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PRESS Pass: Mike Allen

With the first votes yet to be cast in the 2012 election, the race for the White House got its first insider’s treatment in a new eBook from Politico's Mike Allen and former Newsweek editor at large Evan Thomas

Their book, The Right Fights Back, is the first in a four-part series from the duo that touches on some of the major moments of each campaign thus far. In an interview with David Gregory on PRESS Pass, the book’s co-author Mike Allen said the main question he and his co-author wanted to answer was: "What are [the candidates] like?"

To find out, they conducted interviews with advisers, confidantes and the candidates themselves to find out the stories behind events like Perry's immigration attack on rival Mitt Romney in the Las Vegas debate; and a firsthand account from Tim Pawlenty about his poor debate performances.

Pawlenty, according to Allen, likened his performance in the debates to that of an over-coached golfer who has taken too many lessons and that he had "too many things" on his mind. 

"It showed that for these guys, there's a physical game, there's a mental game, a psychological game," Allen said, "At a debate, those are coming all at once.”

The book sheds light on not only the current candidates in the race, but also why some of the outliers chose not to get in. 

In the book, the co-authors write that Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) did not want to enter the race until he truly thought he was ready with a firm grasp of all the issues. Allen added to that, saying Rick Perry's decline was one of the big reasons Christie stayed out. "He looked at Rick Perry, and he saw, that's the danger -- you can't learn this stuff on the fly."

Watch the entire interview with Mike Allen above to hear more about the 2012 race and his new book The Right Fights Back.