Jon Lee Anderson sheds some light onto Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's politics and life in his Letter from Tehran. People living outside of the Islamic Republic are unlikely to ever see one of Ahmadinejad's presidential campaign videos, but Anderson details their contents:
The signature videos for his 2005 Presidential campaign were two thirty-minute productions that expertly portrayed him as a man of the people. In one scene, Ahmadinejad is in line for lunch at a self-service canteen; in another, he walks among the poor. The videos were aired on television repeatedly. The campaign tagline was “It’s doable—and we can do it.”
Part of Ahmadinejad's presidential schtick has been his man-of-the-people-ness and simplicity. Whilst he has a personal history that includes many of the key events in the history of the Islamic Republic, he is still to some extent an outsider, frowned upon by the likes of Rafsanjani and the political mullahs:
A European diplomat said that a senior Iranian official had confided to him that before Ahmadinejad became President he was the sort of man whom the official would have kept waiting for thirty minutes outside his office, just to put him in his place.
The complete article that appeared in the New Yorker discusses the upcoming presidential elections in Iran, the different factions and their prospects.