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Mrs. Clinton’s New Memoir
Wall street Journal ^ | 5/1/2014 | Peggy Noonan

Posted on 05/02/2014 4:13:46 AM PDT by nikos1121

Yesterday on a panel on “Face the Nation,” we briefly discussed Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming memoir of her four years as secretary of state. It is called “Hard Choices”—they appear to be running low at the book-title store—and will be published June 10. The announcement of the title alone made news, which is a measure of how much interest the book, good or bad, will engender.

Books are good and it’s good to write them; the always more or less beleaguered publishing industry needs bestsellers, and Mrs. Clinton has provided them, most spectacularly with her previous memoir, “Living History,” in 2003. The public, which foots the bill for American diplomacy, has a right to be told as much as possible about the creation of U.S. foreign policy.

The book is being put forward as “a master class in international relations,” which is quite a claim and a rather silly one: a professional diplomat would be slow to make it. But members of political dynasties are not in the modesty business.

A quick look at the political utility of the memoir.

First, the book itself can provide a template for a presidential run. It can make the case for a coming national candidacy by asserting a breadth of experience and accomplishment. At the same time it allows Mrs. Clinton to get everything out there that she wants understood about her tenure as secretary of state.

Second, the book tour can function as a discrete pre-presidential campaign before the real 2016 campaign begins. Actually it can serve as a perfect predicate for a big national campaign. The launch will be highly planned—staff, organization, an emphasis on presentation, appearances across the country and on every major television news show, etc. Mrs. Clinton will have an opportunity to share her views in soft-focus settings and will no doubt uncork a few amusing or spirited deflections when asked if she is running for president. Clips of these moments will be played all over the place. All of this will keep her candidacy in play daily and raise her elevation as the most interesting and important Democrat on the scene. If she does not run, her party will be left high and dry. She crowds everyone out even as she doesn’t announce.

It will be interesting to see if in the book she reveals or unveils any 2016 campaign themes. She seemed to put forward a new line at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit two weeks ago in New York. There Mrs. Clinton said partisanship is keeping America from greatness. This line manages to be critical of Republicans while also being obliquely critical of the president: It takes two to tango, and he led his partner poorly. No one can deny this has been a sharply partisan era; stressing the obvious is a triangulating move that suggests Mrs. Clinton is observing things from above the fray, which puts a happy emphasis on her maturity.

Third, the very fact of the book allows Mrs. Clinton to attempt to counter a growing perception, at least among Republicans, that she didn’t really have any accomplishments as secretary of state, and also that in American diplomacy in general the past few years there have been few triumphs to claim and many embarrassments to explain. During her time at Foggy Bottom a trend that preceded her continued and worsened: Foreign policy didn’t bubble up from the State Department anymore but was coming out of the political office of the White House. The secretary was more a public talker than a major voice in the creation of policy. Her communications people inadvertently lent credence to the charge by stressing that she’d visited more than 100 countries and traveled almost a million miles. Secretaries of state didn’t use to live on a plane.

She was a good soldier and accepted the reigning reality. But her successor, John Kerry, like him or not, is an example of what a secretary of state who takes chances and claims some autonomy looks like.

To counter the perception that she has little to tout, Mrs. Clinton will probably go heavy on recollections of personal meetings with heads of state and foreign ministers, late-night phone calls, and the telling of a personal sense of satisfaction and disappointment in various outcomes. The publisher calls the book a “personal chronicle.”

Fourth, Michael Duffy of Time magazine noted on “Face the Nation” that the book will be an opportunity to answer criticism in former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s own recent memoir. I’d forgotten that. Mr. Gates had praise for Mrs. Clinton and noted that both he and she had been offended by the “controlling” nature and obsessive credit-taking of the Obama White House. But he also charged that both Mrs. Clinton and President Obama had, as senators, opposed the 2007 troop surge in Iraq for purely political reasons. “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary,” Mr. Gates wrote. Mr. Obama, he said, “conceded vaguely” that opposition to the surge had been political. “To hear the two of them making those admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

It is hard to think Mrs. Clinton will not feel the need to answer that.

