The truth about The Truth About Hillary : Edward Klein's attack book is poorly researched, poorly written, poorly sourced

››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Edward Klein's attack book on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), The Truth About Hillary, appeared in bookstores this week, having already taken serious hits for peddling unsubstantiated sexual innuendo and outright fabrications.

A Media Matters for America examination of The Truth About Hillary finds that Klein recycles long-debunked claims about the Clintons; relies on anonymous sources for much that isn't recycled -- more than 70 footnotes refer to unnamed sources; and is chock-full of misleading claims and outright factual errors. It's also marked by a juvenile obsession with sex and a reliance on "convenient rather than complete evidence" that are rapidly becoming the author's trademark.

Klein's anonymous sources run from the mundane (he footnotes an interview with "anonymous expert on campaign and finance laws" for a quote explaining how Clinton can raise money for other candidates -- a quote Klein could probably have found dozens of experts to say on the record) to the offensive (Klein writes a chapter about Bill Clinton raping Hillary Clinton, resulting in Chelsea Clinton's conception -- all based on a single "anonymous source who was with the Clintons in Bermuda.")

The text of the book itself tends toward sweeping conclusions with little evidence; Klein favors quick, negative descriptions of people, without evidence or examples to back them up, such as his early reference to Bill Clinton as "careless and corrupt." And he makes ridiculous attempts at folksiness throughout the book. Once he mentions a person's nickname, he often refers to that person by the nickname -- so Nancy Pietrafesa (whose name is misspelled in the book) is quoted as "Peach"; Dolly Kyle Browning as "Dolly." The reader is treated to more than 15 references to Hillary Clinton as "the Big Girl," as in, "Some of the staff felt that the Big Girl's extreme suspicion of people and their motives bordered on paranoia" and "The Big Girl and the President took breakfast in the kitchen" and, best of all, "The Big Girl blew her nose."

Klein's references to Peach and Dolly and the Big Girl are so distracting that one begins to suspect misdirection -- an attempt to dull the mind to the many factual errors, distortions, and misleading claims sprinkled throughout the book. But they are there, and they are unmistakable:

  • Klein repeats long-debunked claims about Los Angeles air traffic being delayed while President Clinton got a haircut.
  • He falsely claims that Hillary Clinton spoke of her Jewish relatives only after controversy arose over her hug of Suha Arafat (Klein reversed the true order of the events).
  • He falsely claims the $25 million Clinton planned in 1999 to raise for her Senate campaign would be an "unprecedented" amount, ignoring the fact that another candidate had raised more than that for a Senate election held the previous year in the very same state.
  • Klein falsely claims that Rick Lazio, Clinton's Republican opponent in 2000 for a New York Senate seat, sent out no direct campaign mail.
  • He falsely claims that Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY) couldn't bring himself to say Hillary's name in introducing her at her campaign announcement.
  • He falsely accuses Moynihan of giving a long and rambling description of hay-cutting that, in fact, lasted all of 29 words.
  • Klein falsely accuses Clinton of ignoring Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) during a speech to teachers in support of his presidential campaign.
  • He falsely accuses her of not wanting Kerry to win and of spending her time in states such as South Dakota, in which Kerry had very little chance (she hasn't been to South Dakota in years) ... and on, and on, and on.

The following chart compares excerpts from The Truth About Hillary with the truth about the book; excerpts are listed in the order in which they appear in the book. With a volume this flawed, no catalogue of errors, omissions, distortions, logical contortions, contradictions, and smears can ever be complete, so this is only a start.

Edward Klein's The Truth About Hillary The truth about The Truth About Hillary

Klein, P. 1-2

"He had this big fiftieth birthday party at Radio City Music Hall," Monica recalled, "and [beforehand] there was a cocktail reception [at the Sheraton Hotel], and when he and [Hillary] came to do the rope line ... I had my back to him, and I just kind of put ... my hand behind me and touched him [in the crotch area]. And it ... was ... maybe sort of grazing of that area, but ... it wasn't how you might imagine it if someone described this, from a scene from a movie, it wasn't like that, but it was, you know ..."1

For a moment, Monica faltered, and her eyes welled with tears. Then she managed to pull herself together and say in a voice choked with emotion:

"... I don't even know if he remembers."2

Klein's source is an account of Lewinsky's grand jury testimony that appeared in the Sept. 22, 1998, edition of The New York Times. That transcript does not in any way suggest that Lewinsky "faltered," or that her eyes "welled with tears," or that her voice was "choked with emotion." Here's how it appeared in the transcript Klein cites:

Q. So it sounds to me like -- it's almost a situation where there are so many people that you can't really see that kind of --

A. Exactly. And it wasn't -- it wasn't a -- it was -- maybe sort of a grazing over of that area, but it wasn't -- it wasn't how you might imagine it if someone described this, from a scene from a movie, it wasn't like that, but it was -- you know. I don't even know if he remembers.

Klein, P. 2

And that thought tormented her.

She had flown to New York City at her own expense, and fondled the President's penis in the presence of his wife, who was a few feet away on the rope line and probably saw her do it, and yet Monica couldn't be sure that Bill Clinton even remembered the incident.

Lewinsky specifically testified - in the very passage Klein was quoting from -- that nobody saw her touch President Clinton. Then, when a prosecutor suggested it was a situation in which she couldn't have been seen touching him, Lewinsky agreed.

Hillary Clinton may well have been "a few feet away on the rope line," but nothing in Klein's cited source substantiates that.

Klein, P. 5-6

That same night, Bill Clinton telephoned Monica for some phone sex, and she mentioned that she planned to be at the White House on Pentagon business the next day.8

"Stop by the Oval Office," the President said.

Klein's footnote refers to a September 22, 1998, Times article; but this material does not appear in that article. The "Stop by the Oval Office" quote does appear in the September 12, 1998, edition of The New York Times, as part of the Times' reprint of the Starr Report. But the report does not say that Clinton telephoned Monica "for some phone sex," or anything like it - only that he telephoned her. Likewise, the next few sentences of Klein's book -- indicating that Lewinsky didn't see Clinton the next day because Evelyn Lieberman was nearby, and Lewinsky didn't "dare defy Hillary Clinton" -- are embellished; the source material makes no mention of a fear of defying Hillary Clinton; it simply said "Lewinsky did not see the President because Ms. Lieberman was nearby."

Klein, P. 6

Once Bill Clinton's affair with Monica became public knowledge in January 1998, Hillary acted as though she was just as scandalized by the news as the rest of the country.

Many people found that hard to believe. And so Hillary set out to convince people that the first First Lady ever to occupy serious real estate in the West Wing of the White House [...] a woman who once said, "[Bill] and I talk about everything. Anyone who knows us knows that we worked together on everything"9 -- that such an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful woman had been unaware of the existence of Monica Lewinsky.

Klein's footnote reveals that Clinton said "Bill and I talk about everything" years later, making it irrelevant at best, and misleading at worst, in this passage.

