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An eye opening view of the US elected officials I enjoyed Mr Latimer s account of achieving his dream on becoming a speech writer for the White House staff and what it was really like behind the scenes during the Bush Administration He became disillusioned with the GOP party and didn t we all Some of his idols turned out to be not so nice after all I enjoyed his insight, wit and writing style. Admittedly partisan in its approach, Latimer s book is still an entertaining insider account of a niche career field in a niche industry As a former speechwriter myself, I could identify with almost all of his stories to some degree and felt both sympathy and empathy along the way.His focus on interpersonal relationships cut to the core of what speechwriting is all about giving your principal the best opportunity to be the best version of themselves, often without speaking directly with them Admittedly partisan in its approach, Latimer s book is still an entertaining insider account of a niche career field in a niche industry As a former speechwriter myself, I could identify with almost all of his stories to some degree and felt both sympathy and empathy along the way.His focus on interpersonal relationships cut to the core of what speechwriting is all about giving your principal the best opportunity to be the best version of themselves, often without speaking directly with them In the end, most endeavors in life come down to relationships and speechwriting is no different He also clearly brings out some of the most important relationships those of key individuals who are not your principal, but may have evenaccess and influence than you do.For anyone considering doing something similar in Washington D.C., read this book first Whereas Noonan had her What I Saw at the Revolution, Latimer has his what in the world am I doing hereLatimer served as a speechwriter in House and Senate offices before moving to the Department of Defense as Donald Rumsfeld s speechwriter and finally to his dream job presidential speechwriter, during the final years of President Bush s 2nd term His account is funny, engaging, and sometimes saddening Latimer clearly respects Rumsfeld a lot, but found himself disillusioned by a White House t Whereas Noonan had her What I Saw at the Revolution, Latimer has his what in the world am I doing hereLatimer served as a speechwriter in House and Senate offices before moving to the Department of Defense as Donald Rumsfeld s speechwriter and finally to his dream job presidential speechwriter, during the final years of President Bush s 2nd term His account is funny, engaging, and sometimes saddening Latimer clearly respects Rumsfeld a lot, but found himself disillusioned by a White House that lacked principles and coherence The one strange thing about this tale is that Latimer sometimes presents people he didn t respect as too liberal and presents other such people as too conservative We are left to wonder what Latimer s principles are, though smaller government certainly seems to be one of them The whole book moves fast, but the fastest moving part is near the end when Latimer is discussing how the October 2008 economic bailout came to be, how few understood it, and how the White House worked to try to explain what it didn t understand We are left, ultimately, with an unflattering picture of our federal government Many insider books are flattering to the point of embarrassment and lacking in substance to the point of worthlessness This is not one of those books Latimer is blunt and honest There are a lot of books coming out right now by White House staffers during the Obama administration, and I ve already read several of them So I thought, in fairness, it would be good to read some by staff of previous administrations, to appreciate how, regardless of political positions, there would be a shared sense of passion and doing the best for one s country This book..was not a good call for accomplishing that goal.Matthew Latimer is an arrogant, petty, mean spirited, self centered There are a lot of books coming out right now by White House staffers during the Obama administration, and I ve already read several of them So I thought, in fairness, it would be good to read some by staff of previous administrations, to appreciate how, regardless of political positions, there would be a shared sense of passion and doing the best for one s country This book..was not a good call for accomplishing that goal.Matthew Latimer is an arrogant, petty, mean spirited, self centered prick He doesn t like or respect much of anyone, and even those he pretends to like at first, he really is hero worshiping, to then become disillusioned by any indication they re, gasp, human, and turn on them viciously His writing style is weak and his personality is even weaker This man had a front row seat to witness the workings of the most powerful institution in the US and all I learned from his 300 page book was how insufferable a person he is Utterly horrifying Excellent memoir by a fellow who always wanted to work in the White House, but who found it a disappointing and disillusioning experience when he did He also worked at the Pentagon, and his comments about the then Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, are