Fifth—we’re still on the political utility of the book—it will be an opportunity for Mrs. Clinton to address on her own terms and with her own data the question of Benghazi, which still lingers not only among conservatives but among others, especially veterans, their friends and families, who have a strong impression something bad and not fully on the up-and-up happened there, and in the weeks and months following the attack. Mrs. Clinton’s communications staffers will want to finish it off as a subject this summer so it doesn’t dog her in the campaign. At the same time, they won’t want the book tour dominated by the subject, which suggests a lot of interesting ground will have to be covered so that Benghazi doesn’t stand out too much.

Mrs. Clinton’s default is often to share her emotions about an event. Television interviewers like that too, because it makes for a dramatic interview. She and her advisors have a way of anticipating in advance what clips television producers will use in the making of a piece. One would be her famous retort to the questioning of a Senate committee: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” Those are among her most famous words. Something tells me they’ll be followed by a lengthy meditation on her anguish at learning of the death of her friend, Ambassador Chris Stevens, in the attack.

Sixth, a book is an extended document you can hold in your hand. It is standard media practice for political figures who are often asked the same question because they never seem to answer it, to begin their reply with , “As I’ve said before . . .” “As I’ve previously suggested many times . . .” I think media professionals believe that noting you’ve answered the question before subtly suggests your interviewer may be cluelessly unaware of your previous answers, or hectoring you. I don’t know whether this tack is effective or not—to me it always looks and sounds shifty—but Mr. Obama uses it a lot, as does Mrs. Clinton. Anyway, a book allows you to say, “As I’ve said before and as I went into at great length in my book . . .” It sounds like the predicate to something true.

Things to watch for? The degree, if any, to which she distances herself from the president; the degree, if any, to which she distances herself from ObamaCare. There’s probably a safe spot between warm support for its intentions and general outlines and acknowledgement of its problems. Maybe she’ll find it.

A final purpose of the book tour will be this: It will be personally energizing and heartening for Mrs. Clinton, who will be surrounded by her fans and by people saying, “Run Hillary, run.” It will be politically pleasurable for her. It is an insufficiently noted aspect of adult life that everyone’s pretty much trying to keep their morale up every day. A book tour is a morale enhancer for a political figure. If she didn’t walk in wanting to run for president, she’d walk out that way.

The great question is how tough the press will be, how acute in its questioning, how disciplined and tough-minded. That is, how seriously journalists will take their role as questioners, on behalf of the public, of a potential candidate for president of the United States. That remains very much to be seen.

TOPICS: Books/Literature; Society
KEYWORDS: hillaryclinton; peggynoonan
Peggy nails it. This book will be a flop. What has Hillary accomplished in the generation plus time we've known her? Why is she considered by anyone out there as an example of excellence in US foreign diplomacy. Her tenure is laughable, purely laughable.

I truly hope she runs, opposed by Al Gore, Al Franken and Al Pacino. Folks? This lady is a joke. AS Peggy points out,I expect Hillary will run with her calculated campaign of misinformation. Anyone taken this candidacy seriously is naïve.

On the other hand, our country elected Obama twice.

1 posted on 05/02/2014 4:13:46 AM PDT by nikos1121
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To: nikos1121

Not a fan of Peggy. But her book about Reagan is a must read.

After the last 24 years of incompetent white houses, I long for a time when serious grown ups are in charge.

And yeah...W is in that mix. I wish Cheney was more in charge.

2 posted on 05/02/2014 4:27:58 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
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To: All
I just can't wait to see what Me-First Hillary's gonna do to resurrect herself from the Benghazi debacle. Hillary's been dangerously exposed. But she has a cute way of bouncing back. Remember when Billy got lewinskied in the Oval Office? First Lady Hillary's political ambitions were in serious jeopardy.

So Hill went on TV---all decked out in virginal pearls---
and blamed Billy's B/J on the "VRWC."

