Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women who will Rule the World, by Jennifer Palmieri

Seven stars

The 2016 US Presidential Election is that indelible mark that will likely be commented upon far past the next such event. Historians are happy to watch the ‘players’ bandy their own theories about for the time being. Jennifer Palmieri, a senior member of the Clinton Campaign, pens this short piece in the guise of writing a letter to the future first female President of the United States. In fact, it is her own mini-memoir and soapbox statement about the campaign, the issues, and her involvement in the political process. She explores how this fictitious first female POTUS will have to embrace her difference from all past holders of the office, rather than try to downplay it. She speaks of how said POTUS will have to rise above the fray and face verbal bullets along the way, as well as some of the poisonous attacks that Clinton took from the Trump fans. This elusive POTUS will also have to strive to be better and look back on what came before her, seeking to better the institution and the country, while staying true to herself and her family. Overall, Palmieri needed a place to vent her frustrations about being so close and so far from being able to pen this letter to her own boss after 2016. A decent account of personal stories and sentiments, though by now the entire process has been so over-examined that without something new to offer, the narrative blends in to all the other pieces that fill bookstore shelves.

I will be the first to admit that I was not pleased with the end result of the 2016 US presidential election, for more reasons than one. However, I have read many of the books on the subject, from both academics and laypeople, campaign staffers and candidates, which has given me some detailed—and exhausted—insight into the process and the end result that November night. In the end, there are reasons that things turned out a certain way, some of which are being investigated at present. However, there seems to be only so much that can be said and so many ways to blame a fool. We must look forward to heal and while Palmieri wants to, she’s still wrapped up in some regurgitation that does little to move the discussion forward. Developing a book about an open letter to a future presidential election winner is good, though the true content of this piece is less about the uplifting newness of the process and a way to bitch about why Clinton could not hold that role. It’s ok, bitterness is likely still concentrated in the veins of the campaign workers, but they will need to shake some of it off and look to 2020, when there is a new chance to slay an old dragon. Palmieri has some interesting perspectives, having worked with some strong-willed characters in the realm of US politics. But, these are used as anecdotes to create a mini-memoir about her own life, rather than constructive ideas for a yet to be identified winner of a presidential election who will go where Clinton could not in 2016. May that woman be great and intelligent, as well as keen to govern, but may she also not sit around and kick the can about lost opportunities forever.

Kudos, Madam Palmieri, for a decent insight into your life and experiences. A brief read, so the experience is not overly time consuming or troublesome. You communicated well with the time given to examine the subject matter.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: