When Sherrod Brown and Connie Schultz got married in 2004, their’s wasn’t exactly a typical union. Both had been married and divorced; both had grown children. Brown had served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993; Schultz was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. To make matters more complicated, less than two years into their marriage, Brown announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Upon the conclusion of the campaign (Brown was victorious), Connie Schultz released a memoir of her time as a candidate’s wife, …and His Lovely Wife (2007), a truly delightful book.
…and His Lovely Wife traces Brown’s campaign from its earliest days, all from the point of view of Schultz, a political neophyte. Schultz experiences the dirty work of opposition research (her trash is searched), the complicated matter of the news media (she’s a columnist at a newspaper with a very politically-vocal editorial page), and family challenges (Schultz lost her parents during the campaign).
Ultimately, though, the book is not a political diatribe. It’s mostly the story of a young relationship between two old hands at marriage, in the most unusual of honeymoon periods. It’s a love story, and a joy to read.
For the politically interested, …and His Lovely Wife features cameos from numerous figures whose statures have only grown in the years since: Brown’s Republican opponent is current Ohio governor Mike DeWine; also running for Senate in 2005-06 were future presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Amy Klobuchar.
Schultz has also published a compilation of her Plain Dealer columns, the also-enjoyable Life Happens (2006). She will be releasing her first novel, The Daughters of Erietown, in June. My son Andrew was granted an advance reader copy of the book, and I will be sharing my thoughts on it next week! Check back then!