June 12 2011
Stories: Lisa Baron’s Salacious Memoir
Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All, the new memoir by former GOP PR aide Lisa Baron, begins on a note both intriguing and revolting. "When people find out that I worked for Ralph Reed during the 2000 Republican presidential primary in South Carolina, they always ask the same thing: Was it true Ralph told voters that Senator John McCain fathered a black child?" she writes. "And my answer is always the same, 'How would I know? I was in a Greenville hotel room giving Ari Fleischer a blow job.'"
Given this opening, one might expect that Baron's book, which comes out later this month, will be a gossipy tell-all packed with Republican secrets. It's timing seems perfect, given that the pace of sex scandals has lately picked up faster than that of natural disasters. In fact, though, there's not all that much dirt here. We do learn that Ralph Reed set Baron up with Jack Abramoff crony Adam Kidan—here called Jason, but very thinly disguised—and that, under the pretext of having to make a business call, he lured her to his hotel room on the first date, then stripped naked and lunged at her. More significantly, there are hints that it really was Reed who spread miscegenation rumors about McCain—at one point, he fumes, "If John McCain thinks I did a number of him in South Carolina, he hasn't seen anything yet!"
Overall, though, most of the exposure here is of Baron herself. Yet that exposure is actually quite a bit more damning than she seems to realize, which makes the book strangely fascinating. A pro-choice, pro-gay Jewish woman who revels in her "trash-talking, booze-swilling, foul-mouth, fornicating" ways even as she spins for the family values crowd, Baron seems to see herself as a loveably insouciant lush, a right-wing Chelsea Handler. She doesn't seem to have the slightest idea how ugly her self-portrait really ...more