Klein, P. 6

Hillary had been interested in power all her life, but without Monica Lewinsky, she would have remained a scandal-scarred, unpopular First Lady without a promising political future.

This is nonsense. Hillary Clinton was quite popular before the Lewinsky news broke. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted in late December 1997 -- just weeks before the Lewinsky story -- found that 56 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Mrs. Clinton; only 38 percent had an unfavorable opinion. Her popularity drew other attention, as well:

  • "The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows that first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most admired woman alive, even more admired than Oprah Winfrey." [Bob Beckel, CNN's Crossfire, 1/4/98]
  • "Her popularity has soared recently to 59 percent." [Columnist Marianne Means, Baltimore Sun, 12/15/97]

Klein, P. 12

... the family residence, which was adorned with a Cezanne, a de Kooning, a Cassatt -- and a bronze sculpture of President Calvin Coolidge's pet chow, Tiny Tim. The Big Girl had found Tiny Tim while rummaging through the White House storerooms and had put this piece of kitsch on display (to the dismay of White House historians) as an example of her taste in art.3

Klein's footnote points the reader to the March 1994 issue of House Beautiful, which is not available on the Nexis database. But the article was covered in papers that are on Nexis, none of which referred to the Tiny Tim sculpture. If White House historians were truly "dismay[ed]" at the "kitsch," they kept their dismay quiet: A Media Matters search could find no mentions of it on Nexis.

Klein, P. 12

Few of the downstairs staff in the West Wing knew what went on inside that bedroom, and as a result, there was always a great deal of water-cooler gossip regarding the Big Girl's sleeping arrangements with her husband.

Was it true they slept in separate beds?

Were there any telltale signs on the presidential sheets that they ever had sex with each other?

For that matter, did the Big Girl have any interest in sex with a man?

Or, as was widely rumored, was she a lesbian?

Some people were offended by such impertinent questions about the First Lady.

But Hillary Clinton only had herself to blame for the talk about her sex life.

Klein quickly moves from sloppiness to sleaziness, trafficking in unsubstantiated rumors about Hillary Clinton's sexuality -- and blaming Clinton that he does so.

Klein, P. 13

After all this time, and all the effort that had been devoted to understanding her, the essential Hillary remained one of the great mysteries of our time.

What made her so difficult to understand was the fact that she was motivated not by one, but by many different feelings, ideas, and impulses -- some conscious, others repressed -- and that these feelings, ideas, and impulses were frequently at odds with each other.

Klein seems stunned to find that the world is not black and white; that a person might have "many different feelings, ideas and impulses" -- something most people probably take for granted. This reveals more about Klein than about Clinton, and may help explain why he is unable to reconcile different parts of Clinton's life that probably don't seem contradictory to most people. For example, Klein seems to think it contradictory that Clinton "said she was passionately in love with her husband, but many of her closest friends and aides were lesbians." There's no contradiction there -- just another opportunity for Klein to engage in gay-baiting.

Klein, P. 13-14

She was a mother, but she wasn't maternal.

She was a wife, but had no wifely instincts.

She said she was passionately in love with her husband, but many of her closest friends and aides were lesbians.

She inspired fierce loyalty among her followers, but she frequently stabbed them in the back.

She professed to be a devout Christian, but she cheated and lied at the drop of a hat.

She was a liberal who promised to use her power to help the weak and disenfranchised, but she acted more like a misanthrope who distrusted people and avoided their company.

[...]

In short, everything about Hillary was ambiguous; everything she stood for, she stood for the opposite. She seemed to lack the innate knowledge of good an evil, right and wrong, and the obligation to tell the truth.

Klein doesn't tell us what, exactly "wifely instincts" are.

Nor does he explain how the fact that some of her aides may have been lesbians even begins to contradict the idea that she was passionately in love with her husband.

In an interview with Salon.com, Klein hints at the explanation, asking, "What kind of woman is purposefully surrounding herself as a public figure with women known to be lesbians?"

Klein, P. 15

Another time, it was reported, she had burst into a room looking for her husband, and shouted at a Secret Service officer, "Where's the miserable cocksucker?"2

"It was reported"? By whom? Klein's footnote indicates the source is "Interview with David Schippers, chief counsel to the House Managers for the Impeachment Trial of President Clinton, March 7, 2004." It seems, then, that Schippers told Klein that it had been reported, which Klein then wrote ... shouldn't Klein have actually read the reports, if they really exist?

Nexis and Google searches for "Clinton and 'miserable cocksucker'" yield no results. How would David Schippers know this happened? And why would Klein write "it was reported" if his source was not a news report but rather an interview? Is this story second-hand? Third? Fourth? Does even Klein know?

Schippers, by the way, is anything but an impartial and credible source. A few examples:

  • Bob Somerby has pointed out that Schippers lied about Monica Lewinsky's age during her encounters with the president.
  • Schippers has peddled bizarre conspiracy theories about a connection between the Oklahoma City bombing and September 11.
  • Schippers' own book was published by Regnery, and Schippers has admitted he based his decisions about whether to include embarrassing material on whether he liked the people involved: "There were some things that aren't in the book because they might have been embarrassing. I just ignored them."

P. 17

Hillary's bubble was an effective political tool. [...] It helped deflect Kenneth Starr's quest for the truth about Whitewater, and left him sputtering in frustration.

"Quest for the truth about Whitewater"?

The man Starr described as a "model witness," David Hale, was an admitted liar and convict who bilked the federal government out of millions of dollars -- but he was willing to testify against Bill Clinton; apparently, that was enough in Starr's mind.

And when Starr finally found the truth -- that the Clintons were innocent of wrongdoing -- he kept it secret, allowing a cloud of suspicion to continue to hang over the Clintons in an election year.

P. 19

Cristophe, the legendary Belgian stylist, cut Bill Clinton's hair. The President once held up air traffic at Los Angeles Airport while he got a $200 haircut from Cristophe aboard Air Force One.

This is a lie. Clinton's haircut didn't hold up air traffic. The incident, and the debunking of claims that he caused air traffic delays, are sufficiently well-known that it is nearly inconceivable that this is an honest mistake.

According to a July 1, 1993, St. Louis Post-Dispatch article:

The story was that planes were kept circling as President Bill Clinton had his hair clipped on Air Force One at Los Angeles International Airport last month. The runway haircut by Beverly Hills stylist Cristophe became such a metaphor for perceived White House arrogance that the president himself felt compelled to apologize for the reported flight delays. But the reports were wrong. According to Federal Aviation Administration records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the haircut May 18 caused no significant delays of regularly scheduled passenger flights -- no circling planes, no traffic jams on the runways. Commuter airlines that fly routes reportedly affected by the president's haircut confirmed that they had no record of delays that day. The FAA records show that an unscheduled air taxi flight had the only delay attributed to the closure of two runways for an hour in anticipation of Air Force One's departure. The air taxi took off 17 minutes after leaving the gate - two minutes late, by FAA accounting. "If you understand the air traffic system, you'd find that statement (that planes were circling) ludicrous," said Fred O'Donnell, an FAA spokesman at the agency's Western-Pacific regional office. The office responded to Newsday's May 21 request under the Freedom of Information law. O'Donnell said that although two runways were closed, traffic was light that afternoon and arriving flights were simply diverted to the two other runways. "It did not cause any problems," he said.

