When I saw “The Confirmation” in my mail, I was really excited. I hoped to enjoy this book as much as West Wing.
In this book, Bob Long is the new president of the United States. Soon after his inauguration, a Supreme Court judge seat becomes vacant. This book is about the politics and race to the finish over that open seat.
If you love political intrigue, Ralph does a great job of describing every titillating move and counter move as the Democrats, Republican and political analysts plot for control over the process.
In fact, I would have really loved this book except that there is an overtone of cynicism. I believe, want to believe that at least some of the people in public service aren’t must in it for themselves – that they really want the greater good.
In The Confirmation, hope is missing. Everyone has an angle. Everyone looks out for themselves. I believe that part of the purpose of this book is to detail the haranguing that Supreme Court judge appointees face in the confirmation process. As long as the President tries to stick to his guns and appoint a moderate, both sides tear his nominees apart. When he finally gives into the Republican viewpoint, the process continues to the next level, and the nominee is torn apart in the media.
Here is my analysis: the political play was fun, and it was delightful to listen to an insider. The book overall, however, does not get more than a three because of the cynical voice and lack of redemptive narrative.