From Publishers Weekly
Governor Whitman of New Jersey, whom many consider to be a leading contender for the number-two spot on the 1996 GOP ticket, was born in 1946 in New York City into a prominent, "old-money clique" Republican family. Brought up on her parent's N.J. estate called "Pontefract" (which we are solemnly told means "Broken Bridge" in Latin), she grew up as a "willful, spoiled child, a homely tomboy" who was rebellious and a poor student. At college, she supported America's involvement in the Vietnam War and was pro-choice, but her real "passions were ice cream and dancer and screen star Fred Astaire." After working at various Republican political positions, she married in 1974 and bore two children. The author discusses the controversies of Whitman's political life (she voted to deposit millions of dollars into a bank in which she and her family had substantial financial interests); her near-upset against Senator Bill Bradley in 1990; and her victory over Governor Jim Florio in 1993. Filled with much Whitman minutiae (as a child, she had a dog named "Ike"; she loves horses), McClure, a local reporter, has written a political bio that will supply Whitman supporters with much to cheer about and her detractors with more to jeer at. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The 1996 avalanche of campaign biographies is careening toward libraries, carrying forth this portrait of a darkhorse veep possibility for the Republicans. Whitman burst to prominence first by nearly unseating New Jersey's popular Senator Bill Bradley and then by edging out Governor Jim Florio by running on a tax-slashing platform. The day-to-day anecdotes of that latter 1993 election bulk up half of the text, for which author McClure laid a foundation as a Trenton reporter assigned to the candidate. Consequently, tactical detail predominates in the ads broadcast, the polls taken, and charges debated. As had many of her opponents in previous elections, Florio attacked Whitman for her inherited wealth; voters, however, seemed less concerned about her millions than their thousands, which Florio took away in his tax increases. Apart from the frenetic electioneering, McClure provides Whitman's biographical background of growing up on a 232-acre estate, advancement in New Jersey's Republican politics, and marriage and family. A supportive, first-draft introduction to a telegenic woman whom the political fates could elevate even higher. Gilbert Taylor