Can Hillary win the presidency in 2008? Yes, warns Edward Klein. In his new book, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President, Klein makes the case that, unless Republicans wake from their slumber, 2008 could well see a restoration of the Clinton co-presidency. Hillary would then have a shot at "sixteen years in the White House — the longest incumbency since Franklin Delano Roosevelt."
Critics from the left, right and in-between have savaged Mr. Klein and his book. The left attacks him for the usual reasons. But many conservatives have also joined in the feeding frenzy. Some express suspicion of Klein’s motives and politics, others disgust at his gossipy revelations.
"He has no conservative bona fides," complains Wall Street Journal pundit Peggy Noonan. True enough. Mr. Klein served as editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine from 1977 to 1987 — certainly no hot-bed of conservative sentiment. