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Book Review: Dan Bongino's "Life Inside the Bubble"

Dan Bongino

As an alumnus of the Vice President’s staff and a veteran of every Republican presidential campaign from 1976 to 2012 I’ve got a very short list of White House and political memoirs that I like and have bothered to pick-up a second time.  

Peggy Noonan’s “What I Saw at the Revolution,” tops the list because of its great storytelling and Noonan’s deft exploration of the destruction wrought when banal and mediocre people are elevated to positions of power, Marlin Fitzwater’s “Call the Briefing” gets a second read from time-to-time for its stories and insights into how to deal with the media and finally Mike Deaver’s “A Different Drummer” is my favorite collection of stories and insights into Ronald Reagan’s career and personality because it also delivers many useful nuggets for the professional political operative.

Former Secret Service agent turned conservative congressional candidate Dan Bongino’s “Life Inside the Bubble” has just been added to my list.

For those not familiar with Dan’s story he went from living in a cramped apartment above his grandfather’s bar in Queens, New York, to New York City police officer, to Special Agent in the US Secret Service protecting two Presidents, to conservative political candidate and voice of freedom in liberal Maryland.

While Dan’s slim volume is a quick read full of interesting tidbits about “life inside the bubble” as a member of the Presidential Protective Detail of the US Secret Service, its real value is the insight it offers into why some of America’s best and brightest join that elite law enforcement agency and how one of those best and brightest came to see that the only way to cure what’s ailing America was to set aside a successful law enforcement career to pursue a career in politics.

My favorite parts of Dan’s book are surprisingly not the parts about the Presidential Protective Detail, although having worked with three generations of Secret Service agents they are interesting and by themselves worth the price of the book.

What I liked best were the parts about what makes a man of action, and dare I use the word idealist, like Dan Bongino tick, and most importantly how did his experiences in law enforcement lead him to embrace a passionate freedom oriented conservatism reminiscent of the best of Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan. 

I won’t spoil the story, but look for Dan’s interaction with an aspiring rapper when he was patrolling the streets of New York for insight into what made a NYPD officer into the successor to Jack Kemp as one of the best spokesmen going for “opportunity conservatism." 

Most books about the White House and life “inside the bubble” are either cheap political score settling or “all about me” celebrations of the great, but hitherto unacknowledged, accomplishments of the author. Dan Bongino’s “Inside the Bubble” is neither of those – it an insightful exploration of how the very top level of American politics conducts itself outside the view of the camera, and a passionate statement of how We the People can change what is happening in Washington if conservatives can recruit and field candidates with Dan Bongino’s courage, passion and humanity.

To learn more about Dan Bongino’s run for Congress click this link to go to Dan’s website.

To meet Senator Rand Paul and join him in supporting Dan’s campaign for Congress, please join Dan Bongino on February 25, 2014, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The National Republican Club at Capitol Hill, 300 First St. SE, Washington, DC, 20003. RSVP to Maria Pycha via email at Maria [at] bongino [dot] com. Click here to contribute now.

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