By-the-numbers political soap opera by former campaign staffer (Kerry/Edwards, Obama/Biden, Cuomo, Clinton) and debut novelist Siegel.
The fifth directive on a campaign staffer’s list of to-do’s and not-to-do’s is this: Pack light. “Wrinkle-free suits could look totally different with a new shirt, and a black shift dress worked for everything.” So glosses young Olivia Greenley, stealing a march from The Accidental Tourist, delighted nonetheless to discover that the campaign bus on which she’s signed up has anchored next to a Super Target. On that list, at least if the staffer is a sensible young woman, of course, is this admonition: Don’t sleep with the boss. Well, Olivia’s better at observing the rules of packing than those of dallying. After all, with a dreamboat governor now putting it all on the line to run for president, what’s to keep a girl from doing a Monica? Well, he’s not just a dreamboat. Shoe-conscious Olivia, whose heart melts at the sight of Jimmy Choos, notes first thing that the candidate’s “gorgeous wife” hits the deck wearing Christian Louboutins. The shoe consciousness will doubtless speak to Candace Bushnell fans, but that’s as close as we get to smart thinking about policy in these pages. That gorgeous wife turns out to be a tough cookie of the sort Sigourney Weaver plays with such skill. A typical burst from her runs along the lines of, “Now, why in the fuck would I stand outside a Target all day? Do any of you know how fucking cold it is in Iowa in October?!” The candidate’s a weasel, naturally, which may send readers searching for clues as to who he might be modeled after. Someone sexy, to be sure, for Siegel serves up some light porn to speak to his skills: “His tongue moved hers back and forth. It was softer than she remembered. And it tasted of the pretzels from the ballroom tables, mixed with the spearmint Tic Tacs he was constantly popping.” Better that than stale cigars, one supposes....
Tired and predictable; there’s not a plot turn here that we haven’t seen before. Jimmy Choo will be happy, though.