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Government Girl: Young and Female in the White House Paperback – January 19, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A young staffer in the Clinton White House when the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, Parker Aab effectively re-creates the heady excitement of working among powerful personages in the upper echelons of government. A native of suburban Detroit and then an 18-year-old scholarship student at George Washington University, Aab née Parker possessed sterling credentials in civil and community service when she was selected to intern during the summer of 1993 for George Stephanopoulos's press office in the Old Executive Office Building. She answered the reams of fan mail that poured in and trained the other interns; her job eventually led to a staff position, as well as work doing presidential advance planning, which entailed traveling with Clinton's team and booking overnight accommodations. Tall and attractive, Parker soon learned where the power resided, e.g., with men such as Vernon Jordan, who offered professional advice freely over meals. When the Lewinsky details erupted in January 1998, Parker and her office under Paul Begala felt betrayed, though somehow unsurprised. Her memoir is well polished, and despite a few suggestive anecdotes about Vernon and Clinton, is mercifully free of salacious revelations. (Jan.)
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From the Back Cover

A memoir of being young and female in the clinton White House

Stacy Parker Aab was born in Detroit in 1974, the only daughter of a white Kansas farm girl and a young black Detroiter fresh from two tours of Vietnam. An excellent student, Aab gravitated toward public service and moved to Washington, D.C., for college in the hopeful days of 1992.

Not only would Aab study political communication at The George Washington University, but she would also intern at the White House. For three years, she worked for George Stephanopoulos. In 1997 she became White House staff, serving as Paul Begala's special assistant.

At first, life was charmed, with nurturing mentors, superstar politicos, and handsome Secret Service agents. In January 1998, the world of the Clinton White House changed radically. Monica Lewinsky became a household name, and Aab learned quickly that in Washington, protectors can become predators, investigators will chase you like prey, and if you make mistakes with a powerful man, the world will turn your name into mud.

Government Girl is a window into the culture of the Clinton White House, as seen through the eyes of an idealistic young female aide. Stacy Parker Aab's intimate memoir tells of her coming-of-age in the lion's den. Her story provides a searing look at the dynamics between smart young women and the influential older men who often hold the keys to their dreams.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco (January 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006167222X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061672224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Much to my complete surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm not much for memoirs. In fact, most of the time I'm lucky to get 2/3s of the way through a memoir before becoming bored and moving on to something else. Not so with Stacy Parker Aab's "Government Girl."

I thought this book might focus extensively on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that Lewinsky was only one of many characters introduced in this book, and certainly didn't play a particularly prominent role.

The book was exactly as it should've been; the experiences of a young woman coming of age while working directly with White House staff during the Clinton Administration, and how that young woman learned to juggle the personalities and politics within the politics.

Truly an excellent read.
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Format: Paperback
For all political junkies, or anyone just plain curious about what it means to work in the White House, Stacy provides a vivid look behind the scenes of the Clinton White House. She offers a candid look at the players of the day, including George Stephanopoulos and Paul Begala, both of whom she worked for, and Clinton himself.

Thankfully this is not a steamy, slimy, shock-value tell all. Instead this is an interesting, fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable read. No dry telling of day-to-day tasks here, Stacy share interesting accounts from her several years in the White House--from intern to paid staffer to volunter RON (coordinating travel for the President)--with insights on the major players of the day. It is most interesting to learn how the various staffers relate to one another, especially those on different levels. At heart this is a story of a young woman who made the most of the opportunities before her,in all the right ways, and as she might say, if only Monica had made the same choices, for it is always about choices...

I really loved this book! How wonderful that Stacy shared so much of herself in this book--it adds depth as we read and "watch" Stacy come of age through the pages and root for her all the way watching her make the right choices and becoming the wonderful young woman we feel we know by the end of the book. I look forward to reading more by Stacy Park Aab.
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Format: Paperback
In the open and thoughtful Government Girl, author Stacy Parker Aab describes her years working in the Clinton White House--first as an intern for George Stephanopoulos while studying at George Washington University-- then as staff when she became Special Assistant to Paul Begala. The memoir reads exactly as one imagines Stacy's experience to be: first a fresh, young wide-eyed 18-year-old becomes a White House intern. Powerful men [not many women about unfortunately] like President Clinton. George Stephanopoulos, Rahm Emanuel, Vernon Jordan are all in her midst. She ends up asking Jordan for a recommendation and has some interaction with the others. Nine years later, by the end of her experience, she doesn't particularly enjoy her job which is more administrative than using her skills as a writer [been there/ done that] and the sparkle and luster have fallen off The White House after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Although she doesn't speak of sexism, there aren't very many women in positions of power at all. Although in some of her stories on the road, she gets hit on by married Secret Service men and has an awkward encounter with the President in 2000 in Japan. She doesn't speak of any contact with any women in particular besides some lower level staff members. This makes me sad and I hope that young women in the Obama White House aren't experiencing the same thing but guess what? Many of the young guys [Rahm Emanuel from the Clinton White House] now work the Obama White House. It most likely is just that she worked in communications with George. She spoke of Dee Dee Meyers but Meyers did not stay very long. As an African-American, she also says that she faced no racism, which is fairly easy to believe for the Clinton White House.
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Format: Paperback
Stacy Parker Aab's Government Girl: Young and Female in the White House chronicles her time in the White House during the Clinton Administration from the age of 18 to her early 20s. Expecting the bulk of the memoir to be about the Monica Lewinsky scandal or the like would be a mistake, although Monica's fall from grace could have just as well been Stacy's story if she did not have the personal drive to achieve more, live within the confines of her duties and principles, and focus on self-satisfaction.

Being young and in politics, Stacy had a daunting task of navigating an adult world when she was not quite secure in her self-identity and still evolving as a woman. She's a product of a single mother, an alcoholic father, and her mixed heritage as an African-American with a mostly unknown-to-her German ancestry. All of these elements come into play as she navigates the White House media and policy web and the knotted ropes of her possible career ladder.

The narrative of this memoir is smooth in its transitions between her intern days and her past in Troy, Michigan. The struggles of family life and the dedication of her mother to help her out with schooling expenses and other costs clearly influenced Stacy's drive for financial independence, even if the job opportunities at the time were not the most fun. Politics is at the forefront of her work in the White House, but it often takes a backseat to her internal struggle to become a strong, independent woman with a clear idea of where she wishes to be and what she wishes to achieve.
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