P. 21-22

Several Arkansas state troopers charged that when Bill Clinton was out of town, Vince [Foster] would spend the night with Hillary at the governor's mansion. There were also reports that Hillary and Vince stayed together overnight in a remote cabin in the woods.

"Within the small circle of politically clued-in people in Little Rock, it was accepted as a fact that Hillary and Vince were sleeping with each other," said Michael Galster, a medical worker whose wife, Vali, was a good friend of Hillary's and worked closely with her on children's educational issues. "Hillary and Vince's love affair was an open secret."

Just a few pages earlier, Klein was telling us that Hillary was sexually frigid and/or a lesbian. Now, we're to believe she was having a passionate affair with ... a man?!?

Klein seems confused about which tired, old Clinton smear he wants to repeat; unable to decide, he tosses them all into the mix, resulting in a bilious stew of contradictory claims.

P. 22

As the person she trusted most in the world, Hillary often assigned Vince the sensitive task of cleaning up the political messes created by her careless and corrupt husband.

This sums up the book nicely: name-calling. How is Bill Clinton "corrupt"? Klein doesn't tell us; he just hurls insults.

P. 22

When Michael Galster, who held an orthopedic clinic in the Cummins state prison once every two weeks, discovered that HMA [Health Management Associates] was harvesting tainted blood from prison inmates by paying them $7 a pint, he threatened to blow the whistle. He was prepared to testify that the blood, some of which was infected with hepatitis C and the HIV virus, was being sold with the knowledge of prison authorities and Governor Clinton to several foreign countries, including Canada.

Klein presents this as original reporting, footnoting and referencing an interview he conducted with Galster. In fact, the story has been around for years, peddled by right-wing web sites like WorldNetDaily, Alamo-Girl.com (run by the "unofficial, unappointed secretary/archivist" of FreeRepublic.com), Human Events, and The Conservative Caucus.

After briefly getting some attention in right-wing circles in the late 1990s, the story quickly faded into oblivion; apparently, not even the conspiracy theorists who spent the better part of a decade claiming that Bill Clinton had Vince Foster murdered took it seriously.

P. 23

In addition, a White House staffer allegedly tampered with the titles of several memos [found in Vince Foster's office] and removed the First Lady's initials in an effort to erase her role in improper behavior. For instance, the staffer changed "HRC's Travel Office Chronology" to "Chronological Analysis of Travel Office Events."10

Klein's footnote indicates that his source is Barbara Olson's Hell to Pay, a 1999 attack book published by Regnery.

But three Washington Times articles from August 1996 -- the only articles available on Nexis that mention "HRC Travel Office Chronology" -- suggest that Klein is exaggerating. While Klein implies that a "staffer" changed the title of the memos on the memos themselves, the Times articles indicate that the titles were "changed" not on the memos themselves, but in a log of documents the White House provided House investigators -- meaning there was no "tampering" with evidence, as Klein suggests.

P. 25

Though she never released her medical records, a physician who had observed her at close quarters told the author of this book that he suspected Hillary had contracted an obstetrical infection, which was serious enough to damage the lymphatic vessels carrying excess fluid from her legs back into central circulation.

"A physician who had observed her at close quarters"? Klein's footnote offers little additional information: "Interview with anonymous medical authority."

P. 28

To advance her left-wing agenda, Hillary had planned to appoint Ickes as White House chief of staff in her husbands second term. But Ickes's reputation was so badly tarnished by his involvement in the administration's campaign-finance scandal that the President had no choice but to fire him.

This is false. First, the First Lady can't "appoint" a White House chief of staff. Second, President Clinton chose Erskine Bowles to be his second-term chief of staff; Bowles reportedly made Ickes's departure a condition of his acceptance of the job. Ickes wasn't fired because of the campaign finance scandal, but because Bowles didn't want to work with him.

P. 38

[...] Hillary invested $1,000 with a disreputable commodities broker named Robert L. "Red" Bone and managed to walk away with $100,000. She claimed she made the $99,000 profit by studying the Wall Street Journal. But she lied.

Klein offers no facts or citations to back up his contention that "she lied."

P. 38

In 1992, in the midst of the New Hampshire presidential primary campaign, the lounge singer Gennifer Flowers revealed that she had had a seventeen-year affair with Clinton. At first, Clinton denied her story. But after she released tapes of their intimate phone conversations, the candidate went on 60 Minutes to save his campaign.

Flowers didn't "reveal that she had had a seventeen-year affair with Clinton"; she claimed that she had a 12-year affair with him.

And the tapes she released were reportedly selectively edited -- just one of many problems with Flowers' claims, as Arkansas journalist Gene Lyons has pointed out (via the weblog Daily Howler):

"Among other things, Flowers' resumé claimed degrees from colleges she'd barely attended, membership in a sorority she'd never joined and jobs she'd never held. Her claim to have won the Miss Teenage America crown proved false. Much was made locally of her claim to The Star that she and Clinton had many torrid assignations during 1979 and 1980 at the Excelsior, Little Rock's fanciest hotel. The Excelsior didn't exist until November 1982."

P. 40

The Missing Rose Law Firm files: While a lawyer back in Arkansas, Hillary did legal work for a savings and loan institution that backed the Clintons' investment in a land deal that came to be known as Whitewater. She later denied representing the S&L, and the billing records of her legal work mysteriously disappeared. They surfaced conveniently in the White House in 1995 -- two days beyond the statute of limitations.

There are several problems here:

1) Hillary didn't deny representing the S&L; she said she did little work for it.

2) Klein neglects to note the inconvenient fact that the billing records, when found, confirmed Clinton's account -- they showed she billed only 60 hours of work for the S&L over two years.

3) Even the Office of the Independent Counsel reluctantly concluded "the evidence, including evidence reflected in the billing records of the Rose Law Firm, was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that her statements to the Resolution Trust Corporation regarding these matters were knowingly false."

4) Klein's dark comment about the expired statute of limitations neglects one minor detail: He fails to mention the supposed crime for which the statute of limitations had expired.

P. 40

All of these crimes and misdemeanors paled by comparison with the latest charge leveled against the President.

The "crimes and misdemeanors" Klein refers to were addressed on the previous pages - but Klein didn't actually specify any "crimes" committed:

1) The cattle futures profit: Klein makes no reference to any crime or misdemeanor; Clinton's transaction was investigated, and no charges were brought against her.

2) Gennifer Flowers: Klein makes no reference to any crime.

3) The "health-care debacle": again, Klein makes no reference to any crime, unless you consider creating a "comically complex" policy proposal a "crime."

4) Travel Office firings: Klein makes no reference to any crime.

5) FBI files: Klein makes no reference to crimes.

6) Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers: not only does Klein make no reference to crimes or misdemeanors, the closest he comes to mentioning Hillary is a reference to "the Clintons"

7) Rose Law Firm billing records: Klein's only reference to a crime is his statement that the records "surfaced conveniently ... two days beyond the statute of limitations." Statute of limitations for what, exactly, he does not say.

P. 54-55

That same year, Hillary took part in a mock presidential debate. It was well known that her father was a conservative, and that Hillary was actively campaigning for the Republican candidate, Barry Goldwater. However, she recalled that her government teacher, Jerry Baker, "in an act of counter-intuitive brilliance -- or perversity -- assigned me to play President [Lyndon] Johnson" in the debate.5 She said that Ellen Press, the only Democrat she knew in her class, was assigned to take the role of Barry Goldwater.

As she told the story, Hillary at first resented having to research Lyndon Johnson's Great Society policies. Gradually, however, she came to find herself arguing the president's liberal positions with "much more than dramatic fervor."6 She went on to suggest that it was a political turning point for her and Ellen Press.

However, the October 30, 1964 edition of Southwards, the Maine South student newspaper, directly contradicted Hillary's story about the debate. The paper mentioned no such switch of political affiliation on the part of Hillary and Ellen. Rather, it identified Hillary as a Goldwater Republican, not a Johnson Democrat as she later claimed.

Klein's footnotes send the reader to Page 24 of Hillary Clinton's autobiography, Living History. But that page reveals Klein to be a liar: Clinton did not claim to have changed her allegiance immediately following the debate. She wrote: "I found myself arguing with more than dramatic fervor. Ellen must have had the same experience. By the time we graduated from college, each of us had changed our political affiliations." [Emphasis added]

In the very same paragraph Klein quoted, Hillary Clinton wrote that her switch in political affiliation occurred by the time she graduated from college -- four years after the debate. Yet, in order to call her a liar, Klein falsely suggests that Clinton said the switch in affiliation happened immediately after the debate. Thus, Klein lies about Clinton's version of the story in order to call her a liar.

P. 56-57

"When Hillary left Park Ridge for Wellesley College, she was still a conservative Park Ridge girl," said Penny Pullen, a high school classmate. "She chose an all-girls college that catered to the upper crust, but the seeds of a radical left-wing political philosophy had been planted by her Methodist youth group minister, Don Jones. And those seeds would be watered and fertilized at Wellesley College.

"The next time I saw her," Penny continued, "was on television as a guest on The Irv Kupcinet Show. She looked like a hippy with big glasses, shapeless clothes, and hair that looked like it hadn't been washed in a month. Kupcinet patted her on the head in praise. My recollection is that she was yelling about a university strike over a rent increase on student housing."1

Klein's footnote indicates the source of Ms. Pullen's quotes are an interview he conducted with her in May 2004. Pullen's quote seems suspiciously polished and florid -- literally: "And those seeds would be watered and fertilized at Wellesley College"?

P. 60

In the highly charged atmosphere of the 1960s, Wellesley was ripe for change. Toward the end of her freshman year, Hillary was elected sophomore senate representative on a platform that promised to reform Wellesley's course requirements. Her inflammatory rhetoric brought her some unexpected notoriety. The conservative Boston Herald wrote that Hillary and her Wellesley College allies resembled "the Bolshevik women's auxiliary, in their fur caps and high boots. ..."

More name-calling from Klein; he offers no examples of "inflammatory rhetoric."

P. 62

Her feminist classmates refused to wear pretty dresses, style their hair, use coy remarks, or deploy any of the trappings that might make them appear subordinate to men. As a result, they sometimes appeared mannish.

"They sometimes appeared mannish"? Name-calling, again.

P. 62

There was a long tradition of lesbianism at Wellesley, though it had not always been called by that name.

[Klein continues on about Wellesley and lesbianism for quite some time.]

Klein makes so much of the existence of lesbians at Wellesley, one would think he had discovered the lost city of Atlantis; he goes on for page after page, again likely revealing as much about himself as about anyone else.

P. 63

To be a lesbian, it was not necessary for a woman to have a physical relationship with other women. Such a relationship could be romantic and asexual. Forty years before Bill Clinton tried to redefine the meaning of sex by saying "That all depends on what your definition of is is,"18 Hillary and her Wellesley classmates confronted the same question: what is sex?

Klein's footnote refers to the Washington Post's September 22, 1998, publication of the president's grand jury testimony. But he must not have read it; if he had, he would have seen that it is quite clear that Clinton's famous line had nothing to do with "redefining the meaning of sex," but was, rather, a quibble over present versus past tense.

But facts matter little to Klein -- not when there is a cheap shot to be taken.

P. 64

Their [Hillary and a college boyfriend] testy discussions about skiing -- which might have been a substitute for an honest discussion about Hillary's sexual frigidity -- often ended with Hillary retreating into an icy silence.

Sure, they might have been. But they might also have been about skiing. Notwithstanding Klein's apparent obsession with other people's sex lives, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

P. 70

After he [Bill Clinton] graduated from law school, he planned to return to Arkansas and run for public office. He had already picked out what he thought was a safe congressional district, and had secured a $10,000 loan from his uncle Raymond -- far more than was customarily spent on such Arkansas contests.

It is unlikely that Clinton considered the district "safe," as it was represented at the time by a Republican, John Paul Hammerschmidt. According to Encarta, Hammerschmidt "was a popular candidate and was considered unbeatable"; his 1974 victory over Clinton was his closest race in 26 years in Congress. Republicans held the district for 30 years.

P. 70-71

Years later, Hillary would tell a story about how she and Bill met at Yale. According to this tale, Hillary caught Bill staring at her across the room in the law library, and marched over to the moonstruck Arkansan and introduced herself. The anecdote had a nice feminist ring to it: a woman took the initiative and forced the issue.

The only trouble was, Hillary's story was blatantly untrue.

Klein's basis for saying Hillary's story was "blatantly untrue"? "Interview with Yale Law School classmate who requested anonymity."

Perhaps "blatant" doesn't mean what Klein thinks it means.

P. 80

The [John] Doar irregulars further asserted that a president had neither the right to representation by counsel in an impeachment proceeding, nor the right to cross-examine witnesses.17 This ruling would have prevented President Nixon's attorneys from examining witnesses who could testify that the Kennedy administration indulged in acts that had been blatantly unconstitutional.

These and other procedural rules, which were drawn up by Hillary Rodham and approved by Burke Marshall, had one principal object: to protect the reputations of John F. Kennedy (and, by extension, that of presidential hopeful Teddy Kennedy.)

Though Klein implies that a Hillary-led faction of House Judiciary Committee staffers deprived Nixon of the ability to mount an adequate defense, this is patently false: Nixon's attorney, James St. Clair, was permitted to cross-examine witnesses. St. Clair's questioning of John Dean is particularly famous.

P. 90-92

Klein tells a tall tale of Chelsea being conceived when Bill raped Hillary during a Bermuda vacation.

How well-sourced do Klein and Penguin books think a claim that a former president of the United States raped his wife has to be before they'll set it in print? Klein's footnote tells us: "Interview with an anonymous source who was with the Clintons in Bermuda."

