It Looks Like a President Only Smaller is the hilarious, eviscerating diary of one of the most amazing contests in American political history -- from the presidential primaries in New Hampshire, to the fat-cat convention parties in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, to the bizarre vote-counting debacle in Florida. The diarist is a veteran Washington Post reporter, satirist, and explainer of the inexplicable. This is his summary of the historic Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore: "In keeping with the Court's ambition to provide an unambiguous and unanimous decision in Bush v. Gore and thereby legitimate the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, we present herein a majority opinion signed by Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, Thomas, O'Connor, and Kennedy, with a partial dissent to the majority by Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas, a full dissent by Justices Stevens, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg, a partial dissent to the full dissent by Justices Breyer and Souter, a needling, invective-filled dissent to the partial dissent to the majority opinion from Scalia, and a spitwad [attached] from Justice Stevens...The Court will note that it did manage on Tuesday afternoon to assemble a respectable 6-3 majority in favor of the Chinese take-out." As Joel Achenbach trails Campaign 2000, he channels the unfocused rage of the street protesters, gleefully infiltrates celebrity-choked Hollywood bashes, and roams the remote highways of the battleground states. Whether ruminating on the Confederate flag controversy in South Carolina, rewriting breaking news in the form of a le Carré novel, or mimicking the dyspeptic voice of the editor of the (fictional) newsletter Chad Watch, Achenbach fashions a page-turning comedy that takes the measure of America at the millennium.
Joel Achenbach is a reporter for The Washington Post, and the author of six previous books, including The Grand Idea, Captured by Aliens and Why Things Are. He started the Washington Post's first blog, Achenblog, and has worked on the newspaper's national Style magazine and Outlook staffs. He regularly contributes science articles to National Geographic. A native of Gainesville, Florida and a 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and three children.