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Behind the Scenes With Hillary

By Ronald Kessler   |   Thursday, 07 Feb 2008 09:39 AM

Guarding presidential candidates 24 hours a day, Secret Service agents know better than almost anyone what they are really like. Among Secret Service agents, no protectee evokes more disdain than Hillary Clinton.

Secret Service agents assigned at various points to guarding Hillary during her campaign for the Senate were dismayed to find her two-faced and perpetually angry.

“During the listening tour, she planned ‘impromptu’ visits at diners and local hangouts,” a former Secret Service agent told me for my book “A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush.” [Editor's Note: Get Ronald Kessler's book — go here now.]

“The events were all staged, and the questions were screened,” the former agent said. “She would stop off at diners. The campaign would tell them three days ahead that they were coming. They would talk to the owner and tell him to invite everyone and bring his friends. Hillary flew into rages when she thought her campaign staff had not corralled enough onlookers beforehand. Hillary had an explosive temper.”

Publicly, Hillary courted law enforcement organizations, but privately she had disdain for police. “She did not want police officers in sight,” a former agent said. “How do you explain that to the police? She did not want Secret Service protection near. She wanted state troopers and local police to wear suits and stay in unmarked cars. If there were an incident, that could pose a big problem. People don’t know police are in the area unless officers wear uniforms and drive police cars. If they are unaware of a police presence, people are more likely to get out of control.”

In Syracuse, a bearded man who aggressively sought autographs accosted Hillary as she went for a walk outside her hotel during her Senate race.

“He grabbed her,” an agent said. “She was livid. But she had insisted she did not want us near her.”

For her Senate campaign, the Secret Service purchased three Cadillac De Villes.

“She decided they were not compatible with her down-home image. They were used once or twice,” an agent said. “She wanted a conversion van with picture windows and two captain chairs. So we purchased three of them, each outfitted with armor, bulletproof glass, and a system to supply clean air. Each was positioned around New York State to help reduce travel time.”

Like her husband and his White House staff, Hillary and her staff were disorganized and habitually late. “She had children running her campaign,” an agent said. “She had a lack of organization and a lack of maturity. She could not keep a schedule.”

When she stayed at the houses of Democratic supporters, “We would show up at their homes at 2 a.m., and she would sleep in the master bedroom,” he said.

During her “listening tour,” Hillary’s campaign staff planned a visit to a 4-H Club in dairy farm country in upstate New York. As they approached the outdoor event and she saw people dressed in jeans and surrounded by cows, Hillary became livid.

“She turned to a staffer and said, ‘What the [expletive] did we come here for? There’s no money here,’” a former Secret Service agent said.

As the Secret Service and White House residence staff saw it, Hillary and Bill Clinton had a business relationship, not a marriage. “They would talk on an encrypted phone,” an agent said. “He would give her advice. It was a political alliance. She portrayed herself as devastated by the revelations of Monica [Lewinsky]. I doubt she cared.”

The Clintons’ home in Chappaqua allowed Hillary to establish a residence in New York State and run for the Senate. They keep an apartment in New York, but Hillary lives mainly in Georgetown. They use the Chappaqua home for fundraisers.

“Chappaqua was because she had to be a resident of New York,” an agent said. “That was the main reason for taking it. The only reason she ran for the Senate is to be president.”

Everyone on the White House residence staff recalled what happened when Christopher B. Emery, a White House usher, returned Barbara Bush’s call after she had left the White House. Emery had helped Barbara learn to use her laptop. Now she was having computer trouble. Twice, Emery helped her out. For that, Hillary Clinton fired him.

The father of four, Emery could not find another job for a year. Yet on TV, Hillary speaks of her compassion for the little people. In her book “Living History,” Hillary Clinton wrote of her gratitude to the White House staff.

The truth is, said a Secret Service agent, “Hillary did not speak to us. We spent years with her. She never said thank you.”

In contrast, “Barack Obama is a decent guy,” says an agent. “Like President Bush, he treats the people around him with respect.”

[Editor's Note: Get Ronald Kessler's book — “A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush.” Go here now.]

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

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