While some Swatties (or, if you prefer, Swarthmoreans) were in European soccer bars being stabbed by possible anti-semites, others were put on Politico’s list of breakout reporters of 2012. Swarthmore College alum and author of The Victory Lab, The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns Sasha Issenberg made the list. Politico called the book “moneyball for politics.” You can watch him not take Colbert’s bait here. TVL has been garnering substantial praise from light-heavyweight hitters like Game Chang authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, who called it:
A magnificently reported and wonderfully written book, full of eye-opening revelations and a colorful cast of characters whose groundbreaking strategies and tactics have injected 21st-century science into politics and changed it forever in the process. The Victory Lab is essential for anyone who wants to understand what really goes on along the campaign trail and a delight for those who simply enjoy a terrific read.
While Issenberg brings the wonk to just about everything, as evidenced by his first book, The Sushi Economy, The Victory Lab shows you the machinations of the worker dweebs mining and churning through personal data in order for campaigns to make predictions about you. And it shows you that those predictions and assumptions are not longer being made just geographically or demographically or even ethnographically, but personally. Yes Sasha, our tinfoil hat may be useless against the data miners, but at least it bears the Proud P of the Montgomery Syndicate and not the shameful NY of the Wilpons.