The war within: Obama campaign infighting

Amy Walter, David Chalian, Rick Klein, Richard Coolidge & Sherisse Pham
Power Players

Top Line

The president's re-election campaign casts itself as a fully-functioning, well-oiled machine -- a 'No Drama Obama' kind of shop. But a new eBook -- Obama's Last Stand -- details plenty of discord and discontent coming out of the campaign's headquarters in Chicago.

"In the spring and early summer, there was a lot of disconnect between Chicago and Washington," said author Glenn Thrush. So much so, Thrush added, that the president became very anxious, and on several occasions told aides to sort of "tighten it up."

The book suggests the president is highly involved in the campaign, and deeply competitive. Thrush writes of one instance, when Obama in Florida runs into a woman who knew was close to Sen. Marco Rubio:

"Is your boy going to go for [vice president]?" the president asked her. Maybe, she replied.

"Well," he said, chuckling, according to a person who witnessed the encounter. "Tell your boy to watch it. He might get his ass kicked."

Obama "loves the competition," says Thrush. "The guy invents games. He'll be backstage with one of his body people and there will be a square of masking tape on the wall and he'll pick up a ball and start competing with somebody. This is a guy who wants to beat you at everything he does."

And he really wants to beat Mitt Romney. But what will he have to do to win? And what -- or who -- will he have to hold back to maintain the campaign's momentum? There are hints that Vice President Joe Biden could become a liability.

"There was a sense, particularly on the gay marriage debate, that Biden was internally speaking out of both sides of his mouth, counseling the president to not talk about the issue, and then going out and blowing the president out of the water."

Check out this week's Top Line for more.

ABC's Sarah Burke contributed to this report.