Saturday, August 8, 2015

the last book I ever read (The Speechwriter by Barton Swaim, excerpt two)

from The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics by Barton Swaim:

The governor’s Christmas gifts were a yearly joke. In his congressional days, his wife had bought gifts for the staff, spending a modest sum, $200 or so, according to the legend. When he discovered this, he denounced his wife’s improvidence so forcefully that she vowed to leave the task to him. The result was a comedy that, in its way, was more valuable than actual gifts: the governor would regift items that had been given to him by grateful constituents throughout the year. My first year in the office I received a T-shirt advertising a hardware store (“a family business since 1972!”). The next year I received several cans of shoe polish wrapped in cellophane. Mack got a three-year-old jar of preserves. Another staffer received a Christmas ornament bearing the words “Merry Christmas! Love, the Peterkins.”

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