You know that a book is boring when you read the reviews and you're like, and this was the exciting shit? Or when the reviews are like, "the book gets really boring after she wins actual power and commences blowing up stuff and her whole plan to bring peace to the Middle East goes totally to shit." Or when the reviews are all: "her Ph.D. topic was Czech-Soviet military relations, a subject even more boring and idea-free than that of most political-science Ph.Ds" and then you scroll down and find that opinion to belong to someone who spent like five years writing a book "explains the role that concentration camps played in the Soviet political and economic system." Or when another review is all, "Bumiller's book is essentially a 400-page Sunday magazine profile." (That's about 390 pages more boring than the last reallly boring work of thinky-think wonky-wonk "to be sure" blatherty blather we regretted reading.) Anyway, all this is why we're so relieved we discovered the blog of Princess Sparkle Pony, a Wonkette contributor who — thrill of thrills! — monitors Condoleeza Rice (and her hairstyle) for a living! (Okay, "living.")
Princess Sparkle Pony is obsessed with Condi. For sure this guy could find something of interest in the new Condi Rice book, yes?????
So you know what the best, most exciting part of last week was? Waiting for Elizabeth Bumiller's Condiography to finally come out on Tuesday! You know what the worst, most boring part of last week was? Reading it! OMG, so boring!
Okay, I will concede. Here is one passage that was sorta interesting from the book:
Rice will have a difficult time shaking off one unflattering image served up by the book — of misjudging the Palestinian electorate. While on her elliptical trainer at 5 a.m on Jan. 26, 2006, she noticed surprising words scroll across the bottom of the television screen: "In wake of Hamas victory, Palestinian cabinet resigns." She had gone to bed sure that Hamas, which the United States had branded a terrorist organization, had lost the Palestinian parliamentary elections. She continued to exercise and then phoned her lieutenants at the State Department. They told her the television scroll was accurate. "Oh my goodness," she told herself, "Hamas won?"
Oh my goodness, do you think maybe she coulda thrown us a bone here and used the word "Fuck"????? Maybe to indicate the fact that OMG holy shit Israel and Palestine were FUCKED? Well, to do that she would have to, like, care about something. Maybe democracy?
What distinguishes Ms. Bumiller's book from other initial studies of the Bush administration and its principal actors is its absence of finger pointing or polemics. Ms. Bumiller's biography is scrupulously fair and most notable for its above-the-battle tone. In Ms. Bumiller's rendering Ms. Rice is neither hero nor villain but an ambitious woman whose achievements and shortcomings speak for themselves. "It was obvious from Rice's many metamorphoses that her real ideology was not idealism or realism or defending the citadels of freedom, although she displayed elements of all of them," Ms. Bumiller writes. "Her real ideology was succeeding."
So she's like Hillary but without Monica?
The book does have a bland overall flavor—I couldn't quite make out whether Bumiller actually liked Rice. And it doesn't fully answer the No. 1 burning question about Condi's personal life, except to point out that she once almost married a professional football player, though no one seems to know why it fell through....But Bumiller may be reflecting the blandness, or rather the remoteness, of Rice herself.
A Woman Of Ambition, Neither Hero Nor Villain [New York Times]
Condoleezza Rice, An American Life [LA Times]
The Mystery Of Condi Rice [Slate]
Condi Rice: Gingerbread Woman [Wonkette]
Condi Book Ignores Blood On Her Hands [Bloomberg]