Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Crisis in Candidate Literacy

That means two things: The current candidates have written 18 mostly mediocre and sometimes ghost-written books. And let’s admit it: We alleged experts have, at best, glanced at only a few of them. Romney’s love of McDonald’s burgers may mean that his taste in food mirrors his taste in novels, or that he doesn’t allow bobo snobbery get in the way what he genuinely experiences with his own tastebuds. Rudy’s praise of the vital virtue of loyalty may not be the message for 2008, given that our president might be criticized for having abused that virtue. McCain’s is full of straight talk about his own failings, and Fred’s is not about anything he’s done lately. Huck’s may be Straussian, with a complicated numerology going on. And Biden’s book actually sounds worth reading, because anything Irish and sentimental is worth reading. If you’ve actually read any or all of these, please let us know what you think.

Discussions - 6 Comments

Has there been anything worthwhile written by a man who was president or a presidential candidate since Grant's memoirs? Conscience of a Conservative is good, but it was ghosted and it is forty years old...

Teddy Roosevelt wrote some good stuff, and Coolidge's autobiography is worth reading.

can I just say how embarrassed I am that I did not know Coolidge wrote an autobiography....

I would also add Dwight Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe to the list of worthwhile books by modern presidents. I don't believe any part of that was ghost-written.

Coolidge's autobiography is not only worth reading, it is also a great pleasure to read it. It's one of the best things I've read in recent years. I'm adding Eisenhower's book to my list now too. I'm sure I'll get to that before I even pick up one of these paltry offerings from the current candidates. Steve Hayward seemed to think the Reagan Diaries were worthwhile. I'm sure there are other things we're forgetting.

Per Peter's comment about Rudy and loyalty. I read his book on Leadership and actually liked that part very much. Of course, Rudy ran for office in the 90's when pressure was being routinely brought on candidates and public officials to distance themselves from anyone and anything controverial regardless of most any traditional considerations. Rudy sends the message that he won't be bullied by the p.c. crowd or blame the first underling he can find for any disaster. This is still a worthwhile message. Here is South Carolina, right now, Obama is resisting distancing himself from a popular Christian singer who was quoted saying (I paraphrase)that homosexuality, like anything else, is a choice.

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