Halperin, then, wins this game. The rest of DC's blogging establishment now reflects on where they went wrong:
--Simon and Schuster topper Jonathan Karp was Salter's editor on books he did with Senator McCain.
--Salter has been holed up in Maine since leaving his job in the Senate.
--The descriptions that Karp has given of the author matched Salter.
--Salter's non-denial denial was the closest to a confession of any suspect who was publicly asked.
--There is a story early in the book based on a real-life tale that would have been known only to a McCain campaign insider such as Salter.
- I Blew It, concedes Michael Sherer at Time who earlier this month said Salter was definitely not the author "on the basis of a single sentence's syntax." Now he says that "obviously, in retrospect, it is ludicrous to draw conclusions about any work based on the merits of a single clunky sentence. It would be like arguing that Salvador Dali is a realist for painting a basket of bread or that Robert DeNiro can't act on the basis of a single movie--say Rocky and Bullwinkle.
- I Had a Pretty Good Idea of Who It Was, writes Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic:
It was obvious from skimming 'O: A Presidential Novel,' written by "Anonymous" and published Tuesday after an intense publicity campaign, that its author was male, on the political center-right, and not a professional writer. The writing lacked the finesse of a pro, described women in vivid physical terms, and imagined for the president a disdain for liberal Democrats that echoed the way conservatives talk about liberals, rather than the way reporters or mainstream Democrats do.
- In Hindsight, This Was a Great Way to Sell a Book, writes Jennifer Epstein at Politico. "In a marketing ploy that worked--it got political insiders across the country talking about a book that got mediocre reviews--Simon & Schuster described the author only as someone who 'has been in the room with Barack Obama and wishes to remain anonymous.'"
- We Should've Figured It Out First! writes Dan Amira at New York Magazine: "After all, here's what our own Joe Hagan wrote in a New York profile of John McCain last July:
After the chaos and dysfunction of the campaign, Salter made an important personal decision: He would continue to write speeches for McCain, and collect a check, but he would no longer fight McCain on political matters. He wanted to try his hand at writing fiction.