It’s time once again to track my progress as I try to tackle Richard Ben Cramer’s Magnum Opus, “What It Takes” about the 1988 Presidential campaign.
As I’ve stated previously, this book is very long and has very small print.
Let’s see how it’s going.
I’ve now been reading “What It Takes” for 14 days. I am on page 329, which is the first page of chapter 22. This might sound impressive, until I remind you that the book is 1,051 pages and 130 chapters long.
It took until the early 200′s for both Joe Biden and Dick Gephardt to be introduced. But now, we know all 6 candidates vying for the Presidency. Here’s an interesting note, nearly all of these guys had dealt with unspeakable tragedy before launching their campaigns:
-George Bush was shot down over the Pacific while fighting in World War 2, then his daughter died of Leukemia when she was 2.
-Bob Dole was so severely injured in Europe during World War 2 that he was expected to die, multiple times.
-Michael Dukakis had a brother who suffered from mental illness and ultimately died after being in a coma from a bicycle crash
-Dick Gephardt’s oldest child had cancer when he was a year and a half old.
-Joe Biden’s first wife and daughter died in a car crash that also critically injured his two sons. (This has not yet been mentioned in the book, but it’s been hinted at)
-I’m not sure what happened to Gary Hart yet, but there are hints that something shady went down with his mother.
As I noted when I began this ridiculous venture that no one cares about but me, I love books. I also have a lot of them. So many, in fact, that there are some that I know I will never read. But, that does not mean I won’t use them.
Recently, my box spring began to sag beneath the bed frame. I blame a combination of age, slanted bedroom floor, my weight and vigorous self abuse for the problem. Either way, I became alarmed that the entire bed would collapse while I was sleeping, thus thrusting me, headfirst, into my nightstand. And there I would lie, concussed and bleeding, until the last breaths of life escaped my body. But, then, I remembered the books.
Here’s how I jury rigged my bed, to fix the problem
And I thought it was silly when they sent me two copies of Merril Hoge’s autobiography.