Media Matters to Penguin: Prove rape claim or retract it and apologize.

P. 91

Klein quotes his anonymous source claiming that, two months after the alleged rape:

"...the phone rings in my office in Wall Street. It's [Bill] Clinton, calling from the Governor's mansion in Little Rock. [...] Anyway, we talk for a while, and then he says, 'By the way, Hillary hasn't been feeling well recently. She went to the doctor, and the doctor called a press conference, and lo and behold, I'm holding the Arkansas Gazette reading that my wife is pregnant.'

"That's the way he learns that Hillary is pregnant with Chelsea -- in the newspaper.

"But the fact that his wife didn't tell him that she was pregnant before she told a reporter doesn't seem to faze him one bit, because he says, 'Do you know what night that happened?'

"'No,' I say. 'When?'

"'It was in Bermuda,' he says. 'And you were there!'"2

Again, Klein's source is the "anonymous source who was with the Clintons in Bermuda." Like all of Klein's anonymous sources, the footnote gives no indication that he had more than one source, or any other corroborating evidence.

Klein gives no indication that he took basic steps to check out the story -- did he seek out the Arkansas Gazette article to see if it actually happened? To see if it quoted Bill Clinton? To see if the article ran close enough to the date of conception that it was still plausible that Bill Clinton didn't know about the pregnancy? To see if there was any indication of a "press conference"? A quote from the governor's press secretary?

Of course, the answers to these questions, even if consistent with the story Klein's anonymous source told, wouldn't confirm that the source was telling the truth. But if the answers were inconsistent with the source's story, it would destroy his credibility -- not only regarding when Bill Clinton found out about the pregnancy, but regarding the alleged rape, as well. Perhaps that's why Klein apparently didn't check into it: he was afraid of what he'd find.

P. 94

"He had two levels of women: smart peers who he could tell were having trouble with their spouses, and of course the babes," said Nancy "Peach" Pietrefesa,2 an ardent feminist who had been Hillary's best friend during her senior year at Wellesley, and who, after moving to Little Rock, was rumored to be Hillary's lesbian lover.3

Klein misspells the woman's name throughout; it's "Pietrafesa." Klein didn't bother to talk to her; his footnotes refer to previous attack books about Hillary.

And Pietrafesa isn't happy, as Media Matters president David Brock noted in a letter to Penguin:

Throughout his book, Mr. Klein engages in gay-baiting innuendo. One of the most striking examples of such negligence occurs on page 94, where Mr. Klein introduces Nancy Pietrafesa, whose name he misspells throughout, as someone "rumored to be Hillary's lesbian lover." An attorney for Ms. Pietrafesa, a non-public figure, told the New York Post: "These allegations are totally false and unsubstantiated. Klein has apparently done no investigating. This is scurrilous, despicable and politically motivated." On June 15, The Syracuse Post-Standard quoted Ms. Pietrafesa, who has been married for 35 years and is the mother of three sons, as saying, "This could hurt my family. This could be an insidious, totally destructive thing in a family. Having that even as a question about my love and loyalty to my husband is very hard, and very sad." As Ms. Pietrafesa told the New York Post: "No one deserves this kind of crap."

Proper legal and editorial review of Mr. Klein's manuscript would have alerted the publisher to Ms. Pietrafesa's contention that Mr. Klein did not even bother to contact her before repeating a false rumor as if it might be true. That a newspaper in Syracuse easily determined the falsity of the Pietrafesa story suggests a serious lack of due diligence on the part of Mr. Klein and you, his publisher.

P. 107

Hillary's West Wing staff was so large that it had to be housed in the Old Executive Office Building next door to the White House. This staff, which soon became known as "Hillaryland," consisted of a group of strong, like-minded women who struck people, including several who were interviewed for this book, as masculine in appearance, dress, manner, and speech.

P. 108

Yet another appointment [Hillary was responsible for] was the unfailingly loyal Evelyn Lieberman, who was given the title deputy chief of staff, and served as Hillary's eyes and ears in the White House.

[...]

"She called one day, and asked if I could come over right away to the White House for a job interview," said a woman who ended up working for the administration. "I didn't have a chance to dress for the interview, but I had on a perfectly acceptable business suit. When Evelyn saw me, however, the first thing she said was: 'We wear stockings in the White House.'"11

Klein, in the space of just more than a page, argues both that women who worked at the White House were "masculine in appearance [and] dress" ... and that Hillary's "eyes and ears in the White House" insisted that women wear stockings.

We presume Klein meant to add that they were particularly masculine stockings.

P. 107-108

Hillary scattered other friends throughout the Clinton administration.

[...]

Another Hillary appointment was Susan Thomases, a tough and ruthless New York lawyer, who was known as the First Lady's "Red Queen." Susan Thomases whipped the staff into line through fear and intimidation.

We find no indication that Susan Thomases ever worked in the administration, though she did work in Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign.

P. 130

It took Bill Clinton just twenty seconds and fifty words to tell one of the most blatant lies in the annals of modern presidential history [that he "did not have sexual relations" with Lewinsky].

Behind him, dressed in a lemon-and-cream-colored suit that picked up the yellow in the President's tie, Hillary nodded in approval, even though she knew he was lying.

Klein's assertion that Hillary "knew he was lying" is not supported.

P. 133

"She was very relaxed on the ride over," said Melanie Verveer, her dark-haired mannish-looking chief of staff, who had worked with Hillary at the Children's Defense Fund.

Aside from the childish cheap-shot about her appearance, it is worth noting that Clinton's chief of staff was Melanne Verveer, not "Melanie Verveer."

P. 144

"In the first administration, when she was running the White House, she was the queen bee, running around, doing whatever the hell she wanted," said David Schippers, chief counsel to the House Managers for the Impeachment Trial of President Clinton. "She was making policy, and things like that. That fell apart, but then she did a complete change.

"She played the poor wife -- she'd been betrayed. Instead of being the crook who went down with Whitewater, she suddenly became the object of sympathy. Suddenly, in the public eye, she became the poor wife just moseying around the White House, while people were doing things behind her back. That's absolute bullshit. Within the White House -- don't kid yourself -- she still ran the show more than ever."5

How would Schippers know any of this? What is his basis for saying anything about what Hillary Clinton was doing during the first term? Klein may as well have quoted the voices in his head, for all the inside knowledge Schippers had.

And why would Hillary have been "the crook who went down with Whitewater"? After all, a dizzying amount of time and money was spent on numerous government investigations of Whitewater, all of which failed to uncover illegal acts by Hillary Clinton.

P. 160

[...] Hillary turned for help to image-maker Mandy Grunwald, a formidable figure both politically and physically. Mandy stood nearly six feet tall and had a booming voice and a thick head of black hair. A bundle of nervous energy, she chain-smoked Marlboros. Some of her Republican counterparts in the political consulting business joked that she looked like the Marlboro man in drag. Mandy didn't take offense. She was a fierce partisan, who could give as good as she got.

More insults from Klein.

P. 172

The deep ambivalence that Moynihan felt toward Hillary became immediately apparent when he stepped in front of the microphones and plunged into a long, rambling discourse about how he had mowed the hay field a week early to accommodate all the satellite dish trucks. Then he caught himself.

"God, I almost forgot," he said with a mischievous grin. "I'm here to say that I hope she will go all the way. I mean to go all the way with her. I think she's going to win. I think it's going to be wonderful for New York."7

Following is Moynihan's "long, rambling discourse about how he had mowed the hay field a week early to accommodate all the satellite dish trucks" - in its long, rambling entirety:

MOYNIHAN: "Your arrival required us to get the hay in a week early, which turned out to be a good idea, so John Briggs thanks you and welcomes you also."

That's it. 29 words, at most -- depending on whether you think the last nine are about hay.

Klein's sentence describing it was 44 words -- 50 percent longer than Moynihan's "long, rambling discourse" itself!

P. 172, continuing directly

For Moynihan, apparently it was easier to say "she" than "Hillary."

For Klein, apparently it was easier to make things up than to find actual evidence that Moynihan disliked Clinton.

Here is Moynihan's full comment:

MOYNIHAN: Now, I have the great pleasure to welcome Mrs. Clinton to the farm and turn over the microphone to our candidate. Before you do -- before I do, and, my God, I almost forgot -- yesterday, Hillary Clinton established an exploratory committee as regards candidacy for the Senate, United States Senate, from New York, a seat which I will vacate in a year and a half. I'm here to say that I hope she will go all the way. I mean to go all the way with her. I think she's going to win. I think it's going to be wonderful for New York, and we'll be proud of our senator and the nation will notice.

Klein simply doctored Moynihan's quote to make it appear he couldn't bring himself to say Hillary's name.

P. 175

"It was clear from the way Harold [Ickes] ran the meeting -- and the fact that he brought along [former Clinton-Gore '96 campaign official] Laura Hartigan -- that he was going to be in total charge of Hillary's Senate campaign," said a New York-based activist who attended the secret meeting. "I found it strange that Hillary, who was going to face the sensitive carpetbagger issue, would choose Harold, who now made his headquarters in Washington, D.C., not in New York, and was seriously contaminated by his alleged connections to so many financial scandals.

"Let's face it," this person continued, "Harold might be a brilliant political strategist, but he's not a good guy. And he hated Bill Clinton for having fired him. True, Hillary had conspired with Bill behind the scenes to fire Harold, but she pretended otherwise, and was able to good-cop Harold back into her camp for the Senate race. That this seriously compromised guy was her guru said an awful lot about the character of Hillary Clinton."7

The footnote indicates Klein's source is an "Interview with an anonymous source who worked on fund-raising for the Senate campaign." As with Ms. Pullen, these quotes are suspiciously florid.

Further, the notion that the selection of the Washington-based Ickes somehow exacerbated Clinton's "carpetbagger" problem is absurd; Ickes's ties to New York were certainly not in question at the time:

  • "Few are better equipped to help Clinton navigate New York's choppy political waters than Ickes, the son of a New Deal cabinet secretary and a longtime veteran of New York's bare-knuckles political wars. ... 'Harold is one of smartest political strategists in the country,' said Judith Hope, state Democratic chairwoman. 'And anybody would be fortunate to have him on their team, especially anyone looking to build a career in New York State.' In addition to his link to the Mineola law firm, Ickes also runs his own consulting business with former aide Janice Enright. They count among their clients some of New York's most powerful forces, including the United Federation of Teachers and the New York City Council." [Newsday, 3/11/99]
  • "[A]t the very moment the Senate was voting to acquit the President, Hillary was sitting down to what aides call 'just a social lunch' with Ickes Jr., by now the party's prime wheeler-dealer in New York, to make him her point man in the upcoming campaign." [New York Observer, 2/28/99]
  • "He represents New York's City Council and other high-octane interests through his Washington consulting business and still works for a politically connected Long Island law firm. ... Having worked on nearly every level of New York campaign short of dog catcher, his state connections remain solid." [The Baltimore Sun, 5/19/99]
  • "While Republicans are fond of dismissing her as a 'carpetbagger' who has never lived or worked in New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton has put together a political team with strong ties to the state. Republicans aren't convinced it will turn the trick for her. 'Her problem is not her advisers not being from New York, it's her not being from New York,' veteran GOP operative Kieran Mahoney said. But there is no denying her organization has a strong New York flavor. Heading up the first lady's troupe is Harold Ickes, a former White House deputy chief of staff who played key roles in both of Bill Clinton's successful presidential runs. The son of one of the late New York Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt's top presidential advisers, Ickes is a veteran of the New York political scene and was a key adviser to former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. [Marc Humbert, Associated Press New York political writer, 7/26/99]

P. 175

After everyone had a chance to get reacquainted and settle down, Ickes handed out a sheaf of papers labeled "National Fundraising Strategy Plan Working Document/Confidential - Not for Distribution." The room fell silent, except for the rustle of paper.

A quick scan of the document revealed two major surprises. First, the plan set a staggering goal of $25 million in direct contributions, or so-called "hard money," to the candidate. This was an unprecedented amount for a Senate race.

Another falsehood; $25 million wasn't unprecedented for a Senate race, and it wasn't unprecedented for a Senate race in New York state. At the time of the meeting, it had been less than a year since Sen. Al D'Amato (R-NY) raised $27 million in hard money for his unsuccessful 1998 re-election campaign.

P. 177

In their view, Thomases's strength derived from her special relationship with Hillary, which had been forged back in Arkansas during Bill Clinton's unsuccessful 1974 campaign for Congress.

During that campaign, Hillary Clinton and Susan Thomases discovered they had a great deal in common. For one thing, they both viewed politics through the same lens: as war by other means. More important, although they were both married, they traced their political ideology to "gender feminism."

"Special relationship"? Klein's gay-baiting innuendo surfaces again and again.

P. 179

"It's not that she [Susan Thomases] has the juice," said one White House operative. "She is the juice. She's the juicer, too. The Braun automatic."16

Klein's footnote cites "James Carville quoted in Lloyd Grove, 'The Clintons' Bad Cop,' Washington Post, March 2, 1993."

But Carville never worked in the White House, making it hard for him to be a "White House operative." And the Post article makes clear Carville was not the speaker of that line:

"During the campaign, Clinton strategist James Carville would explain such incidents by saying with a shrug that Thomases 'has the juice' -- a reference to her bond with Bill and especially with Hillary, a close friendship of 19 years' standing. 'It's not that she has the juice,' says one White House aide, who scrapped with Thomases during the campaign and now gives her a wide berth. 'She is the juice. She's the juicer too. The Braun automatic.'"

P. 187

When the Yankees won the American League Pennant, Hillary lost no time in inviting them to the White House. Manager Joe Torre presented her with a team cap, and she promptly put it on and declared that she had "always been a big Yankees fan."5 After the laughter died down in the saloons and taverns throughout New York City, Hillary looked more like an out-of-touch carpetbagger than ever.

