The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Dana Perino explains why guys in Washington are undateable

In her new memoir, the former press secretary to President George W. Bush recalls her single days.

Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino doesn’t think much of all those pasty, pudgy guys in Washington. (Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)
Placeholder while article actions load

Years before she became press secretary to President George W. Bush, Dana Perino had what she describes in her new memoir as a “quarter-life crisis.” In 1997, at age 25, Perino felt stuck in her career on Capitol Hill and, “on the personal side of things, I hadn’t had a boyfriend in years.” Now 42, married, and a host on Fox News’s “The Five,” Perino offers very specific thoughts on why the male dating pool in Washington was — and remains — so unappealing:

I had many friends that I hung out with a lot, but the dating scene in D.C. was pathetic. (It still is, right, ladies?) I remember thinking that there just weren’t that many men I was interested in around Washington. Most of the guys didn’t look like they’d ever worked outside a day in their lives — soft hands, limp handshakes, pale skin, and pudgy middles. The good-looking ones were either already hitched or married to their political ambition with little senses of humor. It was slim pickings for a single woman.

Don’t worry. Perino’s love life worked out all right — she met her future husband on a plane that same year, on her way from Denver to Washington. And no, he wasn’t a Washington guy but a Brit. The accent helped, she explains: “American women fall for it every time.”

Perino’s memoir of her years in the White House and her experience on Fox News is titled “And the Good News Is: Lessons and Advice From the Bright Side.” It will be published by Twelve on April 21.

Read more reviews, essays and posts from Book Party, including:

The book that convinced Dana Perino it’s okay to be a Republican woman

In his new book on the Constitution, Sen. Mike Lee mixes history with fiction

George H.W. Bush’s touching, proud and resentful letter of advice to George and Jeb

Shame was brutal for Monica Lewinsky. But it can also be a force for good.