“Here’s Clare” by Robert L. Haught (Haughtline, 312 pages, now on Amazon.com)
Robert L. Haught — erstwhile wire service correspondent, former top aide to the late Republican Gov. and Sen. Henry Bellmon in Oklahoma City and Washington and former pundit/humor columnist for The Oklahoman — has published his first novel, “Here’s Clare.”
The twist? This tome is about a beautiful, rich female Democrat running for governor of California on a “nonpartisan” platform. At the risk of spoiling the plot, I’ll say here that she loses the election. In real politics, with Haught’s help, Bellmon never lost.
Haught released the book last month in Washington during the 38th annual meeting of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, which for 15 years has bolstered the legacy of another historic Oklahoma pundit through the “Will Rogers Humanitarian Award.”
Haught’s own career morphed from writing on all subjects during the 1950s and ’60s as a United Press International newsman in Oklahoma City. He moved into the confines of political writing after Bellmon emerged from Red Rock as governor.
Unlike Will Rogers, who was a widely syndicated columnist during the 1920-30s era, Haught heads a band of pundits who write only for local newspapers.
With Democrat Hillary Clinton looming as potentially the first female president, Haught’s novel is relevant in that it addresses gender issues confronted by another Democratic woman who vies to be the first female California governor.
With fine word craftsmanship, Haught adroitly develops the characters within the novel. He adds twists of humor, irony and romance without injecting any supernatural forces or torrid sex into the plot.
— Joseph H. Carter Sr., for The Oklahoman