A new book by California's first lady, Maria Shriver, reveals a personal crisis when her husband, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was elected governor.
In "Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question, Little Book, Answer Within" (Hyperion), Shriver talks about the difficulty she had adjusting to ending her successful career as a TV news correspondent when her husband became governor of the nation's most populous state.
Shriver is the daughter of a famous political family of her own, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver, who was Sen. George McGovern's vice presidential running mate on the seriously unsuccessful Democratic presidential ticket in 1972.
To avoid a conflict of interest because her husband became an elected official, Shriver gave up her job at NBC -- she had been an anchor and correspondent there from 1986 to 2004. She said she felt lost.
"My career was gone," Shriver says in her 112-page book, "and with it went the person I'd been for 25 years."
Although the public knew little of the inner turmoil she endured, the once-confident working mom admits she suddenly had no idea what to do -- cutting ribbons seemed superficial, and staying in her office was safe but accomplished little.
"I was embarrassed to admit I didn't know what to do," she says in her book.
"I cried," Shriver told Oprah Winfrey last week. And then she added softly, "I still cry."
Keyes exits, quietly
Alan Keyes, the former Republican who came within about 1,200 convention delegates of thumping Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas for the GOP presidential nomination in 1996 and then came just as close to dismantling Texas Gov. George W. Bush in 2000 for the party's White House nod, is seriously considering trying to embarrass another political party.
Keyes recently announced that he was officially leaving the Republican Party -- which was relieved to hear that.
Keyes is best known recently as the former Illinois Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate singlehandedly responsible for halting the rise of a Democratic state senator there named Barack Obama.
In their fabled statewide 2004 contest, Keyes came within 43 percentage points of tying Obama.
In what Keyes' website billed as a "major announcement," the outspoken abortion opponent said he was considering joining the Constitution Party.
"They're considering me, I'm considering them," Keyes told several people during a conference call last week.
McCain on Ridge
For all the continued gnashing of teeth among some conservatives over Sen. John McCain's long, obstacle-strewn, improbable rise to the top of the heap in the Republican Party, he's been taking care not to unnecessarily aggravate parts of the GOP base.
Indeed, last week the presumptive Republican presidential nominee went out of his way to reassure antiabortion forces.
The Arizona senator was at Villanova University in the Philadelphia area, joining MSNBC's Chris Matthews for an interview session in front of a student crowd when the following exchange occurred:
Matthews: Let me ask you about your Republican Party. You've been a maverick, and a lot of people like you because of that. I want to ask you how much of a maverick you are. Would you put a person on the ticket with you, like the former governor of this state who is very popular, Tom Ridge, even though he may disagree on the issue of Roe vs. Wade and abortion rights?
McCain: I don't know if it would stop him, but it would be difficult. I just want to say that Tom Ridge is one of the great Americans. He served in the Vietnam War. He served in Congress. He served as a great governor of this state. I am proud to call him my friend.
Matthews: Why that one issue? Why is it that one litmus test issue?
McCain: I'm not saying that would be necessarily, but I am saying . . . the respect and cherishing of the right of the unborn is one of the fundamental principles of my party. And it's a . . . deeply held belief of mine.
At this stage of his running-mate selection process, McCain did not have to all but rule out Ridge (who also served as the first head of the Department of Homeland Security).
But after overcoming so much distrust among core GOP constituencies to emerge as the presumptive nominee, it appears clear that McCain wants to still such worries.
The PAC leader
Just when you thought you wouldn't have former Gov. Mike Huckabee to kick around anymore, he's back.
Not as a Republican presidential candidate. He's surrendered honorably and endorsed McCain, like most of the others who fell by the wayside.
After an overly dramatic countdown clock on his website reached zero recently, the former Arkansas governor announced that Huck PAC, his own political action committee, will financially support "Republican candidates who are passionate advocates for tax reform, a strong national defense, real border security, life, the family, less government and individual liberty."