This is funny: Geoffrey Dunn at the Huffington Post (via Memeorandum), who we learn is an award-winning writer and filmmaker at work on a book on Sarah Palin, labels the erstwhile GOP vice-presidential candidate and governor of Alaska "the Milli Vanilli of American politics" because she has a ghostwriter. Inspired by the appearance of Palin's commentary in the Wall Street Journal today, Dunn thinks this is so worthy of comment that he goes on -- and on -- for almost 800 words about very old news.
You know who else employs ghostwriters? Barack Obama. Some people believe he didn't write Dreams from My Father (a dubious proposition at best), but you don't really think he wrote The Audacity of Hope, do you? Joe Biden's memoir was ghostwritten. Bill Clinton has an army of ghostwriters on his payroll. By contrast, I've heard Jimmy Carter writes most of his own stuff -- and it shows.
Every cabinet secretary, present and former, has used a ghostwriter. You know that controversial book Tom Ridge "wrote"? I hope you're sitting down... but it was ghostwritten.
Every United States Senator and most every congressman has a writer on staff and on contingency. Any book you've seen written by a former high government official was almost certainly the work of a ghost. (Our friend Hugh Hewitt wrote a couple of Richard Nixon's better books.) Just about everything you've seen in a newspaper or magazine with the name of a corporate CEO attached to it wasn't written by that person. Rush Limbaugh's books were ghostwritten. Ditto for nine out of 10 throw-away celebrity autobiographies.
But Sarah Palin is the Milli Vanilli of American politics? I don't go out of my way to defend Palin, but, honest to God, these hacks drive me to it.