5 things you didn’t know about the 2012 election, as told by the authors of ‘Double Down’

Mitt Romney and Barack ObamaWith the release of their new book Double Down, election 2012 insiders Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are revealing countless untold secrets of the campaign cycle that got President Barack Obama re-elected to a second term.

At the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night, the authors bemused the audience with tales from the campaign trail, as well as speculation about 2016. With 500 interviews under their belt, the duo has a wealth of knowledge about the real goings-on of the 2012 election.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the 2012 election.

1. Winning in 2012 meant more to Obama than winning in 2008

“The President felt that the stakes in the race were much higher…on election night when he won, he said that this race meant more to him than the 2008 race, as historic as that race was, because he felt like in that case, in 2008, he was largely — people were betting on hope and they were betting on promise. They weren’t betting on really any accomplishments. He had not really done that much as a United States Senator. By the time he was running for re-election, he had a record. He had done some very big things, very controversial things, and things that he felt like if he were defeated in 2012 would be at risk…So he felt as though he had to win this race…” – Heilemann

2. Obama’s re-election team thought he was the underdog

“People now look back and say, ‘Well, this race was always in the bag for Barack Obama.’ The president’s team did not think that in the fall of 2011. They thought they were at best a 50/50 shot at it, possibly the underdogs.” -Heilemann

3. Ironically enough, former President Bill Clinton was critiquing John Edwards’ legal strategy at an Obama fundraiser.

“President Clinton was rapt, watching television, seeing reports from the John Edwards trial. President Clinton did not like John Edwards’ legal strategy. He was giving a lot of advice about what the Edwards team should be doing…it was a little weird for some of the Obama people to hear Bill Clinton opining about this particular topic.” -Heilemann

4. Obama called Clinton first after finding out he had won re-election.

“On election night, when Mitt Romney called to concede to President Obama, the first person after Barack Obama hung up the phone — he says to Jim Messina, his campaign manager, ‘Get Bill on the phone.’ The first person the president called after election night.” -Heilemann

5. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is Obama’s chosen successor to carry on his legacy.

“Hillary Clinton, if she runs for President, she brings a lot of strengths and assets to the table, for sure. But no one would have expected that one of the assets she brings is that, in subtle and quiet, but really significant ways, she seems to be — though the president will never put his thumb visibly on the scale — she seems to be his chosen successor. She is doing a lot of things quietly to make sure that she is the inheritor of his political team, of his brand, of his coalition…” -Heilemann

BONUS: Who would the authors like to see face off in 2016, purely from the standpoint of interesting characters to write about?

Halperin: Vice President Joe Biden and former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Heilemann: Russian President Vladimir Putin, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a martian — if the prohibition against foreign-born candidates was removed.

Comments

Polititainment

Clooney throws fit after Obama name-calling

No one puts President Barack Obama in the corner — at least not on George Clooney's watch.

Fallon jabs Obama with 'depressed panda' joke

This depressed panda joke is definitely going to turn any frown upside down.

George Will to Colbert: Liberals don't want change

Conservative commentator and hapless Chicago Cubs fan George Will swung by "The Colbert Report" Tuesday to plug his new book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side," but naturally, the conversation didn't stick to baseball.

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder'

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

White House

President Obama bows to ASIMO the robot

Finally, an individual to match the administration's artificial intelligence.

Donald Trump is really upset with the way Obama walks

President Barack Obama just can't seem to do anything right, especially in the eyes of real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.