For sure CBS will give Hill ample airtime so that she emerges pure and virginal for 2016. CBS will suckup and give her 2-3 segments to explain away Benghazi.....the word "Republicans" is already forming on those virginal lips.


Who can forget Obama and Hillary's love fest on CBS' 60 Minutes?

Obomba hustled Hillary on 60 Minutes to gaze in adoration,
after Hill's arrogant dismissal of the Benghazi massacre before
Congress. I thought sure Obama was gonna give 'er a B/J on
broadcast tv....he was THAT grateful.


Maybe the Clintons will do their Holy Family Act?
Gauzy family pics cuddling Chelsea's infant are good for a few votes.

The "Holy Family".

3 posted on 05/02/2014 4:33:54 AM PDT by Liz
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To: All
Did Hillary include a chapter WRT The Clintons very own Muslim terrorist ready to carry out presidential orders?

BACKSTORY Billy Boy Clinton was grinning like a simpering fool at the annual meeting of the tax-exempt "Clinton Global Initiative Foundation"....even Boobomba was there hugging Billy like they were old pals.....all in the wake of the bombshell news that:

<><> the tax-exempt Clinton Global Initiative Foundation uses shady financing;

<><> the tax-exempt Clinton Global Initiative had employed an active Muzzie terrorist named Gehad el-Haddad (The stupid Clintons did not know Gehad was Farsi for "jihad")

Gehad also knows how the Muslim Brotherhood launders money to finance terrorism, using "tax-exempt foundations."


THE CLINTON FOUNDATIONS / MUSLIM TERRORISM CONNECTION --- The recent story that a Muslim terrorist was working at the Clinton Foundation AND conducting terrorist activities at the same time, explains why the Clintons just remade themselves into the hallowed "Clinton Family Foundation."

The Clintons doing their "Holy Family" act.

NOTE The Clintons' shady foundation financing is unveiled in a recent NYT expose of Clinton corruption, greed, entitlement, nepotism, cronyism.


DHS and the State Dept recently published new exemptions in the Federal Register to welcome more terrorists seeking "asylum" in the screwing around a ban in the Immigration and Nationality Act that currently excludes refugees and asylum seekers who had provided limited material support, no matter how minor, to terrorists.

“These exemptions cover five kinds of limited material support that have adversely and unfairly affected refugees and asylum seekers with no tangible connection to terrorism: material support that was insignificant in amount or provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, family or humanitarian interactions, or under significant pressure,” a DHS official explained.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Hillary's successor, John Kerry, signed the Obama exemptions.

NOTE: Claiming "asylum" triggers endless monthly SS checks.

4 posted on 05/02/2014 4:37:23 AM PDT by Liz
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To: All
CLINTON POLITICS AND PROFITEERING: Boeing CEO questioned on donations to Clinton foundation Boeing's CEO faced pointed questions about its charitable donation to the tax-exempt Clinton Foundation in the same year that then-Secy of State Hillary Clinton advocated on its behalf on an official tax-financed trip to Russia.

(POSTER'S NOTE: Some might say it was common to advocate for US business---but then very few previous advocates had a presidential campaign on the burner----nor did they have three tax-exempt foundations panhandling donations from corporations.)

David Almasi, shareholder and representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research think tank, asked Boeing the question, and gave an indication of the kinds of challenges that companies could face as Hillary weighs a run for president. Dozens of major corporations have made charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation in recent years.

Almasi called the Boeing donation a "clear conflict of interest" that seemed "reckless and unnecessary." (According to Almasi's notes, CEO McNearney called an implication that the donation might have been legally questionable "beyond the pale.")

Boeing contributed $900,000 to the Clinton family foundation (there are three) just months after Clinton had traveled to Russia, where she made what she called a "shameless pitch" for a state-owned Russian company to buy Boeing passenger jets. Boeing won the $3.7 billion Russian contract in June 2010. (Some facts excerpted from report.)


