Writing with warmth and humor, Connie Schultz reveals the rigors, joys, and absolute madness of a new marriage at midlife and campaigning with her husband, Sherrod Brown, now the junior senator from Ohio. She describes the chain of events leading up to Sherrod’s decision to run for the Senate (he would not enter the fray without his wife’s unequivocal support), and her own decision to step down from writing her Pulitzer Prize-winning column during the course of one of the nation’s most intensely watched races. She writes about the moment her friends in the press became not so friendly, the constant campaign demands on her marriage and family life, and a personal tragedy that came out of the blue. Schultz also shares insight into the challenges of political life: dealing with audacious bloggers, ruthless adversaries, and political divas; battling expectations of a political wife; and the shock of having staffers young enough to be her children suddenly directing her every move. Connie Schultz is passionate and outspoken about her opinions–in other words, every political consultant’s nightmare, and every reader’s dream.
“[Schultz is] a Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist with a mordant wit. . . . The [campaign memoir] genre takes on new life.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“With her characteristic wit and reportorial thoroughness, [Schultz] describes the behind-the-scenes chaos, frustration and excitement of a political campaign and the impact it has on a candidate’s family.”
–Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Witty and anecdotal, whether read by a Democrat or a Republican.”
–Deseret Morning News
“Frank and feisty . . . a spunky tribute to the survival of one woman’s spirit under conditions in which it might have been squelched.”
–The Columbus Dispatch
Schultz (Life Happens) gives a frank and adoring account of standing by her man, Sherrod Brown, in his run for U.S. Senate from Ohio. Ashtabula-bred Schultz and Democratic Congressman Brown, both middle-aged, longtime divorced single parents, married in 2004, and by the middle of the next year had decided he would quit his congressional seat and oppose two-term Republican Sen. Mike DeWine. While a supportive and loving wife, Schultz is also a feminist, devoted to her work as a journalist (she won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005); she reluctantly gave in to the pressure to take a sabbatical from her Cleveland Plain Dealer column during the course of the campaign. However, she became a valuable tool to her husband's success, from forcing his handlers to give the exhausted candidate time to recoup to trotting out her working-class family's hard-luck story when convenient. There are many funny moments (Brown was criticized for his unruly curls and his "cheap suits"), and DeWine's negative ads (led by Republican strategist Karl Rove) prompted Brown's team, in Hillary Clinton's words, to "deck him" with an ad of its own. (Schultz's own newspaper didn't endorse Brown.) Eventually, he won, and Schultz could happily return to her column. Her diary is upbeat, sometimes overly but affably composed.