Friday, June 13, 2008

The Scandal Plan: Or: How to Win the Presidency by Cheating on Your Wife (eBook edition)

I admit it. . . I am (or at least I used to be) something of a political junkie.  A regular watcher of CNN, MSNBC,CNBC and Comedy Central (Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert). 

This year has been something else!  Almost in spite of myself, I ended up watching all of the debates; both Democratic and Republican.  I am pretty sure I watched election night coverage for every primary. I even watched Hillary's concession speech on Saturday.  At this point, I am pretty well burned out on politics.

So if I am so sick of politics, why did I pick up The Scandal Plan by Bill Folman?  Probably because I couldn't help myself.

Satire appeals to my sense of the absurd and I am always a sucker for a good farce.  OK, I know it is hard to believe that anything could be more farcical then this year's election process; but actually this particular book is! 

Folman pokes fun at the American obsession with image and political correctness.  We want our candidates to be perfect; but not too perfect.  We want them to be Statesmen; but we want to sit down and have a beer with them.  We want them to be authentic; but we are unforgiving of any slips of the tongue or small gaffes.

Folman also has a little fun with the media.  He pokes fun at the 24 hour news cycle and the silliness of over reporting.  He points out how really easy it is to create a news story out of nothing.

The book is an easy read and it is tempting to pass it off as silly and overly cynical.  But I found it to be surprisingly insightful.  Folman takes dead aim at the current political landscape and almost always hits his marks. If nothing else it is a great morality tale on the unintended consequences of a lie. 

The Scandal Plan is highly entertaining; the perfect answer to political burnout and a great beach read!

The publisher says:

Senator Ben Phillips is the perfect man for the presidency. If only he weren't such a straight arrow. He's getting battered in the polls, and with only a few months until Election Day, his staff is growing desperate. Enter Thomas Campman, political guru. On a sudden inspiration, the eccentric Campman is convinced he can revitalize the candidate's image by creating a fake sex scandal for him. Nothing too over-the-top—just a little scandal to make Phillips seem more human. Maybe even cool.

Though it takes some convincing, Phillips gives Campman the green light. The plan is set in motion, and, right on schedule, a phony former mistress steps forward to accuse the senator of infidelity. But scandals—even the premeditated kind—rarely go as planned. Before long, Campman's scheme snowballs into a three-ring circus complete with a linguistically challenged Mexican chauffeur who thinks he's James Bond, a highly sexed middle-aged woman who's convinced she'll never land one of the really good guys, and a political cub reporter for TeenVibe magazine who's sure he's on the trail of the biggest story since Watergate.

For those too well acquainted with politics-as-usual, The Scandal Plan is the perfect antidote. It's a witty political farce in the tradition of Jon Stewart and Dave Barry that will have readers—and even candidates—laughing all the way to the polls.

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