A very good Friday morning to you all. As I sit here listening to old songs from the 70s and 80s, I’m thinking about today’s blog post, a review of Enough, Cassidy Hutchinson’s much anticipated book about her work with disgraced former POTUS, Donald Trump. Hutchinson’s book was published September 26, 2023. I usually don’t pre-order things on Amazon, but I see I ordered Enough on September 25th. I didn’t start reading it until a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been making a concerted effort to get through it. I must admit, it hasn’t been the easiest book to read, but I also can’t read as fast as I used to, when my eyes were better.
Like so many people, I was shocked and amazed when I heard Cassidy Hutchinson’s extraordinary testimony to the January 6th Committee. I was also interested in her on a personal level, as she is a graduate of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. I grew up near Newport News, and CNU (called CNC when I was college age) has come a really long way since I was Cassidy’s age. When I heard that Cassidy Hutchinson came from Pennington, New Jersey, I was even more intrigued. When I was growing up, CNU was sort of considered a glorified community college. It had no dormitories, and a lot of the people I knew who went there were going because it was close to home and relatively inexpensive. But it’s really grown by leaps and bounds, and Cassidy Hutchinson has kind of put the school more on the map.
It’s also no secret that I DESPISE Donald Trump and his cronies. Anyone who tells the truth about his criminal behaviors and outright lies to the American people is alright with me. Or, at least that’s how I felt when I started reading Enough. Now that I’ve finished reading it, my feelings about Cassidy Hutchinson are a bit more complicated. I still think she is a brave woman who has ultimately done a huge service for the American people and, perhaps, even the world. But by the time I reached the end of her book, I realized that what she did, she mostly did to save her own skin… and that doesn’t necessarily make her heroic.
It’s not that I blame Cassidy for cooperating with Liz Cheney and the rest of the committee seeking to hold Trump responsible for what happened on January 6th, 2021. It was the right thing for her to do, morally speaking. It was also the practical thing to do, as she didn’t have the money for a decent lawyer. If she hadn’t cooperated, Cassidy Hutchinson would likely be in as much legal hot water as her former bosses are right now. But based on her book, I’m left with the impression that if Trump and his cronies had thrown her more of a bone– hadn’t labeled her as a “leaker” and turned on her– she would still be toeing the party line and parroting their talking points. I truly do hope that she’s come to her senses, at least about Trump.
Enough also includes some rather distasteful anecdotes from Cassidy Hutchinson’s childhood that, honestly, really turned my stomach and made me question some of her claims. At the beginning of the book, Hutchinson writes about her parents and her brother. She writes of how her family almost moved to Indiana and her mother had single handedly moved a baby grand piano by herself. As someone who owns a very heavy spinet piano that is in storage, I HIGHLY doubt that (it takes a couple of men to move my spinet, which is a much smaller instrument than a baby grand is). Cassidy’s father eventually decided that he couldn’t leave Pennington, New Jersey. So, just like that, the new house in Indiana was put on the market and they moved back to New Jersey. I suppose it could have happened that way, but I think there must have been much more to the story. And no matter what, I don’t believe that Cassidy’s mom moved a baby grand piano by herself.
According to her story, Cassidy Hutchinson’s father is a complete batshit crazy right wing conspiracist. He always spoke of her being a “warrior” and reminded her that warriors don’t cry. He’d go hunting and fishing, and Cassidy wanted to join him. One time she did, and watched in horror as her father obliterated a turtle with his gun. After her parents divorced, Cassidy’s dad sent her and her brother deer hearts that still dripped with blood. Not surprisingly, Cassidy’s father loves Donald Trump, and it was a tremendous source of pride to him that his daughter worked for Trump. I sense that part of the reason she identifies so much with Republican politics has to do with wanting to connect with her father, whom she admits was never a good father to her. She even outright writes that she now sees her stepfather, Paul, as more of a “dad” to her than her biological father ever was.
Like her father, Cassidy Hutchinson had also adored Donald Trump. She even put it in those terms, even though she admitted that he often behaved in a way that wasn’t presidential. I can excuse Cassidy somewhat for being young and naive, and I think maybe a bit starstruck. I also get the sense that Cassidy truly was very ambitious and really wanted to get into politics. She writes repeatedly that she thought of what she was doing as serving her country, and she demonstrates a real knack for working with people, even when they are insufferable. And yet she laughed at some of Trump’s antics, and admitted to becoming “inured” to some of his worst and most criminal behaviors. She ignored blatantly unethical and illegal actions by Trump and others in his administration. She had even committed to staying on Trump’s team until the very end, and even afterwards, when he went back to Mar-a-Lago.
