Ingraham's THE OBAMA DIARIES Effectively Skewers Political Pundits
Nov 9, 2010
You have to wonder about the audience for books of this sort and those who would go reading reviews on Amazon regarding it. Now, that's not intended as a slight regarding either side of the political spectrum, folks ... it's just an honest reflection on the 'state of affairs' when it comes to considering political persuasive books.
In short, I don't believe you're seriously going to consider buying this book if you're an Obama supporter, and that's a shame. Personally, I found THE OBAMA DIARIES to be quite funny, as others have reported fairly in the reviews. Humor is difficult, and, of course, it varies from reader to reader, but what Ms. Ingraham is doing here is predictably mocking the media presentation of these figures. Politicians -- especially those in presidential administrations -- tend to get caricatured (sp?) by their respective media enemies, and that's what DIARIES does very well. Obama looks at himself as larger than life, more influential that God, as that's largely how he's been portrayed by his media supporters and cronies. Michelle comes across as sometimes disinterested in her role but not disinterested in how persuasive and inspiring she's see herself, and that may not be all that far from the mark depending upon which stories you read about her. Rahm Emanual (sp?) gets some scathing laughs by outlandishly swearing every third or fourth word, and, for those of you inclined to chuckle at an inappropriate swear word or two, then you're in for some pleasant moments. And Joe Biden undermines his own case as an effective human being by displaying the clueless swagger he's portrayed for over three decades. Again, that's not intended as a political barb; it's simply a statement of fact (even Obama has said, "That's just Joe being Joe"), and, in the situations presented here, Ingraham captures the folly of celebrity government at its most inept.
However, Ms. Ingraham counters the majority of these diary entries with her own analysis, and therein lies some of the drawbacks to the book. If you're a fan of hers, then you're bound to appreciate what she offers. Very little will come as a surprise. The book gets inappropriately titled THE OBAMA DIARIES and not all of these "diaries" (fictional that they are) belong to Obama. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this is a compilation work with diary entries from many folks in the administration. So, yeah, I was a tad disappointed because I perhaps didn't get as many laughs at one politician or political figure, but I was pleasantly surprised, by the most part, with the many points of view covered. The weakest attempts here, so far as I'm concerned, involved Michelle's mother, who came to the White House to essentially serve as "First Nanny." While some of the observations the nanny's observations are humorous, I found them to be mostly unimportant because she isn't a national figure, I don't have any real association to her, and the other characters of Obama, Michelle, Biden, and Rahm (and others) were just far more interesting.
Ms. Ingraham's analysis has some highs and lows, as well, but, like I said, I don't think you're going to pick this book up and give it a read (though I challenge you to) if conservatism isn't your cup of tea. Mostly, I drew more lessons from her parody than I did her overall text -- a bit of a departure from her earlier works -- but, as a creative stretch, I think Laura could have a gig as a comedy writer should she find the right material. She handles a variety of situations with great mirth, and I'd gladly pick up another read from her in the future.
But seriously, folks ... enjoy the humor here. That's clearly what I believe the author wanted you to take away from the book. You may not learn as many life lessons as you'd hope for, but you'll come away more entertained than enlightened ... and that's never a bad thing.