Washington gossip

This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus,
Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s
Gilded Capital
by Mark

Yeah, I know we’re all ticked off about the government shut-down, but even as it raged on, I was reading delightedly about Washington, D.C.

Real-life motorcade I saw with my own eyes as it
rolled through Georgetown; I almost passed out from joy.

When I started
reading this book, I was completely blissed out. Even though it starts at a
funeral. Turns out, Tim Russert’s funeral was the social event of the year.

This book goes down
easy, like a hot fudge sundae. The tone is light and funny, even though much of
the content (politicians and journalists are in bed together, and really,
they’re the only ones who benefit) is not.
Mark Leibovich is a
funny guy. He’s also a complete smart-aleck. Sometimes the irreverence is
almost a bit much. But then I’d read a sentence like this: “Romney seemed to
acquire an instant lightness after his Ryan selection—like a shy eight-year-old
transformed by a new pet turtle.” (p. 316) And then I’d be all: That’s priceless.
Along those same
lines: “It was for this reason hard to dislike Biden, a joyful campaigner
who—unlike the introverted Obamneys—was not someone you imagined reaching for
the Purell as soon as he escaped the ropeline.” (p. 296)
I savored these
But there was a
whole big long chapter about a congressional staffer who got himself fired and
re-hired, and Leibovich was involved in the situation, and I got so darn bored
by all the details. It was too much. And I didn’t care. It was a relief when
that chapter (finally) ended.
And after that, I
found myself feeling the slightest bit like the book was too much, and it
didn’t feel like it was really very good for me. It felt a bit self-indulgent
and a little flip to be reading it, and I fled back to my other
political-book-in-progress, Collision
, for some whole wheat goodness. 
In the end, reading
This Town felt like eating a large
hot fudge sundae when I should’ve gone for a small. It was deliciously decadent, but there was a bit too much of it. 

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