Running Mates: The Making of a First Lady

Ann Grimes, Author William Morrow & Company $21.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-688-08532-2
Journalist Grimes's slate is made up of the spouses of the presidential hopefuls of 1988. The 13 range from stoically faithful Lee Hart to careerists Tipper Gore and Elizabeth Dole. After the primaries, the field narrows to old-fashioned Barbara Bush and attractive, tormented Kitty Dukakis, perhaps the campaign's most conspicuous casualty and certainly the woman most fully realized in the book. Skillfully tracking the two to the present, Grimes allows us to watch as Kitty Dukakis blooms in the limelight and then wilts in its glare, while Barbara Bush, confident in her traditional role, strides into the White House. The author respectfully analyzes all these wives' styles as each tests her mettle in a national crucible. Grimes comes to the not unexpected conclusion that the country isn't yet ready for a First Lady who is more than a ``podium prop''--and that each woman considered here loses her individuality as she is packaged for public consumption. Such running mates still serve, argues Grimes, as ``unsalaried surrogates'' for their husbands, and are the real losers in the political arena. BOMC alternate; author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
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