David Axelrod, Dick Cheney and Colorado College

By Janet Simons
THE COLORADO STATESMAN

Bet you don’t know what Obama’s right-hand-man David Axelrod and former Vice President Dick Cheney have in common.

Give up?

Both have wives and offspring who graduated from Colorado College.

David Axelrod

Axelrod’s wife, Susan Landau Axelrod, is a 1974 CC graduate. Their son, Ethan, graduated from CC in May.

Cheney’s wife, Lynne Vincent Cheney, was a 1963 graduate. Their daughters both graduated from CC — Elizabeth in 1988 and Mary in 1991. (Elizabeth, by the way, is married to Phillip J. Perry, general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush and a 1986 CC graduate.)

Let the record show that nearly everyone mentioned in this article is a published writer. David Axelrod was a political reporter for The Chicago Tribune before going to the dark side to become pr flak-in-chief for the 2008 Democratic presidential campaign. In that post, he undoubtedly texted millions of words worth of speeches, position statements and strategy papers.

The Axelrods’ oldest child, Lauren, has epilepsy, and Susan Axelrod has written volumes as the president and founder of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE), including “I Must Save My Child,” a Parade Magazine cover piece that appeared in February and “The Mystery of Epilepsy: Why We Must Find a Cure,” a personal essay that appeared in Newsweek in April.

Ethan Axelrod does plenty of writing, too, as head of the Denver bureau of the popular liberal blog, The Huffington Post.

Dick Cheney

However, like his parents, he has yet to write a book.

The Cheneys, on the other hand, have written, well, volumes.

After graduating from CC, former Conifer resident Mary Cheney earned her MBA at the University of Denver before going to work in promotions for the Colorado Rockies and serving as lesbian/gay corporate relations manager for the Coors Brewing Company. She returned to the D.C. area in 2006, the same year her memoir, “Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life,” was published by Simon & Shuster.

But her mother is the literary star.

CC scholar and historian Bob Loevy believes Lynne Cheney is the most successful author CC has produced. Her non-fiction titles from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing include, “We the People: The Story of Our Constitution,” 2008; “Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America,” 2006; “A Is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women,” 2003; and “America, A Patriotic Primer,” 2002.

Cheney started her writing career as a novelist. Her first published book, “Executive Privilege,” Simon and Schuster, 1979, is the story of two reporters struggling to decide whether to push a scoop at the expense of national security.

But Cheney’s most sought-after work is her second novel, “Sisters,” a 1981 Signet Paperback. Amazon.com lists only nine new and used copies of “Sisters,” ranging in price from $50 to $295 apiece for a work of fiction originally priced at $2.50.

Why? Probably because, according to one of its many Amazon reviewers:

“This story of a Washington wife who leaves her powerful husband to join a woman’s commune is charged with the kind of eroticism you just don’t expect from the Second Lady of the United States of America. I was amazed at how graphically Ms. Cheney details the commune’s daily ‘massage classes’ and their predictable free-for-all aftermaths, while at the same time delivering a devastating critique of phallocentric discourse in modern culture. I can’t wait for the sequel, in which the Sisters declare war against the male-dominated multinational corporation that is threatening to foreclose on their commune. Four Stars!”

Sadly, the former vice president’s wife changed her literary course shortly after the publication of “Sisters,” never returning to write that sequel.

Janet@coloradostatesman.com