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Winning the Amazon.com Primary...

Guess which new author in the Senate is obsessively checking his Amazon rankings? Hint: The senator who isn't running for president.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts
The 2004 Democratic presidential candidate is now running for best-selling author. (Getty Images)

Yep, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), author of the new book, This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future.

Kerry probably wouldn't admit it, but he and his staff are exhibiting symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder so intense that they could be fodder for an Oliver Sacks book on neurological oddities. No telling how many times per hour Team Kerry is checking Amazon to see where the senator's book ranks in sales.

And it sounds like they check -- and check, and check. Over and over again.

Kerry's deputy chief of staff, David Wade, raced to the Amazon Web site this morning to see what kind of a boost the book got after the senator's appearance last night on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. (Watch the video here.)

As with most authors who go on Stewart's show, Kerry's book shot up, sailing from way low to pretty high on the list. Wade proudly boasted in an e-mail to The Sleuth at 9:32 a.m. ET that his boss's book "started the day [Monday] ranked 3,398th on Amazon.com and this morning is ranked #128 overall and #30 in non-fiction." And wait, that's not all -- "#5 on Amazon's biggest gainers."

"Count me as pleasantly surprised," Wade said. (Ten bucks says Wade will be hearing from the boss's wife, co-author Teresa Heinz Kerry, on just what he means by being "surprised.")

Wade is downplaying the office's Amazon obsession with the "everybody does it" excuse.

"Friends around the country have been following Amazon.com with proctologic intensity," Wade says. (Dare we pick the Kerry aide's scatological mind?) He claims the senator's cell-phone voice mailbox is jammed with "warm wishes" from friends and family tracking the book's sales.

Wade says the Kerrys, "as two people who have spent a lot of time in the environmental movement, and remember days when the movement itself was dismissed as 'tree hugging,'" are "just excited to see what they call the 'new environmentalism' growing all over the country in red states and blue states."

Well, it probably makes sense. Since Kerry doesn't have presidential poll numbers to track, he's gotta track something. Anyone interested in helping his Amazon score, just click here.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 27, 2007; 1:21 PM ET
 
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