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Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook
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LEADING CONSERVATIVES PRAISE LATIMER'S
New Book by Former Bush Administration Writer Hailed by Right
"Probably the most important political book of the year… [Matt is] one heck of a great conservative. It seems to me [it is] getting a very good reaction from conservatives around the country… The last time I read a book that was this funny was Christopher Buckley's White House Mess."
Jed Babbin, Editor, Human Events
"Latimer comes across as honest...He's a deft writer, and has a good eye and a nice turn of phrase. You may find yourself surprised by what he has to report. I was. ... Let me simply admit that I was darned entertained by Speech-less...Latimer's contribution to the [White House memoir] shelf is welcome and worthy."
--Christopher Buckley, bestselling writer and commentator
"It's a good read… quite frankly, the stories are funny!"
Pat Buchanan, MSNBC news analyst and contributor
"Lots of people write accounts of their time at the White House. Virtually no one has done it as well... This book is excellent: funny, sensible, informative, interesting as hell, and beautifully written. If only there had been more Matt Latimers in the Bush administration."
Tucker Carlson, Fox News analyst, former co-host of CNN's "Crossfire"
"Matt Latimer's hilarious account reads like political satire, except it's all true…Latimer's description of government bureaucracy should be framed and placed in every government office… completely accurate and completely hilarious."
Ann Coulter, Best-selling Author and Fox News analyst
"It's fair to say that President Bush left office having disappointed many conservatives, despite his success at keeping the American homeland free from terrorist attack for seven years after 9/11… Mr. Bush said, 'but I redefined the Republican Party.' That may have been true, but how well did that work out for the Republican Party?"
John Fund, Editorial Page, The Wall Street Journal
"[G]ives Republicans in particular a lot to think about if they ever hope to reclaim power…Even more than the messages this book conveys, at its heart this is a compelling story about idols who sometimes disappoint you..."
Stephen F. Hayes, Senior Writer Weekly Standard, Fox News contributor
"A lot of really positive things about President Bush in this book… I like knowing more about what's happening in these halls of power. And as a conservative,… I'm fascinated by this because this can't happen again to the Republican Party. This party can't go down this road of big spending... That's not conservatism. Matt Latimer, Speech-less... Be your own judge. Pick it up and check it out and don't believe everything necessarily that you're hearing."
Laura Ingraham, Host, The Laura Ingraham Show
"A lot of conservatives that have read [Matt's] book have called me up and just said, 'Ok, so this was the problem with [Bush] all along.'"
Joe Scarborough, Host, MSNBC's Morning Joe
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Matt Latimer was one of President Bush’s top speechwriters from March 2007 to October 2008. He was also chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for three years.
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Top customer reviews
Latimer had a swift ride from Columbia University to the Oval Office. He briefly worked for a senator and a couple of Congressmen before hitting the big time with a speech-writing gig for Donald Rumsfeld (Although the Rumster had a colorful and rather biblical style of his own:"Whatever it is we do substantively, yea that there will be near-perfect clarity as to what it is. Yea And it will be known. Yea And it will be known to the Congress. Yea And it will be known to you. Yea and Probably before we decide it." Okay, the yeas are mine, but still...)
After Mr. Rumsfeld became persona non grata with the American people, he got the old Stink Eye from the White House and the blame for mishandling the Iraq War. Latimer is an old-fashioned Conservative and did not find Robert Gates, Rumsfeld's successor, to his liking. Even those of us who thought Rumsfeld might have been slipping gently into wackiness recognized him as a man who had some sense of honor. A few conversations with Gates convinced Latimer that the new guy was not a chip off the old Rumsfeld, calling him "Winston Wolf." (You will recall that is the name of Harvey Keitel's character, the scary and uber-efficient cleaner of bodies, blood and viscera in "Pulp Fiction.")
Fortunately there's in opening in The Show and Latimer steps up to the plate in the big leagues, writing for the Boss Himself, George W. Bush.
While the book is light in tone and Latimer tweaks the former President only gently, some fairly jaw-dropping revelations are made. "My eyes were popped at the amount of power that speechwriters wield," he tell us. Lattimer and his callow colleagues - none of whom had any real grasp of the issues they wrote about -- often made public policy by putting their words into the President's mouth based on personal feelings, polls, office gossip or on what they thought the President might find easy to say.
Disheartening, certainly, but probably not the worst thing ever said about Bush. For my part, I'd probably have prefered the policies dreamed up by an idealistic speechwriter compared to those ratcheted out of the throbbing brains of Cheney and Rove.
I'm surprised to see this book referred to as a knife job. I'm sure anyone working in the Bush White House (or anyone's White House) could have fried some bigger fish. As a committed Conservative, Latimer can't be called a traitor to the cause, because he's not. If anything, he damns Dubya with faint praise, not with any assault.
You can look for potshots, but any I found were fairly innocuous. In fact, nothing much is revealed. The book tells us what we already knew, that Dick Cheney was a master manipulator and Karl Rove the engine driving the administration.
In fact, in several places, he reveals a human side - and a smarter side - to the President that will surprise some readers. While the Republican Party was becoming besotted with Sarah palin, George Bush had the discernment to recognize her for the egregiously uninformed loose cannon and ill-suited running mate she turned out to be and was vociferous in his distaste for her. He spotted her for what she was long before McCain's people or the press had an inkling.
If you want dish on George W. Bush, you'll probably enjoy the book. If you want blood, it's not going to give you your gory fix. Compared to memoirs by Ted Sorenson or Dean Acheson, this is definitely bush league. Still, it's an interesting look at the day to day Bush White House particularly if followed up with Scott McClellan's "What Happened."
Most recent customer reviews
But I wouldn't want to have worked alongside Latimer.Read more