics interviewed Parrish about the campaign’s finances.

Parrish backed out of working with him the book, for reasons that Gilmore says he cannot specify, so he turned to Waldron, who had been contemplating writing about his campaign experiences. Parrish, Gilmore says, supplied about 10 percent of the information in the book and Waldron, the rest.

“Peter Waldron gave me the iceberg below the water line,” he says.

The book reveals that Gilmore is not a Bachmann fan. “Bachmann’s office would become legendary for its lousy constituent services,” he writes.

“Is it possible to be AWOL in your own campaign? Michele Bachmann for President would suggest as much,” is a line from Gilmore’s description of Bachmann’s over-dependence on her consultants, “the grasping class.”

While Waldron, in interviews, has suggested that Bachmann was a victim of poor choices, manipulation and plain exhaustion, the book portrays her as a diva. “I think at some point she believed her handlers’ hype that she needed to look presidential and that was the gloss that made her into a diva,” he says. “Being your own worst enemy doesn’t make you a victim.”

The book is available in an e-edition through Amazon.

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 08/27/2013 - 05:49 pm.


    Now I don’t know the validity of the what’s in the book. And frankly I won’t bother to read it.

    But am I the only one who thinks it’s comical that a Bachmann staffer would accuse someone of “peddling these same reckless falsehoods, half-truths, and innuendos”?

    A new definition of chutzpah.

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/27/2013 - 06:01 pm.

    Maybe one reason

    “There was no reason in the world she should not have been one of the top three in the Iowa caucus,” he [Gilmore] says. “She lost the evangelical vote to a Roman Catholic [Rick Santorum].”

    One reason that occurs to me is that even Iowa Republicans could see that putting the neighborhood crazy lady at the top of the ticket (or at least among the top 3) was not a winning strategy. Just sayin’…

  3. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 08/27/2013 - 06:09 pm.

    “Breaks no new ground” ??? The book says family-values Bachmann “..fired a staffer with seven children, the eighth on the way, on Christmas Eve.” Why doesn’t Brucato say this? MinnPost favoritism is what happens when you let a flexian like Brucato masquerade as a reporter.

  4. Submitted by Charles Holtman on 08/27/2013 - 06:13 pm.

    Nice cover design

    Showing the congresswoman in her burka. But not sure who would have an interest in the book.

  5. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/27/2013 - 06:20 pm.


    Aside from the obvious jokes about the GOP and its circular firing squad…

    The book not only reveals no surprises, it contains no scandals, although Gilmore says he was privy to information that he described as “salacious.” He says he chose not publish the information “because I was a decent human being.”

    This is about the funniest paragraph in Ms. Brucato’s piece. Mr. Gilmore’s behavior as a decent human being is the stuff of legends, especially for anyone who has read his blog Minnesota Conservatives [sic] or Googles Gilmore + Breitbart.

    The paragraph also notes that the book contains nothing new. Mr. Gilmore is a lawyer and writes gingerly around the edges of anything that might get him in trouble.

    The Amazon book reviews have started out about the way you would expect. Victims of Bachmannia give it one star and the sane five.

    “Calling this a book is an insult to books.”
    “A sick person in all ways and I am grateful that we have this wonderful expose.”

    By the way, there is a real author out there by the name of John Gilmore. Don’t confuse him with the author of this recycled trash.

  6. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/27/2013 - 10:12 pm.

    I Enjoyed the Anecdote Repeated Elsewhere

    That when it came down to making her decision, Marcus Bachmann told Michelle to look at herself in their full-length mirror and if she could look herself in the eye and convince herself that she could be president, she should run.

    I’d always assumed her decision was based on prayer and an affirmation from Jesus,…

    but it turns out the only “deity” she consulted herself,…

    and why is it when I think of the Bachmann’s now I’m reminded of Israel’s King Ahab and his wife.

  7. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/28/2013 - 09:55 am.

    How not to Run a Campaign

    Starting with a candidate who is more of a cult-leader than a politician was the first mistake. This mistake is compounded when the candidate’s base consists of insane theocrats.

    Compliance problems are also just waiting to happen when a candidate is on a mission from God (“How could I possibly be doing anything wrong?”).

  8. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/28/2013 - 04:13 pm.

    I dont get it

    Bachmann couldn’t and never did win an election outside her very narrowly contrived demographic niche. She clearly has no idea whatsoever how to appeal to a broader audience, she couldn’t even win a state-wide race alone a national campaign. Yet people seem to think that she could’ve won a presidential race? People are surprised that she didn’t know how to run a national campaign? There’s nothing surprising here, this was absolutely predictable and it WAS predicted.

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