This is a good book. I thought it was going to be either a polemical diatribe or a “Aren’t I wonderful, aren’t I great!” self-promotion like so many political autobiographies, but this one is by turns humble, informative and, of course, funny. Franken has a real appreciation for the challenges inherent in the job of being a US Senator from Minnesota, as well as its occasional absurdities, and he has a talent for encapsulating serious policy into digestible bites of clear prose. Why, he could teach civics in high school. If we still taught civics in high school.
If you were expecting a beat-down on the Republican Party, yeah, there’s some of that, but he reserves his big guns for Ted Cruz (nobody likes that guy, including Republicans).
…the problem with Ted–and the reason so many senators have a problem with Ted–is simply that he is an absolutely toxic coworker…Real senatoring requires that you build productive relationships with your colleagues. And Ted just isn’t that kind of guy.
(I’m going to use ‘senatoring’ someday in a book myself. With attribution, of course.) Franken, on the other hand, has managed to make friends even with Mitch McConnell.
“Mitch,” I said, “I have to say, I really like your speeches better that aren’t in the service of evil.”
Mitch favored me with his best Grinch smile. Then he said, “I like the evil ones better.”
Also Franken has a gift for footnoting (just go with it), as in
Until 1964, Dad had been a liberal Republican.*
*Those used to exist.
Enjoyable, informative, and maybe even a little hopeful. Maybe. Recommended.
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