Picks and Pans Review: Why Not Me?
by Al Franken
If it is truly better to laugh than cry in the face of crisis, then America truly needs this witty send-up of Presidential politics by Al Franken, the former Saturday Night Live writer who scored a hit with 1996's Rush Limbaugh Is a Big, Fat Idiot and Other Observations. This time, Franken chronicles his own fanciful bid for the White House in 2000, with hilarious spoofs of campaign ads, memos, news clips and the candidate's diary. Running a single-issue campaign based on opposition to cash-machine fees ("ATM=America's Terrible Menace" goes one slogan), the candidate hits a snag when he learns that New Hampshire has no more than five ATMs, but miraculously, he emerges triumphant—only to self-destruct in office. Merging Tip O'Neill's adage ("All politics is local") with the James Carville slogan ("It's the economy, stupid"), Franken concludes, "It's very simple. 'All politics are the local economy, stupid!' " Though the premise is stretched a bit thin over 289 pages, Franken proves again that he's one of our savviest satirists. (Delacorte, $23.95)
Bottom Line: Deserves your vote