Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lighten Up with Nicolle Wallace

Ms. Wallace may be the former White House communications officer for George "W" Bush and, dare I say it, a campaign advisor for McCain/Palin, but for a Republican, (no offense my Republican friends) she has a great sense of irony and is a darn good storyteller!

Eighteen Acres is her first novel - I gather there's a sequel on the way - and while it may not have been worth the ridiculous fine I'm now going to have to pay, I'm glad I read it. First of all, I needed to lighten up a bit as I'm still in the middle of a slave rebellion in Haiti with Isabel Allende (more about that on Sunday), and second of all, I just love it when people dish on the activities that take place behind the scenes in the halls of power.

So who knew that the White House is referred to as the "eighteen acres" by DC insiders? Apparently that's the amount of precious ground that it covers. In the case of Ms. Wallace's book, the White House is being run by a strong, capable, above reproach president named Charlotte Kramer, joined by a tough, experienced, been around the world-type chief of staff named Melanie Kingston who works 24/7 and is beginning to regret the fact that she's pushing 40 and has no life. Women in power, what a concept!

Of course, times are rough, the economy is tanking and the war in Afghanistan continues unabated - sound familiar? Charlotte's poll numbers are on the skids, her husband is having an affair with an up and coming reporter because he and Charlotte have "grown apart" and he's chafing under the mantle of "dad-in-chief. You see, she's busy saving the free world for democracy and he isn't getting enough attention. Cry me a river. Peter is the least savory character in the book. The women are quite wonderful and I suppose that's the way Ms. Wallace wants it. I'll bet she's seen some things!

Charlotte gets the brilliant idea of asking a Democrat to be her running mate for the next election cycle and the New York D.A.  says yes and hits the ground running. This book is simply a great romp, holds your interest, can be read quickly - don't ask me why I didn't - and offers up the juicy insider tidbits that are all consuming to political junkies like me.
At the same time, it tackles some of the thorny moral issues that come into play when one's reponsibility is to protect the President of the United States. How far must one go and does friendship blur the line between duty and love. Grab Eighteen Acres and find out all!

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