I want you to look at this picture and think of Laura Bush. Can't do it, can you.
Yet, Elizabeth Banks did a great job playing the librarian turned George's keeper in Oliver Stone's "W." So when I think Laura, I close my eyes and picture Elizabeth, and the world is a better place.
And that makes me the perfect writer to pen the First Lady's newly contracted memoir.
Yes, the publishing biz is in such great shape that they're willing to toss a few million Laura's way for a book she doesn't even have to write. And as I've ghosted novels for other people, I think I could certainly crank out a page turner based on what her spokesperson said would be "... a book about the people she met and her life in the White House.”
That's got thriller written all over it. Think of the scene: Laura's mother-in-law, Bar, comes to visit the White house and eats the family dog. Or Jeff Gannon is caught hiding underneath George's desk. Or Karl Rove is caught hiding underneath Cheney's desk.
Throw in a scene with Carla Sarkozy, Dana Perino and Condi Rice and you've got a sure-fire film deal, my friend.
But, sadly, I don't expect the book to be anything close to what I have in mind.
In this week's New Yorker, is this story about the book deal. Here's part of what is going around the publishing circles:
The reception to Mrs. Bush’s pitch has been mixed so far. “She was not forthcoming about anything that I would consider controversial,” the publisher who met with her said. “We questioned her rigorously, but it was one-word answers. I considered it the worst, or the most frustrating, meeting of its sort that I’ve ever had.” He added, “But she really couldn’t have been nicer.”
“I chose not to meet with her,” a publisher at another company said. “I got the impression that everyone was totally underwhelmed by her. That’s why there’s so little buzz.”
Another publishing executive said that some of the editors who met Mrs. Bush were hoping to find “that she’s a closet Democrat" ... When the publisher who went to the White House was asked what impression of Mrs. Bush’s politics he came away with, he sighed and said, “You got the sense she’s just like him.”
Politics aside, I know I could write this book, Mrs. Bush. Trust me. It'll be great. Call my agent and we'll do lunch.
After I'm done, and the world has held its collective breath as we whiz through your adventures, all of America would be looking at Elizabeth Banks and thinking only of you, Laura, only you.