Mmmmmm....Hillary's incessant globe-trotting raises new questions about her motives....since it is well-known her global travels contributed nothing to US foreign policy.

Hefty corporate donations to the Clintons' tax-exempt foundations are nice...... but exchanging valuable US ntl security info for campaign contributions......that could really add up.

And the airheaded State Dept sorority sister could not name EVEN ONE of Hillary's accomplishments at State?


And just who cleaned out the State Dept's bank accounts? News reports say the State Department announced it has "no idea" what happened to $6 billion used to pay its contractors..... a special “management alert” warned “significant financial risk and a lack of internal control at State has led to billions of unaccounted dollars over the last six years....under Hillary's watch.

Now we know how Hillary always$ get$ tho$e wonderful poll number$----why $he's always at the top of the pre $idential pack (cackle).

5 posted on 05/02/2014 4:40:03 AM PDT by Liz
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To: nikos1121

All the Clintons are a blot on the American political landscape. The MSM has facilitated their ongoing assault on our national character.

I regard the Clintons and the MSM as a malevolent fact of life in this country and one totally of our own making. The two are co equally toxic and so inseparably joined that to condemn one is to condemn the other as well.

That we have survived it, short of complete political debacle for THIS long, is remarkable.

The internecine and ruinous, Clinton/MSM contract from hell has wholly defaced American politics. What is worse, it’s become a pattern for the gratuitous, summary and perpetual abnegation of all/any failures and flaws of Liberal policies and Liberal politicians. It has displaced the legitimate and proper role of the Constitution in this country!

Politicians have failed and even broken the law BEFORE we ever heard of the Clintons. But NOW, failure and criminality in politicians have become commonplace and our objections to their conduct are denounced out of hand!

6 posted on 05/02/2014 4:40:48 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: nikos1121

I suspect supporters will be buying this by the pallet load.

7 posted on 05/02/2014 5:21:28 AM PDT by tje
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To: nikos1121

She will use “it’s time” for a woman in the White House, and that is all it will take with the electorate.

8 posted on 05/02/2014 5:34:33 AM PDT by browniexyz
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To: Liz

Holy moly, look at that family photo!

They don’t call Hillary “The Flying Buttress” for nothing.

9 posted on 05/02/2014 5:37:55 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: elcid1970

I think her only “hard choices” are whether to fade into deserved obscurity or go to prison.

10 posted on 05/02/2014 6:14:27 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: elcid1970

LOL——”Flying Buttress”-—good one.

11 posted on 05/02/2014 6:32:50 AM PDT by Liz
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To: All

Hillary’s memoir is called The Hard Choices”-——

I guess it WAS hard trying to decide whether (a) to give Russia the “reset button,” or, (b) to bomb the Kremlin.

12 posted on 05/02/2014 6:35:12 AM PDT by Liz
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To: Liz

My wife & I were touring the Canadian Parliament grounds. I pointed to the architectural flying buttresses of the Library building & asked, “Why do those remind me of Hillary?”

“That’s being very unkind.”


13 posted on 05/02/2014 6:51:24 AM PDT by elcid1970
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I agree with you, and just when I thought that everyone is complacent on this, O’Reilly comes out this week really swinging.

I know this guy is purely political in what he pushes, ie he usually check which way the wind is blowing, and he goes with it, trying effectively I might add to please everyone, but then occasionally he shows some guts, and he’s relentless.

He is genuinely, as we all are, upset with the media’s lack of going after this administration on Benghazi, and the last couple nights have been clear of that.

I recall very vividly Woodward and the other guy going after Nixon relentlessly over something that he really didn’t orchestrate. The press could easily go after Obama and his cohorts over the any number of things, but hasn’t.

Then you get this guy last night Baer’s report. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. He says, “Hey, talking points is part of governing.”

I want to scream about what’s going on this country, but it’s like no one is listening, esp the media.

Hillary Clinton is a joke. A complete joke. I would love to see her run, as she’ll be exposed for the phony she is.

14 posted on 05/02/2014 8:39:17 AM PDT by nikos1121
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