By the book

Julie Stauch shares her thoughts on presidential candidate John Delaney’s “very readable book.” Bleeding Heartland welcomes reviews of memoirs by politicians or books on any political topic of statewide or national importance. -promoted by Laura Belin

I have this rule with myself that if someone gives me a book, I always read the first chapter out of appreciation and respect for the person who shared it. In January I was invited to attend a luncheon for women hosted by April McLain Delaney, where they gave each attendee a copy of John Delaney’s book. I started reading it that day, and by the end of the week had finished the book. This is my review.

John Delaney, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and current candidate for president, has written a book called, The Right Answer. In it he outlines how we can unify our divided nation, while sharing stories of his life. It is a very readable book: well-written, clear and not at all pompous or self-righteous in its delivery.

The book opens with a quote from John F. Kennedy, which he expressed two years before he was elected President of the United States.

“Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

The chapter titles give you a sense of a theme, but it is the substance of each chapter that resonates.
1. Tell the Truth
2. Embrace Compromise
3. Open the Door
4. Harness the Power of Incentives
5. Think Different
6. Release America’s Inner Entrepreneur
7. See Both Sides
8. Get Back to Governing
9. Focus on the Future

Delaney addresses all the issues of our time – inequality, health care, climate change, business, taxation, and gerrymandering – just to hit the highlights.

What makes his book refreshing is that he also talks about how he would approach these problems, which reveals both his leadership style and how he achieves results. We need to understand these stylistic approaches about all of our candidates, so I appreciate the fact that Delaney makes it clear without being prosy or preachy.

I’m not telling you the exact substance of his comments. You need to read this book! Whether or not you choose to support Delaney at your caucus, he has addressed some truths we all need to consider. Frankly, I would wish that all the candidates running would read his book, but that is probably too Pollyanna even for me.

I don’t yet know who I will be supporting. I do know that John Delaney has cleared the first hurdle with this book. I will include him in the small group of candidates I will seriously consider supporting in eleven months.

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