Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor
by Matthew Latimer
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As a young political geek, Matt Latimer dreamed of one day heading to Washington to work for a conservative president and usher in another Reagan Revolution. With the support of his slightly mortified liberal parents, he tried to do just that - but his youthful exuberance began to cool as he moved up the rungs of power. On Capitol Hill he worked for a Congressman who "misremembered" basic facts, assisted a U.S. Senator who hid from his own staff, and met another who cowed her male aides into carrying her purse. Finally ensconced in the White House as one of George W. Bush's chief speechwriters, he soon realized that the post wasn't at all what he'd envisioned. Less like Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing and more like NBC's The Office, D.C.'s most prestigious address turned out to be a bizarro world in which the major players were in some ways mirror opposites of their public images.