A decade after retiring from the Senate, Al Simpson of Wyoming made his personal journals exclusively available to Donald Loren Hardy, his former chief of staff. Hardy spent nearly six years writing his entertaining and historically significant account of Simpson’s life.
“I believe the answers to many of America’s present and future challenges can be found in Al Simpson’s past. Throughout his career, he has valued practicality over partisanship, and during debate on important issues has taken a slice when a full loaf was unattainable. This is not just a platitude. His record in opposition to deficit spending, in crafting immigration law reform, and his activism on scores of social issues has been uniquely consistent throughout his career. His acceptance of President Obama’s appointment to the national “debt commission” demonstrates his willingness to tell the American public the truth, even if painful. Perhaps the story of his career will inspire people inside and outside of public service to understand that if the significant problems facing our country are not addressed realistically, government will be increasingly unable to deal realistically with the problems of its citizens.”
Shooting from the Lip reveals that Simpson was a spirited youth who landed on federal probation. He married Ann Schroll in 1954, received an Army commission, and in Germany fell into deep depression.
His father Milward’s service as Wyoming governor and United States senator inspired Al to run for the state legislature. There, he sponsored landmark legislation, became Speaker pro tem, was elected to the United States Senate, and after a single term was selected by his Republican colleagues as assistant leader, or “whip.” For 18 years, he punched political sacred cows, challenged the media, and brought key legislation to passage in memorable fashion.
After three terms, he retired from the Senate and became director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government, later appointments to two high-profile national commissions.
This book burrows relentlessly into Simpson’s life and career. It details his relationships with national and world leaders and exposes the Senate behind the facade. This is the intimate, true and engaging story of the widely known senator from Wyoming.