Wednesday, March 21, 2007

So You Wanna B President? (copy)

Note: Thanks to RickLibrarian for the idea!

Jimmy Carter, our 39th President, was a little-known, democratic hopeful when he released his first book Why Not the Best? in 1975. According to Book TV’s “In Depth,” Carter used the book as an introduction to the American people when he began his presidential campaign.

Did it help him win? I’m not sure, since I was 10 at the time. I thought people voted for him because of his toothy grin and Southern accent. How do you pronounce “nuclear?”

During the 2008 primaries, voters will have an opportunity to nominate a fresh candidate from both parties. Not since 1952 have voters had so many options. How will Americans vote responsibly? How will we "get to know" the candidates?

One such hopeful is following in the footsteps of former president Carter, Barack Obama. A junior United States Senator since 2006, little was known of him before his bestseller, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Now, Americans can read his stirring autobiography and have a sense of his character.

As former mayor of New York, more people are familiar with Rudolph "Rudy" Giuliani’s name. (David Letterman has a nasty habit of using the current city’s mayors as nightly fodder.) Prior to the terrorist attack on the twin towers, outsiders to the city may have seen him as bumbling. He disproved the notion, as we saw a calm demeanor during 9/11. No autobiography, his book Leadership explains his 9/11 manner as a management skill learned during his mayoral stint.

Hillary Clinton was ready with her book Living History prior to filing for the Exploratory Committee. One can now read her take on world issues without Bill’s point of view. As with most political books, it is a safe read, void of Washington gossip. Darn it.

Former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, recently released his sixth book From Hope to Higher Ground: 12 STOPS to Restoring America's Greatness. One thing he would like to “stop” is America’s cynicism towards their government. I just love this suggestion—turn off the talk radio and listen to more music.

Leap year occurs every four years, and so to does Ralph Nader’s leap into the presidential mix. He has written many books, but his Unsafe at Any Speed, placed him in the Nation's spotlight. Today we consider this book a classic, like the Corvair and possibly Ralph Nader.