Mid-Term Madness - Capitol Steps
Capitol Steps and Missteps: The Wild, Improbable Ride of Congressman John Jenrette
When congressional aide John F. Jenrette seemed to be everything Clark was looking for in a leader. With intense charisma and uncanny knowledge of how Washington worked, Jenrette seemed poised to lead a New South and destroy the common stereotype of white southerners as narrow-minded racists. Jenrette was indeed all the things Clark hoped him to be. Jenrette became an enlightened champion of civil rights for both racial minorities and women. Then, everything changed. Jenrette may have been a political success story, but his personal failings were too big and too politically precarious to hide.
See a Problem?
That, anyway, might at least be a more descriptive title for this lurid, defensive, indisputably thorough, naturally biased, mostly lively but sometimes just downright boring chronicle of the disgraced South Carolina congressman John Jenrette. He was a kid in a candy store who delivered the goods for the folks back home and paid himself handsomely in women, liquor and, finally, what may or may not have been a hefty bribe from a would-be Arab sheik. Written by longtime aide John Clark — with the assistance of former staffer Cookie Miller VanSice and input from the Congressman himself — Capitol Steps and Missteps is a kind of late-in-the-day public relations gamble.