Tags: Clinton | Parnes | Allen | Baron

Authors Discuss Rebirth of Hillary Clinton

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 07:39 AM

At the recent National Book Festival in Washington, Jonathon Allen and Amie Parnes discussed their book HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton before a modest-sized audience given the subject.

Certainly a great deal has been written about the former first lady, senator and secretary of state, so if there is a trove of new material, readers will probably be interested. This article provides examples of the ideas the authors presented plus a link so that readers can judge.

The authors were introduced by Marty Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, who rightly described Clinton as "a central political figure of our time" who could be the next president or run a campaign that could flop, as it did once before. He declared that the authors have picked up the story "phoenix-like, out of the ashes" of the earlier campaign, and he lauded the writers as "experienced, sourced, astute." Allen has previously worked for Politico and is currently Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg News, and Parnes is White House correspondent for The Hill.

Baron observed that ambition still burns in Clinton, and there are still scores for her to settle, and the outcome will probably be influenced by her record in the job she assumed under her former rival.

Baron referred to a Post review that found the book to be "deeply reported and ably written, a revealing window into the Le Carre-like layers of intrigue that develop when a celebrity politician who is married to another celebrity politician loses to yet another celebrity politician and goes on to serve the politician who defeated her." The book is based on extraordinary access to Clinton, including an interview with her, and the authors interviewed 200 other sources, including "confidants, colleagues, critics and outright enemies."

The authors told two stories as examples of the personal dynamics at work. One concerned the appointment as chief of protocol at State, a little-known job with high rank and a permanent seat on AF-1. Hillary's deal was that she could appoint her own, but the O staff didn't want her nominee. In the end they had to give in.

The other story was about Clinton's appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Benghazi and turned out to be surprisingly revealing regarding the roles of Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., two likely presidential candidates, as well as Ron Johnson, R-Wis. Paul and Rubio were expected to give Clinton the hardest time, but it was Johnson who elicited her plea that the facts of that event don't matter. Each side — Clinton and the Republicans — believed that the other "didn't get it."

The authors seemed to differ in their approaches to Clinton. Parnes is an admitted admirer of Clinton for practicing the adage that "you bloom where you're planted" and working with Obama after a bitter campaign, whereas Allen seemed inclined to be cynical enough to think that Clinton is capable of making the same mistakes in 2016 that she made in 2008.

(Archived video can be found here.)

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Robert-Feinberg
At the recent National Book Festival in Washington, Jonathon Allen and Amie Parnes discussed their book HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton before a modest-sized audience given the subject.
Clinton, Parnes, Allen, Baron
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2014-39-07
Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 07:39 AM
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