Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is drawing heat over his choice of ghostwriter for a forthcoming book. As the National Review online reported, Walker will team up with former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen on the book, which according to a source will “tell his story.” The book, which is not yet titled, will be published by Sentinel, an imprint of the Penguin Group.
Thiessen, a Washington Post op-ed columnist, supports “enhanced interrogation” in the war against terror, as spelled out in his 2010 book “Courting Disaster.” (In her review, Jane Mayer at the New Yorker wrote that the book “downplays the CIA’s brutality under the Bush Administration to the point of falsification.”) Alex Pareene at Salon roundly criticized Walker for his choice of ghostwriter, calling Thiessen a “torture apologist” and “very poor” columnist. Before working under Bush and Donald H. Rumsfeld, Thiessen was an advisor for the late Sen. Jesse Helms of North Carolina, a vocal opponent of black and gay civil rights.
Walker’s book, which, according to the National Review’s unnamed Republican sources, will “be autobiographical, with stories about his family, his values, and his rise to power,” seems like the opening salvo to a possible 2016 presidential run. The tradition of the campaign book, which lays out a candidate’s themes and introduce him to the country at large, is pretty firmly established by now -- President Obama, for one, published “The Audacity of Hope” as a prequel to his 2008 campaign.
Walker, who rose to national fame for surviving a recall election in 2012 after limiting collective bargaining for public sector employees in his state, recently spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “In America, people don’t grow up dreaming of being dependent on the government,” Walker said in his CPAC speech. “In America, they live the American dream.”