Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dan Quayle: Airhead Apparent

1992, probably first edition, from Potatoe Press
Paul Slansky & Steve Radlauer
Dan Quayle: Airhead Apparent: A Fair, Unbiased Look at Our Nation's Most Dangerous Dimwit
Bought new for $4.95
Worn paperback

I was pleasantly but not strongly surprised to find that this book holds up well.  Obviously, it's a product of its time, and it's delightful to see such names as Faludi, Blount, Ivins, Nader, Matt Groening, Douglas McGrath (a few years before writing and directing the Beckinsdale Emma), Pat Schroeder (the representative who coined the term Teflon President), and at least three early SNL writers (Rosie Shuster, Neil Levy, and a macabre as ever Michael O'Donoghue).  They all have great quotes, as does, in his own twisted way, Dan Quayle himself.  If I have to narrow it down, I choose Quayle's "What a waste it is to lose one's mind.  Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful.  How true that is," and this one from an ordinary Newsweek reader, in response to the cover question, "Is He a Lightweight--Or Smarter Than You Think?":  "Quayle could be much smarter than I think and still be a lightweight."  I think of that comment fairly often actually, when faced with unsatisfactory either/or's.

Slansky and Radlauer aren't just stringing together quotes like Ducovny's Perfectly Clear, or analyzing Reagan and Bush's quotes, like Green & MacColl and Brady & Solomon respectively.  They also examine his political record, in Congress, Senate, and Vice-Presidency.  It's clearly not a fair or unbiased look (or meant to be) but it's much more intelligent and funnier than Hendra's Bush book.

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