Lisa Baron dreamed of becoming a White House press secretary. Instead, the hard-partying, self-described “not-so-nice” Jewish political junkie ended up as spokesman for former Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed. Their professional partnership lasted for years (even survived her stint as a sex columnist) until 2005, when Reed’s campaign for Georgia’s Lt. Governor was scuttled by his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Now she’s dishing about all her former GOP bosses in an upcoming memoir, “Life of the Party: A Political Press Tart Bares All” — and doesn’t hold back: “I hold pretty much everyone in the same measure of contempt, except for friends and family.” A few notable targets:
• Ari Fleischer: The book opens with Baron and the Fleischer sharing an, ahem, intimate moment in a hotel room during the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary. The soon-to-be White House spokesman never returned her calls; awkward when they ran into each other on the campaign trail. She writes: “Note to self: If you’re going to sleep around, sleep around with Democrats.”
• Christine Todd Whitman: As a young press aide for the New Jersey Governor’s reelection campaign, Baron was shocked by Whitman, a “total [expletive] [expletive] ” who “treated her campaign staff like dirty laundry, with her nose pinched and her head held high up in the sky.”
• Reed: More substance about him than any of the other VIPs; Baron’s admiration for her longtime boss is clear. “With his baby blue eyes and impeccably-styled hair, he was the perfect poster child for the large faction of conservatism that had, until he came along, been known for being angry, intolerant, and disheveled.” The two worked side by side for years, but parted soon after his failed campaign and revelations that Abramoff paid Reed more $4 million in casino money: “He had skated too close to the moral line he pretended to walk, and he had tripped.”
Looks like no more politics for Baron, who’s married to a doctor in Atlanta and works as a writer. Fleischer and Whitman didn’t return calls for comment, but Reed remains a fan.
“Lisa was a valued employee and an outstanding member of our team, especially in her skillful handling of the press,” he told us Tuesday in an e-mail. “As a struggling author myself, I wish her luck. I have not read the book, but I hope Lisa enjoys great success.”