Edward Klein has written Blood Feud, a book that purports to give the inside info on the Clintons and the Obamas and the fact that there’s no love lost between the two couples.
Klein is a curious figure. A former editor of the New York Times Magazine and Newsweek, he would appear to have peerless liberal MSM credentials. But after leaving those publications he turned to writing expose-type biographies that have not been kind to their liberal subjects.
I initially thought Klein might be a political changer. But that’s not entirely correct:
Having watched Klein’s subsequent literary career, Frankel added, “None of those books are the kind that normally you’d expect a New York Times person to produce.”
His former colleagues wonder how he emerged as a combative conservative targeting powerful liberals. Klein acknowledges hawkish sentiments as far back as the Vietnam War, but while working at Newsweek and the Times he realized that “it was not my business to push my personal ideology through the pages.”
He believes he has suffered not only for turning his back on the mainstream media world but also for succeeding as an outsider in the exclusive realm of conservative commentary. The left reviles him, and the right has yet to embrace him.
In other words, nobody quite trusts him, although he swears that each fact he publishes is confirmed by two reliable sources. Who knows? Reading a few excerpts from his book, I am suspicious. Although some may be true, it has the ring of gossip, and much of it falls into the category of What You Imagine Could Be True, as well as featuring dialogue in the style of Grade B novels.
Take this tale about Hillary’s reaction the night of Benghazi. It is distinguished by being plausible, but that doesn’t mean it actually happened this way:
“Hillary was stunned when she heard the president talk about the Benghazi attack,” one of her top legal advisers said in an interview. “Obama wanted her to say that the attack had been a spontaneous demonstration triggered by an obscure video on the Internet that demeaned the Prophet Mohammed.”
This adviser continued: “Hillary told Obama, ‘Mr. President, that story isn’t credible. Among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.’ But the president was adamant. He said, ‘Hillary, I need you to put out a State Department release as soon as possible.’”
It’s possible that it happened just that way, with Hillary reluctant to go along. It’s also possible it didn’t happen that way at all, and Hillary just wants you to think that, finally freed of Obama’s pernicious influence and elected president on her own, she would have handled it a lot differently and a lot better.
At any rate, the story continues with her calling Bill for advice. This is very believable, too:
Hillary’s legal adviser provided further detail: “During their phone call, Bill started playing with various doomsday scenarios, up to and including the idea that Hillary consider resigning as secretary of state over the issue. But both he and Hillary quickly agreed that resigning wasn’t a realistic option.
If her resignation hurt Obama’s chances of winning re-election, her fellow Democrats would never forgive her. Hillary was already thinking of running for president in 2016, and her political future, as well as Obama’s, hung in the balance.”
I find that part fascinating. I’d thought about the possibility before. Whether it’s what actually happened or not in the case of Hillary, if she or any other politician in her position had been in deep disagreement with the way Obama wanted to handle the Benghazi fallout (or Benghazi itself), the only recourse that person would have had would have been to resign.
Talk about profiles in courage! It would have taken extraordinary guts to have resigned—because, as Klein indicates, it would have been the equivalent of stabbing herself and Obama and her party in the back simultaneously, for the sake of principle. I wonder how many politicians today would have acquitted themselves well had they been faced with that decision? Very few, if any. Politics is a dirty game, and it either attracts those with no principles at all in the first place, or encourages people to jettison their principles as time goes by if they want to get ahead. Another reason to not appoint politicians to the post of Secretary of State.
I also wonder something else: if, faced with such a decision, Hillary (or fill in the blank with any politician of your choice in a similar situation) had resigned in protest, how would her subsequent political fortunes have gone? My guess is that she would have sunk like a stone. But some small part of me would like to think that such an act of patriotism and devotion to truth would cause a groundswell of popular support. People say they want public figures with integrity, but do they? And could they recognize them even if they saw them?
Or do we get the politicians we deserve?
[NOTE: According to Klein, here’s a quote from Bill Clinton:
I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.
So, has Bill succumbed to that dread disease that’s only supposed to affect Republicans: Obama Derangement Syndrome? If so, I have to say he’s stepped up a notch in my estimation—although his reasons for succumbing are probably a lot different than most. For Bill it’s probably personal rather than political.]