Book Review

Robert Ardini: Running for Congress in Trump's Backyard

David Stone

In his first try for political office, Robert Ardini took on Carolyn Maloney in the 12th New York Congressional District and got a shellacking, losing by roughly 6 to 1, but as his short, engaging book shows - for the most part - he won the challenge of decency and honor infrequently associated with political campaigns.

Robert Ardini: Running for Congress in Trump's Backyard

The odds against besting Maloney, then serving her twelfth term, popular and well funded, were astronomical in a district the weighs heavily Democratic and during a cycle where Hillary Clinton was expected to win easily. The national election turned out differently than anticipated, but Ardini could not have foreseen that when he made his commitment.

His book, Running For Congress in Trump's Backyard recalls his efforts.  It's a short read. A slow to average reader, I got through it in about two hours.

It could easily have been a longish magazine article. Some may agree with Ardini that, with brevity, he serves readers by not loading them down with excess detail. Another advantage is its anecdotal, engaging style. It keeps you flipping pages effortlessly.

At a point in his life where it makes sense for him, Ardini gathers skills honed through a career in marketing and publishing along with leadership in several, apolitical organizations and puts them to the test in his run for congress.

Ardini's self-effacing attempts to get support from his own party are illuminating in what they suggest about the inner workings of a political apparatus that rarely shows its true face in public. But most interesting, and his best chapter, recounts his twelve attempts, several of them amusing, others enlightening, to get the attention of a certain member of the constituency he hopes to serve.

He wants to meet "Mr. Trump," but would be happy with just a single tweet that includes his name.

Ultimately, his efforts fail. Trump doesn't seem to know him from a tree stump. But Ardini takes it in stride, and his clever tries at connecting are worth reading, all by themselves.

Ardini is a little surprised when he meets Carolyn Maloney and likes her, an experience not unfamiliar to many of us. Other than her time in office, of which Ardini, an advocate for term limits, disapproves, he has nary a critical word to say about her.

Like an honest advocate for comity between political factions, he stakes out his political philosophy and positions in constructive terms, not bashing the other side with angry or churlish comments. (His most fervent conviction is that we need to stop the growth of our national debt, but the book lists multiple positions on issues.) 

I enjoyed reading Robert Ardini's story and regretted only that he wraps it up with a gratuitous salute to President Trump, a man who represents the opposite of the decency and sincerity he espouses.

In what he calls "...a truly remarkable Trump moment," he admires the President's bashing CNN and "fake news," this from the most notorious liar ever to occupy the White House. It makes a disappointing Epilogue for an otherwise enjoyable read.

Comments powered by Disqus

Assorted Ideas

Photoville NYC 2019 Open

Photoville NYC 2019 is open as of yesterday, September 12th, in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The weather wasn’t perfect, but the rest of the weekend should…

Continue reading → Photoville NYC 2019 Open

The post Photoville NYC 2019 Open appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

RIOC punts on safety

RIOC punts on safety for residents and visitors. Recent incidents expose indifference, incompetence and failures in responsibility. Public safety is a core responsibility, but RIOC…

Continue reading → RIOC punts on safety

The post RIOC punts on safety appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

Danny Simmons Alone Together, New Paintings

Danny Simmons Alone Together collects recent paintings by the abstract expressionist whose complex, subtle works defy an ebullient personality. Simmons is an artist worth discovering…

Continue reading → Danny Simmons Alone Together, New Paintings

The post Danny Simmons Alone Together, New Paintings appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

Bogdan Matei at Gallery RIVAA

Bogdan Matei at Gallery RIVAA, Roosevelt Island, Poses and Imaginary Objects, September 7th to October 6th, 2019 On September 7th, Roosevelt Island’s Gallery RIVAA welcomed…

Continue reading → Bogdan Matei at Gallery RIVAA

The post Bogdan Matei at Gallery RIVAA appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.

PSD flunks on bikes

PSD flunks on bikes and does so in spectacularly bad fashion. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Public Safety Department takes a hands-off policy toward dangers…

Continue reading → PSD flunks on bikes

The post PSD flunks on bikes appeared first on Assorted Ideas, Large & Small.