Tomorrow is election day. As advocates of all types of libraries, this day is very important because nothing is more democratic then the right the vote. Take for granted that precious right, you might as well start taking away other democratic institutions. Such as libraries and public schools. Corny? Not really when considering America is the first experiment in the idea of a Republic and has been held up as a model of freedom and democracy. Since our society is set up with freedom of speech as well, it is with amusement that to watch publishers fall over themselves trying to get the right author who will someday become President of the United States. This is no joke. This is why most politicians gladly and negotiate for an advancement on a book that is yet to be penned. All in hopes that their ideas catch on and they become the next rising star in the political arena. For the 2016 Presidential Race, it seems that everyone is throwing their books into the ring. None of these candidates have officially announced their intent to run, but from the sounds of their tomes, chances are they are flirting with the idea. Unless you are a political pundit who writes political/current events books for a living, the only other reason to write is to get noticed for higher political office.
So let the race begin in the political publishing arena to see who will come out as the front runner in both parties. Hillary Clinton is sure to make a stab at it yet again. Clinton's latest book Hard Choices is a very dry book. Difficult to get through mostly because it didn't reveal anything new about her time as Secretary of State. Her other book, Living History (2003) is much better. Perhaps it is because it is a little more personal and the reader gets a rare glimpse into the First Lady's life.
Andrew Cuomo's resume is impressive to say the least. Coming from a political family, much like the Kennedys, Governor Cuomo has followed his father's footsteps upon his election as Governor of New York. In October of this year, Cuomo's book All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life is the typical comeback kid type memoir. His book details the lesson learned and wisdom gained through his political career, which includes New York Attorney General, United States Secretary of HUD and currently as New York Governor. It is inspiring but the reader comes away thinking that much of the success and failures came with the recognition of the name. Sometimes in politics, that is the biggest foot in the door.
A Fighting Chance does not detail Elizabeth Warren's ambition to run for President this time around. It may be that she is waiting for Hillary to decide whether she is indeed running or that she is not interested in trying for the higher office. This book does demonstrates the situations and ideas that shaped her life and passion. In the first portion of the book Warren details how her family faced financial setbacks that ultimately formed her view of capitalism. It is not pretty. If readers are more inclined to follow a progressive ideology they will enjoy the book from cover to cover. However regardless what side of the isle the reader is on, the mere fact that this woman, who hails from Oklahoma City to win the Massachusetts Senate Seat in 2012 is amazing. Readers will come away from this book thinking that if Ms. Warren doesn't run in 2016 she probably will in 2020.
From the GOP side there are just as many contenders as there are on the DNC side.
Again none of the authors have come out stating they are definitely running only hinting that the possibilities are being explored. This keeps the rumor mills flowing so publishers are eager to get these books published as well. One of the most interesting title of the bunch is Allen West's Guardian of the Republic. Again, we see the portrait of a person who has come from humble beginnings to become a successful leader in the U.S. Army, U.S. Congress and a strong unapologetic voice in conservative politics. He does not compromise on his core beliefs and makes the case that these values that have been the backbone of the U.S. Constitution are under attack today. This is not West's first book but it is the first in which he is considered to be a Presidential hopeful.
There is a definite media buzz surrounding newcomer, Dr. Ben Carson because he dared to speak against President Obama's policy at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. If the reader does not already know this name. He is a conservative, well known pediatric brain surgeon who happens to be African American. Like Allen he comes from very humble home to became successful in medicine. Carson is an overnight sensation in the political arena because of his famed speech, mentioned earlier, in which President Obama was just a mere feet away, as the good doctor tore apart Obamacare. Earlier this year, Sentinel HC published One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future, which is Carson take on what has is holding America back from continuing on as a great country. Everything from Obamacare to political correctness and personal accountability. It is filled with inspirations from his own life and well as biblical passages. Will he be accepted as a Republican Presidential Candidate? Dr. Carson is certainly testing the waters with this book but also with the website: www.runbenrun.org.
Governor Jeb Bush's name has been bandied about as a front runner for the Republicans but the acceptance for his eventual Presidential run seems very lackluster. It can be due to the fact the name Bush has run it's course. It could also be due to the fact that the book he co-authored in 2013 on immigration has not helped him at all. Immigration Wars is an attempted to shed light on possible solutions for a very controversial topic. Bush's stance on immigration policy has caused some angry ripples within his own party. The book itself is well written but it struggles to make a definite case for immigration reform that is both enforceable and based on realistic situations. It will be interesting to see if the Governor wins the GOP nomination. If he does, it won't be because this book helped him achieve his goal. It will be mostly due to his name recognition.
Rick Santorum is no stranger to the craziness of campaign races, both as a Senator and a Presidential hopeful. His latest work entitled Blue Collar Conservative is an attempt to reach out to the Republican Party to remind them that the true base of the party are the middle class conservatives who have lost faith that neither of the parties worth supporting. Santorum lays out a plan that could help the Republican party regain the trust of voters and ultimately win elections, especially the Presidential elections. This book may have been published during the midterm cycles, but it seems to be intended for the 2016 Presidential cycle. If Senator Santorum does not run again in 2016 it will be surprising.
It could very well be that none of the names mentioned here will win the nomination for either party. Time will be the judge as to which author runs and wins in 2016. In the meantime, enjoy the books and by all means go vote. Especially if your city has a library mileage on the ballot. Vote to support your local library! (The only political bias readers will find on this blog!)