Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard launched his new book Storming the State House: The Campaign That Liberated Alabama from 136 Years of Democrat Rule with an appearance in Washington, D.C., at a reception hosted by Mississippi Governor and RNC Chairman Haley Barbour, where Hubbard signed the book with other members of Alabama’s congressional delegation in attendance.
Storming the State House details the historic 2010 election that saw Alabama’s first Republican legislature in modern history. The book also offers an inside view of the long hours, fundraising, and campaign-building that goes into successful bids for political office.
Hubbard’s book has won praise from former Bush Administration adviser Karl Rove, who recommended it to those “interested in grassroots politics,” and from former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who called it “a must read.” The Auburn-Opelika News wrote that “any work of this depth should be considered a must-read for political aficionados regardless of party loyalties.”
The book begins prior to Hubbard’s own bid for party chairman. As Hubbard told Mike Huckabee on The Huckabee Report radio show, it was former Alabama Governor Bob Riley who persuaded Hubbard to run for the position (despite Hubbard’s early misgivings), a decision that ultimately lead to the Republican Party’s success.
Mobile Press-Register political editor George Talbot writes that Storming the State House is “part memoir and part political tell-all, [but] it is foremost a playbook for how to organize, fund and win elections. Hubbard’s formula for success is no revelation — recruit good candidates, provide them the resources to run and keep a relentless focus on voters.
“His knack for marketing is evident, but Hubbard also shows political guile: He describes in detail how the party purposefully ‘leaked’ a copy of its 88-page Victory Plan to Doc’s Political Parlor, a popular political blog, in a successful ploy to spook Democrats. …
“Hubbard reveals the political infighting and internal rivalries that threatened to undermine the campaign — and readers looking for gossip will find plenty.”
Some of those eyebrow-raising items, already highlighted in a flurry of media attention, include the credit Hubbard gives to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for indirectly guiding Republican strategy. Hubbard told the Daily Caller website that he studied closely a book about Emanuel’s own Congressional win, The Thumpin’.
“The number one lesson was that we had to be involved in candidate recruitment,” Hubbard said in an interview. “And in the book about Emanuel, The Thumpin’, that was clear. That’s what they did. They went district by district and they picked conservative Democrats, professionals, business people to run for those seats. They didn’t just depend on who showed up and wanted to run.”
Hubbard also describes in the book strange behavior he and aides witnessed from former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, shortly before Sanford would be involved in a highly publicized scandal.