particularly interesting he seems to have genuinely liked Rummy , who does not come across as the ogre a lot of people seem to think he was What emerges very strongly is Latimer s sense of being let down by the leadership of the Republican p Excellent memoir by a fellow who always wanted to work in the White House, but who found it a disappointing and disillusioning experience when he did He also worked at the Pentagon, and his comments about the then Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, are particularly interesting he seems to have genuinely liked Rummy , who does not come across as the ogre a lot of people seem to think he was What emerges very strongly is Latimer s sense of being let down by the leadership of the Republican party he had supported for years But I feel this is an excellent read, even if you don t agree with his politics .Free Epub ⚕ Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor ♈ From a top speechwriter to President George W Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, this may be the most deliciously candid memoir ever written about official Washington a laugh out loud cri de coeur that shows what can happen to idealism in a town driven by self interest Despite being raised by reliably liberal parents, Matt Latimer is, from an early age, lured by the upbeat themes of the Reagan Revolution and, in the tradition of Mary Tyler Moore, sets off from the Midwest for the big city, determined to make it after all In Matt s glory filled daydreams, he will champion smaller government and greater self sufficiency, lower taxes and stronger defense and, by the force of his youthful passion, eradicate do nothing boondoggleism and lead America to new heights of greatnessBut first he has to find a job Like an inside the Beltway Dante, Matt chronicles his descent into Washington, DC hell, as he snares a series of increasingly lofty but unsatisfying jobs with powerful figures on Capitol Hill One boss can t remember basic facts Another appears to hide from his own staff, barricading himself in his office When Fate offers Matt a job as chief speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Matt finds he actually admires the man causing his liberal friends to shake their heads in dismay , his youthful passion is renewed But Rummy soon becomes a pi ata for the press, and the Department of Defense is revealed as alarmingly dysfunctional Eventually, Matt lands at the White House, his heart aflutter with the hope that, here at last, he can fulfill his dream of penning words that will become part of history and maybe pick up some cool souvenirs But reality intrudes once again More like The Office than The West Wing, the nation s most storied office building is a place where the staffers who run the country are in way over their heads, and almost everything the public has been told about the major players Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Rove is wrong Both a rare behind the scenes account that boldly names the fools and scoundrels, and a poignant lament for the principled conservatism that disappeared during the Bush presidency, Speech less will forever change the public s view of our nation s capital and the people who joust daily for its power From the Hardcover edition Interesting to read a tale from the inside I appreciate the honesty of Latimer and his diplomacy in revealing what I long suspected was at the heart of DC politics, though I assume this might be slightly self serving One needs to drop names to be believable I can only imagine there are plentytales like this to tell It is all pretty obvious from the outside It will be interesting to learn what Latimer does next in his life Given his law degree, I am sure he covered his bases when writ Interesting to read a tale from the inside I appreciate the honesty of Latimer and his diplomacy in revealing what I long suspected was at the heart of DC politics, though I assume this might be slightly self serving One needs to drop names to be believable I can only imagine there are plentytales like this to tell It is all pretty obvious from the outside It will be interesting to learn what Latimer does next in his life Given his law degree, I am sure he covered his bases when writing this I would still like to believe he is entirely sincere and does have a strong moral core that will withstand any momentary assault by ones ego He has a belief which he stands by which is nice to see whether I share his belief or not.Note I listened to the audio version of this book because it happened to be available for check out Living in DC for 4 years wasthan enough exposure to our depressing political machine for my lifetime I am not one who usually cares about this sort of thing That said no regrets on this enjoyable read that was just enough I m 20% through and starting to get the uncomfortable feeling that this book is entirely a self indulgent self biography, as opposed to an expose on the inner workings of the White House and Washington by someone who might know Thus far, the most damning insight about how congress works is that they use autopen machines What s worse is the author is truly unlikeable His attempts at sarcasm are boyish, his anecdotes punch less, and his self deprecation insincere So