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Presidential Perks Gone Royal: Your Taxes Are Being Used For Obama's Re-election Hardcover – June 1, 2012

3.4 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a much-needed book with a valuable message - one that reflects the author's unique personal perspective as well as his sound research. I hope it finds its audience in a timely fashion, and causes us all to do something about the out-of-control perks that have so clearly polluted the electoral process while needlessly wasting millions if not billions of taxpayer dollars. --Steven B. Chameides, Esq., Foley & Lardner LLP

Bob Gray has been a Washington powerhouse from Eisenhower to Obama, with longtime personal knowledge and experience from inside the White House and the Oval Office. He deftly leads the reader on a tour of the Royal Kingdom that has grown up around the American President. This is one of the most important books of this political season. A must read for all Americans. --The Hon. John Herrington, Reagan Secretary of Energy and former Chairman, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich publishing company

For over fifty years, Bob Gray has been a keen observer of the White House and its inhabitants - both from the inside and from the outside. From his unique vantage point, in this astounding book, he has depicted the serious danger to America's constitutional government that emanates from the executive mansion. --The Hon. Edwin Meese III, former Attorney General of the United States

About the Author

A close friend to five presidents, Bob Gray was Appointments Secretary to the President and member of Eisenhower's Cabinet. He was active in the campaigns of Richard Nixon, Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator Eugene McCarthy, Governor Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush.

Gray served as National Communications Director of the Reagan/Bush campaign and Co-Chairman of Reagan's 1981 Presidential inaugural. A well-known lobbyist and Worldwide Chairman of Hill and Knowlton, he founded Gray and Company, the only public affairs firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He remains active in public affairs.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 131 pages
  • Publisher: New Voices Press (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974810355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974810355
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #805,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bruce E. Woych on September 22, 2015
Format: Hardcover
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/25/us/robert-gray-a-powerhouse-in-washington-dies-at-92.html
From the NY Times obituary 4/25/2014 for this author: "The letterhead on Mr. Gray’s stationery listed the address as “The Powerhouse, Washington, D.C.”
In 1986, Hill & Knowlton bought Gray & Company for $21 million and put Mr. Gray in charge, again, of its Washington office.
Six years later he was the subject of an unflattering book, “The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington,” by Susan B. Trento. The book recounted many examples of his brazen way of doing business, including how Hill & Knowlton earned $10 million from a group financed by the government of Kuwait for trying to sway public opinion in favor of American military action after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990."

Gray was not only an influence peddler but one of the corrupting influences in Washington DC over the entire second half of the 20th Century. Greed & Power in a steady flow of distorted public relations meant to misdirect the public and concentrate power in the wrong hands. This is the quintessential case of the pot calling the kettle black.
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Format: Hardcover
This book had so many mistakes, exaggerations and outright fictions that it was worthless. I have read many books on the presidency and various men who held the office. I've done research on all aspects of presidential pay, benefits, and the perks that are part of the job because I teach a class on it. This author must have done no research at all, other than to pass along unfounded rumors.
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Format: Hardcover
First, about the author: "In the 1992 book, The Power House by Susan B. Trento, "tells how Mr. Gray, after unabashedly peddling access for decades, reached the apex of his influence when his friend Ronald Reagan moved into the White House." [Darth Vader of the Lobbyists. By Stephen Labaton, The New York Times, August 23, 1992] This book led to a defamation lawsuit by Gray against Trento and St. Martin's Press, in which Gray's claims were dismissed.[Gray v. St. Martin's Press, 221 F3d. 243, 1st Cir. 2000]

The Power House: Robert Keith Gray and the Selling of Access and Influence in Washington

There is no doubt that Washington lobbyists are exerts in the area of excess and lavish sending - but their honesty and integrity have never been strong points.

Garbage in - garbage out
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Format: Hardcover
This book is so full of lies, it should have embarressed the publisher. The Washington Post fact checked the lies spewed out by this author and found the book so full of lies it is not worth wasting your time. George W had a 1.5 billion dollar budget, this book sat quiet until Obama's White House budget came in at 1.4 billion and then screamed dictator. Not a mention of Secret Service protection, Air Force One maintenaince, staff. There are not 5 chefs on Air Force One and everyone who eats there has to pay $20 for each meal. There is not a White House Dog Walker. The groundskeeper who has been walking Presidential Dogs for 30 years walks Obama's dog, but this author thinks the President's time would be better spent picking up dog poop instead of leading the greatest country in the world. Please don't waste your time on this dog poop of a book. It is full of crap.
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Format: Hardcover
Readers: This book has earned notoriety because of Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann's citing of it in her recent (March 2013) attacks on President Obama's supposed profligacy. Here is a section from the Post's recent assessment of Bachmann's charges and--indirectly--this ludicrous book:

In this case, Bachmann appears to be citing the self-published book "Presidential Perks Gone Royal," by Republican lobbyist Robert Keith Gray, though one wonders whether she actually read the book -- which is only 131 pages -- or just read a summary that appeared in the Daily Caller, since many of her points are highlighted in the Daily Caller article.

The Fact Checker read the book so that you don't have to. It provides no specific sourcing for any of its claims, though in the back it provides a list of articles and books that presumably the author consulted. He claims that the book is not intended as an attack on President Obama, but only on the imperial trappings of the presidency, though the subtitle of the book is: "Your taxes are being used for Obama's re-election."

The Pinocchio Test

The modern-day White House is certainly an expensive enterprise, and perhaps Bachmann would be on more solid ground if she had framed her concern about presidential perks in a less partisan manner -- or if a Republican were president.

But there is big difference between "perks and excess" and security necessary to protect the president. So using the broad $1.4 billion figure is fairly misleading in that context.

Moreover, the money spent on the presidency and the so-called perks she describes appear to be no different for Obama than for Bush or other presidents. It's absurd to suggest otherwise.

Four Pinocchios
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Format: Kindle Edition
Presidential Perks Gone Royal: Your Taxes Are Being Used For Obama's by Robert Keith Gray
I first took the time to read the Washington post fact check article posted by Glenn Kessler on the inaccuracies on this book before purchasing it. Found the Washington Post article highly disappointed because it focus way too much on what Michele Bachman said or did not say. In addition the post comments from the readers about this kind of article was; as often these kinds of post attract; an opportunity for abusive bashing of the character of public figures. Sadly, the point the many authors of these comments came across as childish and took away from the points that Glenn Kessler tried to make, which was: to prove with a few points that Michelle Bachman lied and therefore the book content had to be all false (?! ) Also, there seems to be too much focus on the cost of Presidential pet and what the past President versus the current President has spent thus far, when the rest of the book in question is full of many other important issues.

Now to the book in question: I'm glad I read the book and I recommend it to anyone that want to get a better picture as to how much of our tax dollars are used to protect and maintain the first family and run the many government agencies. This book serves to remind people; like me and many out there that are often too busy with our jobs and taking care of our families; to pay closer attention to what is going on now, or what have gone on the past. But better yet, what might come with the 2016 presidential elections because the results might not be what we hope for.
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