Talk about "out-of-touch"! Klein lives in New York and is writing about Hillary Clinton, yet he betrays a complete lack of understanding of the Yankees, baseball, and the White House.

The incident Klein refers to occurred in June 1999; the Yankees were invited to the White House in honor of their 1998 World Series victory, not their American League Pennant. Hillary didn't rush to invite them; all World Series winners get a White House invitation, and the Yankees came to the White House in June,1999 -- nearly eight months after their World Series victory.

Finally, Klein repeats the canard that Hillary Clinton's embrace of the Yankees was inauthentic and politically motivated. In fact, she had always been a Yankees fan.

P. 188

When Hillary made the obligatory trip to Israel to win Jewish voters back home, she went to the Palestinian-controlled city of Ramallah. There, she appeared onstage with Yasser Arafat's wife, Suha, who made the outrageously false charge that Israel was poisoning Palestinian women and children with toxic gases. At the end of Mrs. Arafat's speech, Hillary applauded enthusiastically, then gave Suha Arafat a big hug and a kiss. The photo of the two women kissing, which was played around the world, sowed serious doubts about Hillary in the minds of many Jewish voters.8

When Hillary realized that she had gotten herself in a jam with Jewish voters, she suddenly turned up a long-lost Jewish stepgrandfather -- an announcement that was dismissed by many cynical New York voters as an example of her pandering.9

Klein, trying to portray Clinton as a political opportunist, got the facts completely wrong: News of Clinton's Jewish step-grandfather came long before the Suha Arafat incident, as even a cursory check of the facts would have quickly revealed. The story about Clinton's Jewish family members received extensive media coverage in August 1999, three months before the November 1999 incident with Arafat:

  • "Her audience seemed to have little interest in the two media obsessions surrounding the first lady -- her recent remarks on her husband's infidelities, and the fact that her step-grandfather turns out to have been Jewish. (Headline in the New York Post: 'Oy Vey!')" [Washington Post, 8/7/99]
  • "Another surprise from the first lady. As she campaigns in New York, she tells a Jewish newspaper that her step-grandfather, Max Rosenberg, was Jewish." [Rita Cosby, Fox News, 8/5/99]
  • "What we've found is that Hillary Clinton's grandmother, a woman named Della Murray, married a Russian Jewish immigrant named Max Rosenberg and had a daughter who was Hillary Clinton's half-aunt, who Hillary was in touch with until that woman died in December." [Seth Gitell of the Jewish newspaper Forward, CNN, 8/5/99]

P. 192

Ickes and company relied heavily on focus groups to shape the way they marketed their candidate. Gone was the left-wing Hillary, the gender feminist who sounded to many people like a radical bomb-thrower. In her place was the newly minted Hillary, a kinder, gentler, family-oriented candidate who championed such issues as children's mental health.

This is a patently absurd example of the ongoing effort by some media figures and conservative activists to pretend that Hillary Clinton was a "left-wing radical" who has moved to the center out of political expediency. Mrs. Clinton has long "championed such issues as children's mental health," as a nearly 20-year-old April 25, 1986, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article makes clear:

About 200 guests gathered Thursday for a ground-breaking ceremony at the site of a new Sturgis Adolescent Center that will be built adjacent to the Elizabeth Mitchell Children's Center at 6601 West Twelfth Street and heard Hillary Clinton proclaim the event "an important day for the children of Arkansas." Later, to the applause of the guests, Mrs. Clinton sat at the controls of a large backhoe and, under the supervision of a professional operator, scooped up a shovelful of dirt and deftly set it aside.

More than $1,050,000 has been raised to build the center through a capital campaign that Mrs. Clinton, wife of Governor Bill Clinton, helped begin in January 1985.

The Children's Center is a mental health agency for emotionally troubled children and their families and provides private counseling for children and families and intensive residential treatment for children aged six to 16 who are experiencing severe emotional problems.

D. Eugene Fortson, the capital campaign chairman, said at the groundbreaking that the new two-story Adolescent Center would meet the needs of disturbed adolescents who often have had to go outside the state to find approved medical care.

He noted that Act 588 of 1985, which was proposed by Mr. Clinton and guided through the legislature by state Senator Max Howell of Jacksonville, had provided a $ 200,000 matching grant for construction of the Adolescent Center.

If Klein (or his editors and publishers) cared enough to check the facts behind Clinton's supposedly new-found interest in children's mental health, it would have been easy to do: A rudimentary Nexis search for "Hillary Clinton and children! w/5 mental w/5 health" yields 112 results, the oldest of which is the Democrat-Gazette article quoted above.

P. 196

Nor did Lazio have time to develop an effective ground game. He failed to show up at county fairs in upstate New York, and completely ignored direct mail. Instead, he spent all his resources on TV commercials and raising hard money.

Not true. Lazio sent out "millions" of mail pieces, according to his own spokesman. The New York Observer reported one famous example on 11/6/00:

Representative Rick Lazio has sent a fund raising letter to the chairman of the New York chapter of the American Muslim Alliance, whose members Mr. Lazio denounced as supporters of Mideast terrorism after learning that the group raised $50,000 for Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The fund raising letter, sent to Dr. Faroque Khan, the New York chapter chairman, and bearing Mr. Lazio's computer-generated signature, is dated Oct. 23 -- two days before Mr. Lazio assailed Mrs. Clinton for accepting money raised by Alliance at a fund raiser in Boston last June. Mr. Lazio referred to the funds, along with a $1,000 contribution from an official of another Muslim group, as "blood money."

[...]

Dan McLagan, a spokesman for Mr. Lazio, dismissed the significance of the letter. "I think Joe Lockhart got one of our mail solicitations once," Mr. McLagan said, referring to the former White House spokesman. "If you subscribe to virtually any modestly well-read magazine, you have pretty good odds of getting a fund raising solicitation. We send out millions of letters...We haven't taken any money from this guy."

P. 202-203

Just weeks before she became a senator, she had signed a controversial $8 million book contract with Simon & Schuster.

[...]

Greed seemed to be the only explanation for the outlandish book deal.

And what is the explanation for Klein's error-and-innuendo-filled hate book? As Salon reported:

"Isn't it Dr. Johnson who said any writer who doesn't write for money is a fool?" said Klein. "What I do for a living is write popular nonfiction and the more popular it is the more books I sell and the more money I make."

P. 209-210

Some senators professed to detect the emergence of a kinder, gentler Hillary. They noted that she never criticized President George W. Bush.

Who "noted" this? Klein doesn't say. Maybe he made it up; after all, Clinton certainly has criticized President Bush, as even a cursory glance at her web page should make clear.

Or perhaps Klein missed these and other headlines in his hometown newspapers over the past few years:

New York Times: "In TV Interviews, Senator Clinton Criticizes Bush's Handling of Iraq"

Newsday: "Clinton Attacks Bush's School Plan; Says New York needs much more funding"

New York Sun: "Senator Clinton Derides Bush Foreign Policy"

New York Daily News: "HILLARY, LEVY FLUNK ED PLAN Say Bush won't do enough"

New York Daily News: "HIL SAYS BUSH TOO EAGER TO FIGHT SADDAM"

New York Post: "HILL RIPS BUSH ON SCHOOL CUTS"

New York Post: "HILL'S HOMELAND ATTACK : SLAMS BUSH OVER SECURITY MYTH"

P. 212

It was not only the supermarket tabloid Globe that linked Bill Clinton to the Bronfman split-up; so did Nigel Dempster, the gossip columnist of the London Daily Mail; Blair Golson in the New York Observer; George Rush and Joanna Molly in the New York Daily News; the New York Post; and Newsweek.5

Klein's footnote directs the reader to Jonathan Alter's article in the April 8, 2002, issue of Newsweek. Nothing in that article in any way links Bill Clinton to the split-up of Matthew Bronfman and Lisa Belzberg.

George Rush's partner-in-gossip at the New York Daily News is not Joanna Molly, but rather Joanna Molloy.

Finally, the Observer article didn't really "link" Clinton to the Bronfman split; it noted that tabloids had done so: "This February, as the tabloids buzzed that his wife, Lisa Belzberg, was having an affair with Bill Clinton, Mr. Bronfman separated from her and moved out of their Katonah, N.Y., home. Now comes word that Mr. Bronfman has quietly put his townhouse at East 67th Street on the market for $27 million."

P. 213

Throwing caution to the wind, he started a torrid affair with a stunning divorcee in her early forties, who lived near the Clintons in Chappaqua. There was nothing discreet about the way he conducted this illicit relationship; he often spent the night at his lover's home, while his Secret Service agents waited in a car parked at the end of her driveway.7

"It's one thing to go out to California with his wild buddies and do stuff there," said someone with intimate knowledge of the former president's philandering. "But being indiscreet with a woman in Chappaqua steps over the line. That's the place Hillary calls home."8

Both footnotes refer to "Interview with Clinton biographer who requested anonymity" -- which, if true, means two things: one, Klein is getting this information from a fellow reporter who does not feel comfortable writing it under his or her own name, which should be a clear warning sign; and two, Klein describes a "biographer" as "someone with intimate knowledge of the former president's philandering," which seems unlikely.

P. 216

Despite the effort she and Ickes put into fund-raising, money was really never a problem for Hillary. Thanks to an organization called Friends of Hillary, she could easily raise all the funds she needed for her own 2006 Senate reelection campaign. Hillary and Ickes spent most of their energy raising money for other Democrats.

Klein makes it sound as if Friends of Hillary is some mysterious, disconnected entity that somehow enables Clinton to raise money for her Senate campaign. Friends of Hillary is, however, her "principal campaign committee," according to the Federal Election Commission.

Klein says "Thanks to her campaign committee, Hillary can easily raise the money she needs" -- but he's trying desperately to dress it up as something more noteworthy than that banal observation. Or perhaps he simply doesn't know that Friends of Hillary is Clinton's campaign committee?

P. 219-220

She looked like the old Hillary. As part of her new higher-profile strategy, she had discarded her somber black pantsuit look in favor of a brighter, more telegenic color. Judging from her chic hair-do, Isabelle Goetz, the stylist from Salon Cristophe, was back on the case. The skin on Hillary's face was pulled tight, as though she had recently had a Botox treatment. As indeed she had.

"She's been Botoxed to the hilt," said a New York physician who had knowledge of such matters.2

Typical Klein -- he definitively, flatly states "As indeed she had," based on ... an "anonymous medical source," according to the footnote. And what does "knowledge of such matters" mean? Knowledge of Clinton's medical history? Of Botox? Of Ed Klein's willingness to print anything, no matter how flimsily sourced?

P. 235

She reserved her true feelings for a small group of people who comprised her kitchen cabinet [... including] Susan Thomases (her staffing dominatrix) [...]

"Dominatrix"? Is that really necessary?

P. 237

Searching for any excuse not to run until 2008, Hillary pointed to a poll that was conducted at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The delegates were asked whom they would choose in 2008 if John Kerry lost. Twenty-six percent of them said Hillary Clinton. The runner-up was John Edwards, with only 17 percent.6

Nonsense: According to Klein, during or after the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Clinton was searching for an excuse not to run for president until 2008. That's absurd. By that point it was too late to run in 2004; primaries had already occurred; John Kerry had accumulated enough delegates to clinch the nomination; and, though Klein's wording is vague, he may even have already been nominated. Clinton couldn't have been "searching for an excuse not to run until 2008" at that point - 2008 was already the next possible time for her to run.

P. 237-238

When John Kerry had to cancel an appearance at the annual convention of the National Education Association -- a powerful teachers' lobby whose legions of left-wing activists were vital to the Democrats' fortunes at the ballot box -- Hillary agreed to fill in for him at the last moment.

[...]

Hillary offered up some obligatory words of praise for the Kerry-Edwards ticket. But she spoke mostly about herself -- how she was interested in education, and how much she had done for children and teachers. By the end of the speech, the teachers had all but forgotten John Kerry, and were wondering why Hillary wasn't running for president.

This is simply false.

Clinton's speech was 1,197 words long; she mentioned John Kerry ten times and John Edwards nine more.

When she made comments about herself, about her interest in education and children and teachers, she did so in the context of praising Kerry and Edwards:

CLINTON: I have stood and fought and voted with John Kerry and John Edwards to make sure that our schools get the resources that they were promised. We know we have an administration that talks the talk but does not walk the walk. We have an administration that wants to cut after school programs, that has decided they want to cut any funding for necessary modernization and renovation and building to decrease overcrowded classrooms. We have an administration that wants to dismantle our public school system through the use of vouchers. And we understand that the only way we can prevent that agenda from being implemented is to change the occupant in the White House in November of 2004."

[...]

"Whether it's health care -- something that I've worked on and will continue to work on until we finally get a system that provides quality, affordable healthcare for every American -- John Kerry has a real plan. He's not just talking about it. He's proposed how he would do it, providing moral support for those who are not only uninsured but increasingly the many, many more who are underinsured, who get turned away at the door of their HMO. John Edwards was the leader in the fight to get a patients' bill of rights in the United States Congress and when they get a Kerry-Edwards administration we will finally have a patients' bill of rights."

That's what Ed Klein falsely characterizes as Hillary Clinton speaking "mostly about herself."

P. 238

The Hillary publicity machine left the impression that she was engaged in a full-court press on behalf of the [presidential] nominee.

The truth was quite different. Hillary spent most of her time on the road raising money and campaigning for Democratic senatorial and congressional candidates, not for the presidential ticket. And she made numerous appearances in states, like South Dakota, where John Kerry did not have the slightest chance of winning.

One wonders what "states, like South Dakota" means, for it surely does not mean "states including South Dakota" -- we can find no indication that Clinton made a single appearance in South Dakota in all of 2004. Or, indeed, at any time since she became a senator.

Stories/Interests
Klein's "The Truth About Hillary"
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