Democrats who voted for the heath care bill but pretended they hadn't; Republicans who took local credit for stimulus money while condemning the bill on TV; Eric Cantor, Mitt Romney, and the Democratic former governor of Maryland, Parris Glendening. What do they all have in common? According to former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, they're all wusses-and after more than three decades in politics, he knows a wuss when he sees one.
In A Nation of Wusses, Rendell revisits some of the toughest fights of his career. He recalls most vividly those moments when he saw someone stand his ground, even at the risk of incurring the wrath of supporters and losing the next election. Unfortunately, as he surveys the current political scene, what he sees is a herd of elected officials, both legislators and executives, who seem far more concerned with their own job security than with serving the people who elected them.
Among current office holders and candidates, he sees politicians pretending to stand on principle while, in fact, pandering to their bases; flip-flopping on issues, not because of new information, but because of new polls; and criticizing rivals for actions they would have praised if done by allies. While not at all shy about singling out Republicans like Scott Walker, Eric Cantor, and Mitch Mc- Connell, Rendell has no trouble taking on Democrats who refuse to stand up to the teachers' unions or distance themselves from allies who run into trouble.
Other politicians might have left out of their memoirs stories like what happened to their plaque in the park, the story of Swifty the five-legged donkey, a dirty Al Gore joke, the time they considered pretending to faint, and who their already supporting for president in 2016. Luckily for readers, Ed Rendell is not that kind of politician. Complete with a scathing list of the Top Ten Reasons Why Most American Politicians Are Wusses, and packed with uproarious tales of politicians in action that will make you wonder why these folks keep getting elected, you might have to go back to Ulysses S. Grant to find a politician with a book as lively and honest as A Nation of Wusses.