Parts are juicy, sure. “I believe he covets his daughter,” she writes of President Trump and his daughter Ivanka. She recalls her former boss “rambling incoherently” and calls into question his mental capacity.
But most of Omarosa Manigault Newman’s newly released memoir, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” is painfully boring. Whole sections of the 334-page book read like poorly written Wikipedia entries about events that have already been recounted in excruciating detail. Yes, we all remember when Donald Trump Jr. likened Syrian refugees to Skittles.
But interspersed with the dull narrative, lifted only by the salacious accusations, are searching observations about life, love, justice, pain and redemption.
Here are some of them.
1. “Joy and pain are two sides of the same coin.” When Manigault Newman was a child, a fire swept through her grandmother’s home in Youngstown, Ohio. Her aunt threw her off the second-floor porch, into the arms of her uncle, who set her down in the snow and told her to run. Instead, she tried to reenter the burning building. “That’s so indicative of my life,” she observes. “I’m always running toward the fire, unafraid of anything.” Her cousin died in the fire, at the very same time that another aunt was delivering a baby girl. Manigault Newman’s interpretation: circles of life, a “bittersweet complexity,” she writes.
2. “The United States is the only country in the world that has created a separate currency for its poor.” This is a point about food stamps, a form of federal assistance used by Manigault Newman’s family when she was growing up in Youngstown. She recalls circling the grocery store waiting for other customers to leave so she wouldn’t be embarrassed offering food stamps to the clerk. “To me, it seems to be a form of intentionally shaming those in need,” she argues.
3. “Think like a man, act like a woman!” Like her former boss, Manigault Newman uses exclamation points liberally. Here, she is referring to psychological exams and IQ testing that she says she underwent before appearing on “The Apprentice.” She also claims that she was subjected to “a humiliating vaginal examination and Pap smear, as well as testing for sexually transmitted diseases.” In any event, a psychologist apparently told her that she had “an unusual balance of femininity and masculinity” — feminine in style, she recalls, but “I strategized like the men.” She took this as a compliment.
4. “I didn’t need to find love on a reality show. I had found it in real life.” Manigault Newman says she rejected Trump’s offer to appear on “Donald Trump Presents the Ultimate Merger” because she didn’t need to search for love on the show, which debuted in 2010. She had already met someone — at a Los Angeles Whole Foods, no less. Cupid’s arrow strikes in the frozen-food aisle.
5. “But nothing in life is 100 percent perfect.” Apparently her new romance had a few hiccups, and, unlike Whole Foods, there was no easy return policy.
6. “I visited an orphanage in West Africa and had a life-changing experience.” Of course Manigault Newman is a voluntourist.
7. “He was suspicious of Obama’s otherness, which is an actual term in the study of ‘whiteness.’” Yes, yes it is. And not just in the study of whiteness.
8. “My logic was, if you can’t beat them, join them.” Unoriginal. Next.
9. “I see the little man behind the curtain.” In this “Wizard of Oz” analogy, “the little man” is, obviously, Trump. The curtain is the author’s “compassion” rooted in the president’s “insecurities.”
10. “Democrats do love their data.” A brutal jab at Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook.
11. “I needed Jesus. We all did at that point.” The morning after The Washington Post broke the news of the “Access Hollywood” tape, Manigault Newman — and, indeed, others — needed spiritual assistance.
12. “If I get hurt, if somebody cuts me, I bleed.” An accurate hematological account.
13. “I was not his nanny or his nurse.” The author explains why she continued to fetch incendiary news clippings for her boss, even after being accused of riling him up.
14. “I researched it . . . Dementia.” Manigault Newman believes Trump’s fondness for Diet Coke was destroying his cognitive functioning.
15. “Change is coming. To bring it about we must be participants and not spectators in the pursuit of equality and unity.” The epilogue of the book reads like a cover letter for a new job: leader of the Resistance.
And perhaps the most relevant insight of all:
16. “I never stopped to ask myself what all this conflict meant for the future of the country.”