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Rick Perry's "Fed Up!" may actually win him some votes

Unlike the bulk of campaign books, Rick Perry's "Fed Up!" has something to say – and is winning some praise in the press.

By Husna Haq / August 16, 2011

States, Perry thinks, are simply more capable at solving problems, than the federal government. “Most problems get better solutions when they’re solved at the local level,” he writes in "Fed Up!".

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You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you may be able to judge a campaign by its book.

Political books, those god-awful, ghostwritten, self-aggrandizing publicity contraptions masquerading as books are usually, well, awful. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein calls them "autohagiography," since most politicians are about as close to being saintly as Thaddeus McCotter is to winning the GOP nomination.

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“These books are autohagiography,” writes Mr. Klein. “[T]hey have to appeal to everyone, exalt the author (or supposed author), and offend no one. That’s basically impossible. So they throw the need to be appealing overboard and instead settle for boring.”

Take former Minnesota governor (and now former GOP presidential candidate) Tim Pawlenty’s recent book, “Courage to Stand,” as Klein suggests. In the following passage, Pawlenty describes meeting Ronald Reagan (well, sort of):

“I didn’t have a chance to interact with him, but it was meaningful to me just to be in his presence.... What struck me most as President Reagan spoke to that crowd was his smile. He seemed genuinely happy and joyful and pleasant.”

Genuinely dull. Boring. Uninspired. A flop. Kind of, sadly, like Pawlenty’s campaign, which crashed this weekend before it even took off.

“Pawlenty’s attacks are fairly limited,” Politifact writes about T-Paw’s tome. “[H]is book is hardly the full-throated attack on a political opponent like Romney’s 'No Apology' was. It’s not a law professor-ish primer on policy positions, either, like Barack Obama’s 'The Audacity of Hope.' And it doesn’t have the campaign trail scoops and score-settling digs of Sarah Palin’s 'Going Rogue.' ”

He’s no Romney. Certainly not Obama. Not even Palin. Sounds like Pawlenty.

“I tried to read former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty’s ‘Courage to Stand,’ book,” writes Klein, “which was perhaps the worst book I ever read in my life.”

Pawlenty became the first GOP hopeful to bow out when he exited the race this past weekend. If we had read his book, we might have seen it coming.

Meanwhile, a new cowboy – er, candidate – has entered the ring, toting his own political book. Incredibly, according to some reviews, it’s not half-bad, either.

As soon as Texas governor Rick Perry entered the race this Saturday, his book moved into the top 400 on Amazon.com and is out of stock until Friday.

“ 'Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington,' ” is Perry’s 240-page manifesto on turning America around, Perry-style. (Ironically, the book’s forward is written by Newt Gingrich, now Perry’s rival in the GOP nominating race.)

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