TOO FUNNY TO BE PRESIDENT by Morris K. with Bob Neuman & Randy Udall Udall


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Arizona Congressman Udall offers a laugh-a-minute memoir of his nearly 30 years in the House. The serious side of his liberalism gets short shrift, but the jokes, new and old, are hard to resist. Udall is not an original wit, but an avid collector of folksy anecdotes and partisan zingers and gaffes. He believes good humor makes good politics. Proof? Kennedy and Reagan, two quick-draw quipsters, are the most popular presidents of our time. More proof'? The humorless Carter and Hart were both torpedoed by one-liners they lacked the wit to dodge (""There you go again,"" and ""Where's the beef?""). Udall began, as a one-eyed basketball star (to a sportswriter who didn't believe the other was glass, ""I plucked the slippery orb out of its socket and handed it to him, saying, 'Mister, I haven't been able to see much out of this one, you try it'"") from the Mormon hamlet of St. Johns, Ariz. (""so tiny they put the ENTERING and LEAVING signs on the same post"") who inherited his older brother's House seat when JFK made Stewart Udall Secretary of the Interior in 1961. He became a great environmental advocate--the 1980 Alaska Lands bill doubling our national parks may be his major achievement--after shooting his popularity in the foot in the 1960's by supporting a plan to dam part of the Grand Canyon. In 1976, he had the Avis of presidential campaigns, finishing second in seven straight primaries. Columnist David Broder later said, ""Mo Udall wanted to run for president in the worst way. . .and did."" Lite entertainment from Washington.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1987
Publisher: Henry Holt