This Town, the new offering by The New York Times Chief National Correspondent Mark Leibovich is so inside the Beltway the nation’s capital becomes a cul-de-sac.!
Leibovich promotes the book by warning, ” This Town does not contain an index. Those players wishing to know how they came out will need to read the book.” The reason the book has attained The New York Times Best Seller List must that every mindless egotist in DC has taken the authors advice. Unless you are a true political junkie there is not much here but it is a fun read for those who love politics and a few bold face names. The book reminds me of watching cable television on a very light news day!
Light, anecdotal and gossipy, this tome could easily have been named The Club, the high level of membership attainment which the author refers to as the elite of Washington DC. In reading This Town it is clear that Leibovich has attained membership in this esteemed group, having been given the imprimatur of a mention in Playbook. You will learn that one has not arrived in the DC social media world until so recognized by this daily Politico tip sheet. That honor at one time belonged to The Washington Post, and who knows it may again under the ownership of Jeff Bezos!
Leibovich is kind to most in the book. Two noteworthy exceptions are Harry Reid and Arianna Huffington. Harry Reid apparently never says goodbye during a phone conversation, he just hangs up when he has nothing more to say.
This Town is filled with depressing information for those from out-of-town. ” But almost no one leaves here anymore. Better to stay and monetize a Washington identity in the humming self-perpetuation machine.” ” The Atlantic had just reported that in 1974, 3 percent of retiring members of congress became lobbyists. Now 50 percent of senators and 42 percent of congressman do.” The payroll of the influencers eclipses the policymakers. This Town begs the question, are the influencers in fact the policymakers? There is no recession in Washington
Disingenuous best describes the daily activities and personal relationships in This Town and the author offers little hope that anything will change. A depressing thought.