Speech-Less: Tales of a White House Survivor (Unabridged)
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.
I was shocked to come away from this book with a much more sympathetic view of Donald Rumsfield. This book also changed my opinion on what an "insider" might be. One doesn't have to be Scooter Libby or Paul O'Neil to be an insider. The narrator was not an authority figure in government, but he was certainly "inside" during many key events in recent history. I found his insights into government illuminating. He was a speech writer after all and so the book has an enjoyable flow. He also has a sense of humor, and I chuckled out loud numerous times while reading.
Am shocked at this writer!