| April 18, 2016

Dana Perino: A small-town girl with big dreams

Dana-Perino-Book-Cropped.jpegThe 2016 election cycle may go down in history as one of the most contentious presidential elections ever. We are inundated by the media with messages of fear, anger, and frustration about the direction of our country. But Dana Perino, former White Press Secretary, wants people to realize that “in America, nothing is ever as bad as it seems because we have the opportunity and capabilities to fix problems.”

In her book titled “And the Good News Is”, Dana shares with us her life’s journey of being a small-town girl with big dreams. According to Dana, the American Dream is alive and well for those who are willing to stay the course and fight for the principles that make this country great. To this point, she shares the story of her father’s family emigrating from Italy, fleeing poverty in search of a better life in America. Under the government’s Enlarged Homestead Act in 1909, they moved to Wyoming and found success in ranching.

Every person’s journey is met with obstacles and successes. Dana’s includes a love story, career ambitions, and relationships that make the journey worth fighting for. An exceptional storyteller, she walks us through the different stages in her life and the open doors of opportunity that led her to the White House. Her choices and opportunities ultimately led her to be the second woman to serve as Press Secretary, but the first Republican woman to hold that position. She shares with us her unlikely love story of finding her passion for media and government that led her to have clear and defined goals to achieve her life’s purpose. However, this didn’t come easy, as every worthwhile goal must be tackled with drive and determination.

Dana’s story of almost resigning right before she was asked to accept the position of White House Press Secretary reminds me of a quote from Thomas Edison: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Dana provides great lessons and advice to this generation. She emphasizes the importance of having civility in our political discourse, making the intentional choice to not demonize the other person/group, and not resorting to name-calling. I encourage you to pick up her book and come meet her on May 12th at OCPA’s Citizenship Award Dinner in Oklahoma City.

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