How to Read The Confession

Jim McGreevey’s tell-all (okay, more likely “tell-some”) memoir is due out next month. In the interest of public service, we provide a handy guide for Trenton insiders.

1 Give it the so-called Washington read: Turn to the index to see if your name’s in there. If it’s not, relax and proceed to step 2. If it is, however, lock the door and pour yourself a stiff drink.

Turn to the page(s) on which your name is cited and scan for any mentions of furtive gay sex in bookstores or at Turnpike rest stops. If your name appears in the same paragraph, start writing your resignation speech, being sure to cite the desire to spend more time with your family as the reason for your immediate departure. If, however, your name appears in the same sentence as the phrase “a particularly rank, unfulfilling variety of lust,” contact your lawyer. Tell him you’ve decided to take the plea deal offered by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the event that McGreevey merely rats you out for a heterosexual fling with a lobbyist at the League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City, call your local Mercedes dealer and order a Mars Red convertible for your spouse and another—let’s say Iridium Silver—for the lobbyist. Do not skimp on the options for either. Finally, issue a press release flatly denying the allegations.

Have a staff member (one you haven’t slept with, or tried to sleep with) read the book and report back on the juicy stuff.

Schedule a news conference. Prepare to field the following questions:
“Did McGreevey adequately explain why he spent public money to pay for a trip to Ireland, why he uttered the word Machiavelli in a conversation with a fund-raiser involved in an extortion scheme, or how he really broke his leg during that walk on the beach?”

“How could the wives not have known?”

“Do you think Oprah will rip him a new one, like she did for that guy whose memoir was really a pack of lies?”

4 If you’re a Democrat, denounce the book as a missed opportunity to provide an insider’s account of how money corrupts good intentions. If you’re a Republican, denounce the book as proof of how money corrupts Democrats.

5 TiVo McGreevey’s appearance on Oprah, but watch it only if he jumps up and down on her sofa. Stay up late for Jon Stewart’s take on The Daily Show.

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