Allies in Congress, Enemies on the Shelves

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By Mary Ann Akers And Paul Kane
Thursday, April 10, 2008

The ol' House-Senate rivalry will have a new measuring stick this year: book sales.

Following in the footsteps of other recent House speakers, Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is putting the finishing touches on her autobiography.

Titled "Know Your Power: A Message to America's Daughters," Madame Speaker's tome aspires to be equal parts biographical and inspirational. "If women can learn from me, in the same way I learned from the women who came before me, it will make the honor of being Speaker of the House even more meaningful," she writes in the book's preface, according to Random House.

Published by Doubleday, Pelosi's "Know Your Power" will be available July 29, just weeks before she chairs the Democratic National Convention in Denver. There, Pelosi may have to know her power better than ever, should she have to referee a floor fight over the presidential nomination battle.

Pelosi's book hits the shelves not long after the release of "The Good Fight: Hard Lessons From Searchlight to Washington," the latest book by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid's book, which comes out May 1, weaves together his brawling days in the hardscrabble mining town of Searchlight. He recounts fights with everyone from classmates to the man who would eventually become his father-in-law, preparing him for a senatorial life of battling the Bush White House and Republican filibusters.

It's the first time in our recollection that the top congressional leaders are publishing books in the same year. Our money's on Pelosi selling more copies.

Fun With Dirt

Speaking of book deals, a tongue-in-cheek novel about the dark underworld of political fundraising is due out in July by a first-time author who knows the business all too well.

Nicole Sexton was a GOP political fundraiser for many years until she became disenchanted with the corruption of money and became a do-gooder at Bono's One Campaign against AIDS and poverty. Sexton's upcoming novel, "Party Favors," is about a nice Southern girl named Temple who lands in Washington, rapidly becomes a successful political fundraiser and just as quickly loses her moral compass to the lust for power.

Just like politicians who come to the nation's capital and "get drunk with power, the same thing happens with fundraisers. People get lost," Sexton tells us.

Though it's based on her own experiences, Sexton swears you won't recognize any character in the book. "I wasn't out to write 'Primary Colors,'" she said. "I'm not a tell-all kind of person."

Darn. But she promises a fun, quick read.

Turn Right for Cash

House Republicans have put one of their most conservative members in charge of raising cash for the annual President's Dinner, the largest fundraising gala of the year.


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© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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