Dana Perino – And The Good News Is… – A Book Review

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Purchase at Amazon.com

Oh, how I long for the days of President Bush compared to where we are now… Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush and a current Fox News Channel host embodies optimism and a profound sense of confidence. I was fortunate enough to snag a copy of her new book, “And the Good News Is… Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side.”

Perino was the first female White House Press Secretary. You don’t ascend to that position without having brains and moxy. Good looks don’t hurt, but they won’t win you that prize. Dana Perino strikes me as an accomplished, complete woman, who is an odd mixture of simple, innocent intent, mixed with professional drive. Her book is charming and uplifting. Not only does Perino have a gift for storytelling, she conveys ethics and morality in her work. Most young women dream of a life like Perino’s – that one day they can climb the ladder of success to the highest levels in media and government. Perino is a role model for young women – she never quit and never faltered in her goals – in a word, she is genuine, the real deal. And her ambitions and dreams have led her on a fascinating journey.

From the book, some highlights and tidbits:

  • The Black Eye of Baghdad: During the press conference in Iraq where President Bush had a shoe thrown at him, Dana was hit in the face with a boom-mike amidst the chaos. Despite this low moment, and sporting a black eye, Dana was able to find the “good news” in the situation with humor and grace.
  • Accompanying President Bush on Marine One on his final visit to the Navy SEALs during the last days of the Bush Administration and her unexpected conversations with some of them.
  • What it was like growing up in Colorado and Wyoming including stories of how her father’s family emigrated from Italy, her mother’s family settled into a “one-and-a-half-horse town,” and the lessons that came from living the ranching life. Starting in the third grade, Dana’s dad required her to pick two stories from The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News to discuss before dinner. She credits that time as when she learned to articulate her thoughts and present her ideas persuasively.
  • Her first job in the media, how she realized it wasn’t for her and working through her quarter-life crisis (which included a whirlwind romance and a move to England).
  • What led to Dana taking her position as Bush’s White House Press Secretary, including building up the nerve to resign from the White House just before being offered the job.
  • The personal side of the story of how press secretary Scott McClellan went on to write a score-settling book after he left the White House, and how the President encouraged her to forgive him.
  • The touching story of Dana accompanying President Bush to visit wounded warriors at Walter Reed where President Bush explained to one Marine’s daughter why they were awarding him the Purple Heart and, as he’s doing so, her father’s eyes open for the first time since the attack.
  • Dana figuring out her post-White House life including her first days on The Five where Bob Beckel choked on a shrimp and almost died.
  • How Dana secretly handled the stress during tough White House press briefings.
  • Learning perspective through her work in Africa, in particular with Mercy Ships, a global charity that operates hospital ships in developing nations.
  • The wonderful life and times of Henry, Dana’s first dog, how they said goodbye when Henry passed on, and then the arrival of the great Jasper – the canine king of social media and “America’s dog.”
  • The best of Dana’s work and life advice broken into three sections: quick hits that can be applied immediately at the office, good habits to develop over the course of a career, and smart approaches to life’s big decisions (such as choosing to be loved).
  • Dana’s plea for civility, especially in political discourse and debates, and her suggestions to be more thoughtful contributors to any conversation.

Dana Perino is a gentler, more studied person than I am. I’m afraid many times I throw civility to the wind, because I do not suffer fools lightly. Her wit and wisdom in her book is a wonderful read. I especially recommend it to young women who aspire to reach the lofty halls of political and media power. Perino shows a great deal of grace and dignity in her work. “And the Good News Is… Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” is a book that inspires and guides and I found it to be very heartwarming and insightful. I would definitely buy copies for your family and friends. It is clean, wholesome advice and shows the fight is indeed worth fighting.

One final note, anyone who can win the heart of SooperMexican has got to be top notch – just sayin’… ๐Ÿ˜‰

America’s Dog – Jasper