Monday, June 13, 2005

Klein's New Hillary Book's Hideous Revelations

Drudge has this report about The Truth About Hillary by Ed Klein. It seems that there is a point in the book where Bill reportedly raped Hillary leading to the conception of Chelsea. But does this make any sense? I'm the last person to defend Bill or Hillary Clinton, and I can't see the relevance to Hillary's ruthlessness which the book is supposed to chronicle. If it is to cast these people as completely emotionless and evil people who respect nothing (not even one another or themselves), then maybe.

Klein will be smeared as a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, but his role at a number of pro-Clinton publications, such as the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek will inoculate any of those charges. As the Drudge article notes, he has had his hand in various other publications that do not make one think of the Republicans or the American right.

But people don't publish things like this unless they are complete idiots (which Ed Klein is not), or unless they have excellent first-hand sourcing, because this kind of thing invites a defamation suit. I intend to read this book, and if I find that the accounts contained in it are largely the creation of anonymous sources, I'll largely disregard the claims of the book. Because I agree with Hillary about one thing: people both outside and inside her party want to knock her down and destroy any future political ambitions she has by uttering turh, exaggeration or falsehood.

But I believe that this is less an effort by the vast right-wing conspiracy than various former friends upon whom the Clintons have stepped to get where they are. And I don't think that they went on too many family trips with Dick Cheney or Tom DeLay. These people do not keep friends for long. Look at Vince Foster, Web Hubbell, and the McDougals as an example. "Friends" are tools to get places and to discard when done. They are the collateral damage of the Clinton ambition. And some of them may want to return the favor.

In any case, I pray that this book is not a smear attempt at their private lives which we already know are hopelessly screwed up. I am hoping for a book that richly quotes named sources with known and relevant contact to the Clintons throughout their careers. I hope it discusses Hillary's career and how she got where she did. Of course, her marriage to Bill has some relevance, insofar as it was the means by which she very willingly became a policymaker from 1993 to 2001. Her sticking to Bill, after his unremorseful involvement in a string of affairs became apparent during his second term, makes one wonder if the marriage is predicated on career more than love and commitment.

Despite all of that, it is of ancillary relevance. Certainly it can emotionally distance us from such people, but it really has nothing to do with technical qualification for office. The book will be a success if it details her career and scruples or lack thereof. Because people don't automatically clean up their acts once they make it to the top. Next week will show us the nature of the beast.

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