A BOOK FOR POLITICAL JUNKIES
If you are a political addict, you’ll love Bob Beckel’s new book — I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction. It’s about politics and addiction. Beckel, who lived most of his life high on booze, chronicles his alcoholism courageously and openly. But you end up wondering if he gets it: That his real addiction is to politics, not alcohol or drugs. And there is no twelve step program for that!
Beckel loves being on the inside and he relishes his role so much that he captures us and takes us on a wonderful ride through his career. We see Bob framing a key Senate aide by getting him drunk, taking him to a brothel, and then blackmailing him to get his boss to vote yes on the Panama Canal Treaty.
We go behind the scenes as Bob dreams up the “Where’s The Beef?” ad that doomed Gary Hart and gave Mondale the nomination.
We share Bob’s shock with he finds out that his vice-presidential candidate, Gerry Ferraro, won’t release her husband’s tax returns, sabotaging whatever chance Mondale had to win.
But most of all, we savor the highs and lows of political addiction. The high of winning. The rush that comes with the gamble. The hero/zero gauge in your mind that goes up with victory and crashes with defeat. The desperation that comes between gigs or during an off year. You tell yourself its about the money but its really about the high. This is an addiction that almost every full time political operative has. Bob Beckel is, it seems, the first one to write frankly about it.
But, thankfully, he also writes about the solution — dependence on a higher power. No more hard bitten, cynical, practical son-of-a-gun has ever gone through twelve steps than Bob. And it is a thrill to watch grace descend on him and lift him up. Now, if only God would make him a Republican!
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