1988 by Richard & Arnold Grossman Lamm


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First-novelist Lamm has been elected to three terms as Governor of Colorado while coauthor Grossman has created media campaigns for Lamm as well as for Gary Hart's big presidential bid. In many ways the two authors know whereof they write, but essentially this novel--in which a third party arises to spoil the 1988 presidential election and snooker the presidency from the Democrats and Republicans by a runoff vote in the House--could have been written without their special credentials. Democratic media-campaigner Jerry Bloom has never lost an election for one of his Congressional clients. Now, former governor of Texas Stephen Wendell, a multimillionaire, offers Bloom $1 million to switch allegiances and lead his third party of independents to an Oval Office victory with a socko media show such as only Bloom can create. However, Wendell's campaign is based on his militant determination to roll back the immigration quotas and keep immigrants from cutting such a tremendous slice out of the US job market. Bloom's parents were Jews who fled to the States to avoid Hitler's anti-Semitism, so he's not all that comfortable as Wendell's bedmate. Meanwhile, Wendell's campaign manager, Harrison Davis, who is Wendell's dark side, has entrapped the unwitting Bloom by throwing beautiful party pollster Jeanette Wells (widow of a socially dedicated filmmaker) into Bloom's hotel bed. Bloom's marriage has been suffering major cracks and weathered four separations, but he's in deep guilt about his romance with Jeanette. What's more, his wife, Anne, has announced that she's going to work for her own candidate, not for Wendell, and even steals one of Bloom's extremely questionable storyboards for a campaign ad vilifying current immigration laws. Nasty manager Davis has also been accepting big undercover campaign donations from the Arabs, as well as sabotaging Wendell's southern, voter-useless vice-presidential running mate. With the V.P.'s resignation successfully engineered by Davis, innocent Wendell announces a black female V.P. running mate, Hattie Lewis, famed for her marches with Martin Luther King. But she is, very secretly, a Moslem extremist. When Jeanette and Bloom discover at the last moment what they're into, they make a play to blow the villains out of the water while retaining simon-pure Wendell. . . Absorbing suspenser with some likable leads in compromised Bloom and Jeanette (their affair has overtones of the Meryl Streep/Alan Alda political film The Seduction of Joe Tynan), and the climax leaves the reader hanging deliciously. So, a night's entertainment but not for your absolutely must-read list.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's