Monday, July 31, 2006
Left: The Spanish version of Portrait of A Leader.
Wait! The SPANISH version?
It was recently barely reported that George Bush is gathering “reference materials” in preparation for a memoir of his presidency.
Personally, I can’t wait!
I mean, how cool would it be if he quit right now, so we could read his memoir in time for Christmas? Sure it would cut the content of his memoir by a couple of years, but his presidency over the last six years has been the most exciting ever and I’m not sure I could take much more without resorting to some kind of prescription pill.
Speaking of pills, remember Clinton’s memoir? That sent me to sleep faster than being hit over the head with a brick of Ambien. Sure millions bought it, but no-one actually finished reading it.
But that won’t happen with Bush’s book as long as he stays true to himself and continues to do the exact opposite of everything Clinton—including not actually writing his memoir himself.
Nope, he should do what he does best—demonstrate his leadership by delegating the responsibility of writing his memoir to someone else.
And who better to keep that charge than George’s BFF and co-author of “A Charge to Keep” (the 1999 paean to Bush’s “wonder years”) former communications strategist and current Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Karen Hughes.
Of course George shouldn’t 'tap' Karen again just because they’re BFF—that’s simply not his style. Ms. Hughes should take charge of Bush’s memoirs not just because she’s an effective political communicator but because she is an established and independent author in her own right.
Scant weeks after the success of A Charge to Keep, Ms. Hughes published her own experiences of the road to the White House, fascinatingly titled Ten Minutes from Normal (Amazon customers interested in this title may also be interested in Pearl Jam tickets). Whereas 'Charge' began with the words of Bush the politician cautiously finding his way;
“most lives have defining moments”,
the first sentence of 'Ten Minutes' exhibits a more evocative and gripping style:
"The rhythmic rocking of the train felt unnatural, slow and lethargic, a marked contrast to the hyperactivity of the just-finished Republican National Convention..."
Now doesn’t that kind of writing draw you in and make you want more?
How unnatural was the train? What’s the difference between slow and lethargic? Which Republicans at the National Convention had “just-finished”—and doing what exactly?
It’s just this kind of dynamic writing—raising more questions than providing answers--that Bush’s memoir needs if it is to properly reflect the style of his presidency.
Presidential memoirs are invariably serious and introspective and are never as popular as the President who writes them. This is why it’s all the more important for Bush’s to be a radical departure from the norm, just like his presidency.
Bush’s memoir shouldn’t be a tale anchored by endless facts and the technicalities of law—we already know all the facts from the press, and laws, like Democrats, slow things up and should be ignored--it should be about passion and heartache, about sacrifice and burden, about yearning and earning and learning and burning, about stuff people really care about.
You might be thinking that Bush doesn’t need any help to make his memoir an instant bestseller, that it would fly off the shelves based on his record alone. Well that would true only if we lived in the "real" world, but that’s just not the case here in the US where the media is so obviously controlled by liberals who’d like nothing more than to re-write Bush’s history for their own political purposes .
It won’t be enough to just organize all the official documents and inter-office post-it notes in chronological order to tell the tale of Bush’s presidency. What’s really needed is someone who can weave a convincing story out of whole cloth.
A major aspect of Bush’s tenure was his constant search to find the best-qualified people for his appointments, so picking Karen Hughes for this particular task would be perfectly in keeping with his modus operandi.
Make no mistake (Bush didn’t), Karen is surely the best qualified for the task at hand—better qualified even than Harriet Meirs was for her nomination—and one only has to look at Hughes’ collected works to be convinced; works such as:
Supermodel Darcy Taylor has returned to Austin, Texas to fulfill her dream of having a home and raising a child. Though her dream initially included a husband, she has forgone that part because no one could surpass the love she felt for her best friend, Mitchell Maitland. Now a fertility specialist, Mitch reluctantly agrees to help Darcy have a child though he can't understand why the beautiful girl he loved insists on this procedure.
Don’t you want to know why Mitch, a fertility specialist, is reluctant to help his 25-year old, totally available (and presumably virgin) supermodel best-friend get pregnant via in-vitro injection? Could he have another method in mind?
Or; Hot On His Trail:
Lost: Her so-called life. Calley Graham's overprotective mother had stood in her way long enough. But all that would change if she could sign on as a rookie investigator for Finders Keepers!
Found: One tough trail boss. Matt Radcliffe was leading a cattle drive out of New Mexico. He sure didn't have time for a pesky investigator who wanted to drag him back to Pinto, Texas. But Calley figured if she volunteered to take over as camp cook, she could keep her job, and maybe keep the cowboy, too!
Had Calley Graham uncovered some dirt about her mother that allowed her to finally escape her clutches and get a job as an investigator?
Is Calley’s job at risk because any private detective firm named Finders Keepers would probably have a hard time finding and keeping assignments? And what had Matt Radcliffe done in Pinto, Texas that would make him want to get a job driving cattle out of New Mexico?
Were the New Mexican cattle doing the jobs American cattle didn’t want to do and taking advantage of the welfare system to such an extent that they need to be driven out?
What happened to the original camp cook? Was he too camp? Will baked beans be the recipe that will open Matt’s mysterious past, his heart and Calley’s legs? And what’s that awful smell?
Or the edgier romance noire; It Happened One Wedding Night
As one reviewer (actually the reviewer) describes this torrid tale of torridness:
On the night of their siblings' wedding, Ryder Redstone and Daisy Harding unknowingly created a child together and went their separate ways. Daisy returned to her life as a mousy teacher and Ryder returned to his life on the road with a multitude of women. Or at least they tried to. A few months later, Daisy is fired for her unwed pregnancy and heads to Whitehorn to spend time with her sister. Ryder returns as a favor to his brother to help out around the ranch. Now the two must deal with the repercussions of that evening.
Daisy isn't blatantly beautiful and Ryder is not as careless as he seems. I really found a lot to admire about Daisy though her denial of Ryder as the father is patently false. Her denial gradually grows irrational and even irritating. [Ryder] is willing to set a lot of his pride aside for Daisy, which clearly wasn't an easy thing for him. He was also ready to make sacrifices… or the sake of his child and he had a great deal of faith in Daisy while she continuously second-guessed…his devotion to her.
Why did Ryder and Daisy totally forget to get married before Ryder rode her? Why did Daisy let her petals get plucked? Will daisy really take her firing lying down? (I guess so). Will Ryder’s slut-hopping experiences help him cure welfare mother Daisy of her pre-marital sex induced mental illness??
Now just imagine Karen Hughes applying her full talents to Bush’s memoirs! Face it, no one wants to read a boring old historical record about what actually happened—that’s old news, water under the bridge, road kill stuck to the re-treads.
With Bush providing the hero and the Hill providing a rich (and getting richer) cast of characters Karen need only tie them all together with lots of words what she knows plenty of and good ones too! Just imagine instead of reading like the Gulag Archipelago, it would be more like a cross between the Thornbirds and anything by Tom Clancy!
Anyway, Mr. President, I know you don’t listen to polls or the public or even a lot of important people, but I do know you listen to God as do I, and God told me to ask you to ask Karen Hughes to write your memoir, so please think about it when you are on vacation. And the sooner you can get started the better—after all, though you’ve said before that history will ultimately judge your presidency and we’ll all be dead by then, I’m sure millions of people would prefer to see you judged just as soon as possible!
To help you decide here’s how the cover of your memoir might look: