June 27, 2009 All Too Human: A Political Education by George Stephanopoulos
I finished the book probably a week or more ago, but life hasn't slowed down enough for me to comment on it.
It was an interesting read. The most interesting part for me was that it was written during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal /impeachment process of Bill Clinton's presidency. To return to that time mentally as a point for an evaluation of the Clinton legacy was a weird feeling. It was also interesting that George Stephanopoulos refers to President Clinton as "Clinton" throughout the book, while everyone else, including the then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, are referred to by their first name. Perhaps it's a reference to the office, since George had always called him either Governor or Mr. President, but it was still interesting to see.
The book was a weird mix of personal revelations (dating actresses, going to therapy, prescription anti-anxiety meds) and insights into a working White House. It was really interesting to see George's reactions and responses to the constant barrages of "sexual encounter" allegations levied at Clinton during the campaign and presidency because it's something that Bill himself seems to gloss over (for obvious reasons) in his own autobiography. For the most part though, George still seems alternately defensive and apologetic for his hubris and mistakes while on the campaign and in the White House. Without the perspective of history (and the GWB Presidency), it's hard to see the good that came from the missteps press leaks.
All in all, I'm glad I read it, but it didn't make me more or less of a Stephanopoulos fan, which is probably just the way he wants it.
Labels: biography, non-fiction, politics, president
posted by Jenn at 1:57 PM