ST. LOUIS — Politicians facing personal crises or highly-publicized scandals could find guidance in the new book, “The Recovering Politician’s Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis.” Politicians, more than twelve of them, come together and share their stories of struggle in this politician self help type book.
Three of the 12 contributors gathered Wednesday afternoon for a book signing at Pi restaurant in the Delmar Loop. Jeff Smith (former state Senator), Rod Jetton (former co-owner of The Missouri Times and former Missouri Speaker of the House, a Jason Grill (former state representative) discussed their downfalls and how they bounced back and autographed copies of the book for the audience.
“No matter how bad your problem or how bad your situation, you’re going to have life after death so to speak,” Jetton said. “Life still goes on.”
In Jetton’s chapter of the book, he writes how his family and personal life was affected by his political rise and subsequent downfall.
“If you’re not careful, success can kill you. And it sure took a toll on me,” Jetton read from his book.
Jetton said he remembers advice an “old state Rep.” gave him as a freshman legislator.
“(The old state Rep. said), ‘Don’t let this place change you,’” Jetton said. “I should have listened to that.”
Jetton said he was weary when editor and co-author Jonathan Miller asked him to write his story. He pursued writing for the book because he thought his story could help others. Jetton said the process ended up being therapeutic.
For Smith, the book gave him an opportunity to tell his own story.
“Everyone else — reporters, bloggers — write your story,” he said. “And at some point you think, ‘I would like to write my story, on my own terms.’ There’s speculation, gossip but nobody knows the story better than you do.”
Brittany Ruess was a reporter for The Missouri Times and the SEMO Times, and a graduate of Webster University.