far, there is no wisdom her I m 20% through and starting to get the uncomfortable feeling that this book is entirely a self indulgent self biography, as opposed to an expose on the inner workings of the White House and Washington by someone who might know Thus far, the most damning insight about how congress works is that they use autopen machines What s worse is the author is truly unlikeable His attempts at sarcasm are boyish, his anecdotes punch less, and his self deprecation insincere So far, there is no wisdom here, nor any likable character One might get the sense from the tone of the title of the book and it s cover synopsis that the author is a rare republican who saw the inadequacies and inefficiencies of his own leadership One might then presume he had been changed by these experiences One would be disappointed, for sure So far, this is a wholly confused book about a guy who grew up with a rather obtuse sense of conservatism read his idea of a true conservative is as much about hair style, dress, and demeanor as it is about principles , happened to personally not like some of the players, and chose to write a book about them and call them out individually, in a rather crude and clumsy way The people he seems to like might seem rather awful to many readers, and the people he denigrates don t necessarily deserve his scorn, if he were to apply his judgments consistently to everyone Read, even casually, I can t escape the mild sense of vengeance in this book I say mild because so far, there is absolutely nothing scathing about it If I had to guess I would say the author was probably 18 years old I know this can t be true, but I won t be bothered looking up his age because I just don t care enough This book has put me into a deep malaise and I just want to watch TV and eat a donut On top of it all, it is absolutely the poorest attempt at writing in the form of storytelling I have ever read I m 20% through this book and I m praying that my Kindle dies I can understand his intentions, but they are all delivered flatly The anecdotes, the humor, all flat The story is truly boring, he possesses a raging, yet denied bias, he has a thin vocabulary, and what he considers sarcasm and wit are really just puns and lame one liners This is the annoying guy at the party that you want to root for because he doesn t get it, but turns out to be an asshole, so you just don t care He s also a card carrying unquestioning regan republican who likely doesn t understand what that really means AS a republican or TO any intelligent person All of this, and at just 20% through the book I beg of you, if you are considering reading this book, please, don t The End Speech less proves that the gods must have a perverse sense of humor Matt Latimer, a true believer Reagan Republican with a burning ambitition to become a presidential speechwriter, achieved that life long goal and ended up writing speeches for George W Bush during the horrible last year of his presidency Latimer s disillusionment with Washington, Bush and the Republican party is palpable and infuses his highly readable and gossipy book Latimer s view of politics is cynical, sarcastic and Speech less proves that the gods must have a perverse sense of humor Matt Latimer, a true believer Reagan Republican with a burning ambitition to become a presidential speechwriter, achieved that life long goal and ended up writing speeches for George W Bush during the horrible last year of his presidency Latimer s disillusionment with Washington, Bush and the Republican party is palpable and infuses his highly readable and gossipy book Latimer s view of politics is cynical, sarcastic and filled with fascinating observations about how Washington really works Perhaps Latimer s book also proves that s what s really sharper than the serpent s tooth is the ire that the idealogical purist reserves for the pragmatist Latimer refers to those centrist political figures that aren t driven by idealogy and sometimes even serve in either a Republican or a Democratic administration such as Robert Gates or David Gergen as cleaners It s not meant as a compliment, but maybe it should be These are the people that get things done and are often called upon by presidents to clean up the messes made by their less competent butpolitically pure collegues In other words, the people who actually make things work and get things done.Latimer, a small government, tax cuts Republican, doesn t hide the fact that he didn t respect the president he worked for, and regarded him as his administration as something akin to bumbling sell outs For instance, he writes of Karl Rove that he was notthe brilliant behind the scenes strategist He was what all the liberals said he was the villian and a clumsy one at that If that sounds like the angry lament of the true believer whose idealism has been shaken by the messy reality of how things really work, well, it is In the end, Latimer admits he lost such faith in the Republican party he d always believed in that he wasn t sure he was a Republican any Cynical and disillusioned, he seriously considered voting for Obama Whether he did or not is left wrapped in ambiguity What isn t ambiguous is how painful the journey of the true believer was for one very angry, former presidential speechwriter