Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Reading

Just back from a week away for a little relaxation in the sun. So first I have few words of advice, if you are going to read a book on a beach then keep moving your chair around to tan around the book. I currently am burnt all over my chest and stomach except for a white rectangle across my chest where Scott McClelland's book"What Happened" was.

I actually happy to have gotten the chance to read two books over vacation, ending a long drought of not reading books. I read McClelland's book and Jim Webb's book "A Time to Fight".

I had serious misgivings about buying McClelland's book. I agree a little with Bob Dole that if the guy had a problem with what was going on he should have spoken up instead of waiting for a 7 figure book deal. Upon reading the book, Scott is very honest about his role and shortcomings in the process. Scott's overarching theme of the book is that the Bush administration went into permanent campaign mode and often would attempt to vilify anyone that opposed them. I don't think any of his revelations were a big surprise but it is interesting to hear them from someone that was on the inside. Although I think he is a little naive in some of his observations and proposed solutions to the permanent campaign, but he is correct that the Clintons were great at it but Bush perfected it. The only real question is can anyone end it?

Jim Webb's book was more interesting. If you are not a political buff a quick bio on Jim. He held several positions in the military eventually becoming the Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. After leaving the position due to differences with policy, he went on to become a journalist (on military affairs) but more prominently a best selling award winning fiction author. In 2006 Jim Webb ran for Senate in Virginia against a powerful Republican Presidential Hopeful George Allen. Jim Webb won a narrow victory. Since becoming a Senator, he has done an outstanding job including his recent championing of the GI bill. I am happy to say I gave money to his campaign., because he has been such a great Senator in just 2 years.

Jim's book was a combination of an autobiography mixed in with his views on prominent defining issues our country is facing. I must admit that for a best selling author, I was surprised by how many tangents he went on in the book. That aside, after reading his book I am even more excited about the possibility of him being Obama's VP. That folks would be a dream team. Jim Webb would be a pitbull an Obama administration. One of the biggest problems of the Bush administration was that Bush surrounded himself by like minded individuals who all sang kumbaya as they went off merily to war. Jim Webb is nobody's lap dog (unlike let's say Condoleeza Rice). Jim Webb had amazing historical perspectives in his book about military tactics and would be an incredible asset. As passionate as Webb is about military tactics, he is just as passionate about the great divide in the class structure in the US. A Time to Fight is a great read.

Next up I need to read Audacity of Hope. I bought it months ago when it came out and haven't picked it up. I hear that author is doing pretty well on his own.


Anonymous said...

Welcome home. Just in time to see and hear Webb's no way, no how comments about being Obama's veep.

Ez Blogger said...

Too bad. The nation's loss. He would be the best choice.