It wasn’t until it became clear that Cassidy Hutchinson wasn’t going to be welcome in Florida that she started to change her tune. And then when she got served with a subpoena by federal marshalls, she realized that she was potentially in big trouble. What ended up happening is that she became loyal to the people who were willing to set her up with competent legal counsel. Fortunately, they were better people than Trump and his allies.
I took a look at Amazon’s reviews of this book. A lot of people seemed to love it. I can understand why. It was pretty awesome to hear Cassidy Hutchinson spill about working with Donald Trump and Mark Meadows. They screwed her over and wildly underestimated her. I love to see narcissistic creeps like Donald Trump and Mark Meadows get a much deserved comeuppance when they underestimate people they think can do them no harm. That part of the book– I won’t lie– is VERY satisfying.
However, I don’t think Cassidy realizes that a couple of the main reasons she was chosen for her job have to do with the fact that she’s young, very attractive, and, at least as a fresh, idealistic college graduate, easily impressed and pliant. I highly doubt Cassidy Hutchinson would have landed in her position if she had been a little bit older, wiser, and less fresh and beautiful. She was initially very loyal, trusting, and trustworthy, willing to work long hours for apparently low pay, take orders without question, and look pretty while doing so.
It’s true that Cassidy Hutchinson turned out to be much more capable than people realized. I just think it’s kind of sad that it took her so long to see the writing on the wall. My comments about Cassidy’s looks aren’t meant as a slam on her, by the way. It’s just that I’ve noticed that most of the women working in Trump’s administration had eye appeal, and that seemed to be every bit as important as their savvy and actual qualifications for the job.
If it weren’t for Liz Cheney hooking her up with lawyers who were willing to work pro bono, Cassidy Hutchinson would probably be living in Florida, still trying to advance Trump’s cause. Or, at least that’s the impression I got from reading her book. When it came down to it, her decision to cooperate with the January 6th Committee seemed to have a lot more to do with her not having enough money for a good lawyer, and not wanting to face legal repercussions, than actually doing what was right for the good of the country.
But… the most important thing is, in the end, Cassidy Hutchinson DID do the right thing and testify against Trump and his cronies. For that, I’m very grateful to her. I wish her the best of luck, though, especially if she intends to stay Republican. It may be a very long time before Trump is washed out of our political system. Right now, the Republican Party seems to be infected with Trump loyalists. Cassidy Hutchinson may find herself with a very tough row to hoe if she plans to stay involved with politics. She does seem to have a good friend in Liz Cheney, though, and maybe Cheney will be her saving grace. I don’t agree with Liz Cheney’s politics at all, but I do think she’s much more forthright and honest than Trump is. She’s more like the kind of Republicans I grew up with, back in the dark ages.
One other thing I want to mention about Enough is that it’s written in historical present tense, which I found kind of awkward and annoying. It reminded me of when I used to write papers for my English lit classes in college. I think I would have preferred Cassidy Hutchinson’s story to be written in past tense, as if she were telling the story in person. But that’s just a personal preference. Other people might not notice it or care. I do think the book would have been better if she had written it with a ghost writer, or at least a competent editor. Her writing isn’t bad, but it could use some polishing and tightening… and maybe fewer references to the many alcoholic drinks she consumed toward the end of her time in Trump land.
Overall, I think I’d give Enough 3.5 stars. I truly appreciate Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, and some of the anecdotes in her book are illuminating and entertaining. Some are even funny– especially when she writes about Mark Meadows unwittingly taking his first alcoholic drinks in front of a devout Mormon staffer. However, some of her stories seem a little like stretches of the truth. I don’t like her use of historical present tense. The book could use some editing. And I think she might be kidding herself somewhat, trying to come off as this virtuous, caring, savior, when what she was actually doing was saving her own skin (not that I blame her for that, mind you). Still, I have certainly read worse books by people involved with the Trump administration. John Bolton’s boring snorefest comes to mind.
I will recommend Cassidy Hutchinson’s book, Enough, for the interested, and I wish her much luck and success in her future endeavors. Above all, I hope she stays safe. Unfortunately, there are some very dangerous people out there who remain loyal to Trump. I’m sure some of them wouldn’t think twice about coming after anyone who threatens their orange dear leader.
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