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COURTESY SIMON & SHUSTER

Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House

Oct 24, 2018
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews

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Not being a fan of Donald Trump long before he ever ran for president nor a devotee of reality TV, I had never seen The Apprentice. But I had heard of Omarosa. If nothing else her reputation was that she was a shrew, a vixen, and a newly generated group of people who are famous for being famous as the Kardashians. 

Omarosa Manigault Newman’s book is almost passé now because it was released delineating the weirdness emanating from Pennsylvania Ave. before the more explosive Fear by Bob Woodward was released. The Fire and Fury and The Death of Democracy had previously shocked us, so we are sort of numb. It becomes increasingly apparent that we are no longer appalled that we have elected someone apparently “unhinged” to govern us. To be fair on the right there are treatises by Jeanine Pirro, Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich that are garnering attention. In this tribal era, it is like dueling exposes. With each side assuring us that we are witnessing the decline of society as we know it.

In her book, Omarosa gives the reader some biographical information. It is needed to set the stage. She had a hardscrabble upbringing in the projects and both her father and her brother were murdered. To rise to national significance from these hardscrabble beginnings one cannot be a shrinking violet. On The Apprentice she was the schemer, the villain. There is a little of the same disposition in her book. She was a Democrat and working for Hillary and exhorting people to “get behind this sister,” when her project fell through. At that point, she was pursued by the other side to handle the Republican’s “woman problem” and be somewhat of a liaison to the black community and so she switched, maybe too easily. And then she said that “….every critic, detractor will have to bow to President Trump.”

She assures us it was in her mind to quit for some time before she was fired but that is difficult to believe. It may have, at some point, passed through her thoughts when she was privy to some obvious dysfunction but it would have been difficult for her to give up not only the glory and the money but also there were some altruistic projects she was involved with as well. There is really nothing new contained in the memoir, but everything is more intimate as viewed through her lens. She suggests there are tapes of Trump uttering the “N” word, makes some veiled allusions to an ongoing affair. She speaks benevolently of Eric and Melania and hints Melania may take leave when this gig is over. She claims there is a tanning bed in the president’s quarters and that he wanted to take the oath of office on his book The Art of the Deal rather than the Bible. Trump rants that Donald Jr. is a screw-up and refers to his education secretary, Betsy De Vos as “Ditzy Betsy”. It was Eric’s wife, who we haven’t heard much about, that offered her a settlement in exchange for a non-disclosure type of agreement.

I do think that Omarosa has a moral compass of sorts as an ordained Baptist minister as well as being married to one. She has a nice chatty writing style that perks along. Trump has called his former confidant “a low life”, “wacky O”, “a crazed, crying lowlife” and “a dog” which I am sure only increased sales of her book.

 

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