Sunday, January 3, 2010

Now It's My Turn by Mary Cheney

I had been pretty interested in this memoir when I Mooched it a few months ago. But I have to say, it did not live up to my expectations. I guess I figured it would be less about Dick Cheney and more about Mary Cheney, but it really wasn't. It seemed to be Dick Cheney through his daughter's eyes. I wanted some introspection on how it felt to be a Log Cabin Republican, but Mary Cheney really didn't get into that. Of course, she talked about her sexuality to the extent that it is a part of who she is and to the extent that it played some sort of role in the election, but I guess I was looking for more than just, "It made me mad when John Kerry used my sexuality as a plank in his election platform."

And I'd also hoped that it would cover more than just the two election years, but it didn't. Mary Cheney served as her father's campaign manager during the 2000 election, and his director of operations during the 2004 election. The book chronicles those two elections cycles and not much else. There are some anecdotes from her childhood, but almost nothing about the years between 2000 and 2004, when Dick Cheney was actually serving as Vice President. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I wanted more from this memoir than just election coverage.

Another reason I didn't really care for the book was the potshots at Democrats. I'm a liberal Dem myself and I just didn't appreciate the snide comments. I'm sure left-wing memoirs take shots at Republicans, too, but I don't imagine they like hearing the comments any more than I did. It was hard, getting into the groove of the book, only to come up against some little zinger aimed at the left. The comments were few and far between, but they were also mostly unnecessary. I know, I know, it's a memoir, she's entitled to put her personality into it! But...they were just unpleasant for me and distracted from the overall events she was describing.

I will say, though, that despite the above quibbles, I raced through the book. It was interesting learning more about the election process than I ever knew before. Mary Cheney has seen it all and gave a great insider's perspective, for both a newcomer and an incumbent.

Overall, I'll give the book three out of five Whatevers. It was close to getting a two and a half, but it did keep me enthralled, so that saved it. Recommended for Republicans who ENJOY potshots at Democrats, anyone who wants to learn more about the election process from the inside out, and anyone who wants more info about the elections of 2000 and 2004.

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