by Victor & Lynne Cheney Gold

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A mostly amusing little political caper novel in which a PR man is forced to keep a dead Vice President alive and well. Frank Lee, a tough and savvy public-relations man, has hit the pinnacle of his career: top PR flunkie to Vice President Stewart Vandercleve, a philandering Republican even worse than your run-of-the-mill V.P. As the elections approach, the President has decided to dump Vandercleve--he's promising the job to all the Governors of the primary states--but before he can, nature does it for him: Vandercleve is found dead of a heart attack in the arms of his lover, Washington anchorperson Romana Clay. PR man Lee is informed by Presidential Chief of Staff Regis Strong (kind of a cross between Haldeman, Regan, and Attila the Hun) that Vandercleve's death must be kept a secret while the tight presidential race continues. ""To make untimely death timely"" is Frank Lee's job--and he sets about it with a will: he looks for various gaffes to keep the Vice President alive in the media, figuring the only time VPs make news is when they put their feet in their mouths; he sends insulting letters to Gloria Steinem and various columnists; then, lee hires a comic impersonator and has the man (imitating the VP) make crazed calls to different talk shows, an incendiary speech at a prep-school graduation, and some wacky phone conversations with the President himself. Lee's deception is finally caught out--but not before the American public begins to think they've actually got an interesting Vice-President on their hands. Repetitious towards the end, but overall Gold (PR As In President, 1977) and Cheney (Executive Privilege, 1979) have written an entertaining novel about a PR person's best dream--and worst nightmare.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's