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Now that he’s officially out of the running for 2016, reporters and bloggers won’t have Mitt Romney to kick around anymore. The man whose candidacy came to a crashing end with one well-placed cellphone camera will forever be an object of curiosity. Cipher of a candidate that he was, the endlessly mutable Massachusetts governor was difficult to pin down: What exactly did he stand for? Just becoming president? And he seemed ambivalent about even that. The Real Romney, by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, published in that jittery year of 2012 when it looked like Mercurial Mitt might actually be our president, comes as close as anything to answering these questions.

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Steve Bannon

Photo by Gage Skidmore/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

Late at night on Jan. 5, the day before President Donald Trump was scheduled to deliver a defiant speech before thousands of his most dedicated supporters, his former adviser Steve Bannon was podcasting from his studio near Capitol Hill. He had been on the air several times a day for weeks, hyping the narrative that this was the moment that patriots could stand up and pull out a Trump win.

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