Hard choice: St. Hillary or Hildebeest


Two books about Hillary Clinton hit the summer reading list — one dedicated to her magnificence and the other to her foibles.

The first book you know well. It has thrust Hillary upon the media circuit for weeks. Her I-wanna-be-president book is titled “Hard Choices.” It includes pictures of Hillary interacting with world leaders and the troops, as well as a lovely “live” picture of her sitting at her desk moving papers and looking all secretary of stateish.

For readers who plan to just flip through the pictures, there are two full-page maps filled with pointers to world hot spots such as Ukraine, Qatar and Kazakhstan. The takeaway, of course, is that Hillary is one smart cookie, a person who knows the world, and that she’s ready and willing to take her rightful place on the world stage as America’s first female president.

The text of the book (which I suspect few will read) comes in six parts that can be boiled down to this: “I was right all along about everything. Thanks to sexism within the Democratic Party I wasn’t nominated in 2008, and look how that turned out. How do you like me now, people?”

“Hard Choices” is such a sad collection of revisionism propped up as thoughtfulness, I was sure the last page would contain a full-page picture of Hillary doing a Mary Katherine Gallagher, dropping to one knee, throwing her arms high and yelling “superstar!” Instead it ends with Hillary sounding like she just accepted the Academy Award, “Ultimately, what happens in 2016 … I will always be thankful for …”

You can get “Hard Choices” online for the reduced price of about $15. As a meaningful account of her tenure as secretary of state, or even as a stab at laying out the path forward for America, it’s worth far less than that.

The second Hillary book is more esoteric. However, it promises far more entertainment with half the pomposity. It is by Ed Klein and titled “Blood Feud.”

Leaks in advance of the release dished the dirt on Hillary on multiple fronts. The two most interesting items are related to Hillary’s health. Klein says, based largely on unnamed sources close to the Clintons, that Hillary’s health issues are far more severe than so far have been revealed.

“She had managed to keep her medical history secret out of fear that, should it become public, it would disqualify her from becoming president,” he wrote. According to a source close Hillary, “a thorough medical examination revealed that Hillary’s tendency to form clots was the least of her problems. She also suffered from a thyroid condition, which was common among women of her age, and her fainting spells indicated there was an underlying heart problem as well. A cardiac stress test indicated that her heart rhythm and heart valves were not normal.”

Doctors won’t talk and neither will Hillary.

“Blood Feud” also details the mutual disdain between the Obamas and the Clintons. Klein reports that first lady Michelle Obama and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett came up with a name for Hillary one night over a bottle of wine. They dubbed her “Hildebeest.”

The Clintons, meanwhile, remain bruised from the 2008 South Carolina Democratic primary, when the Obama campaign accused Bill Clinton of playing the race card. (He did, by the way.)

Bill Clinton is said to have told friends: “I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.” But Clinton held his nose and invited Obama to play golf in an effort to solidify Obama’s support for a Hillary run in 2016. When Bill talked up Hillary’s qualifications to Obama, Klein says Obama snarked: “You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.”

Bill stood mute in his golf shoes but later told friends he could not believe President Obama would dare compare Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s.

It should be noted that Ed Klein publishes under a house that has also published conservative writers such as Ann Coulter. That fact is being used by some to cast doubt on the accuracy of “Blood Feud.” Klein is “a bit factually challenged,” one report said.

I can’t vouch for Klein either way. But out of the two books on Hillary Clinton this summer, guess which one won’t put you to sleep?

Sherman Frederick, former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and member of the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame, writes a column for Stephens Media. Read his blog at www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/sherman-frederick.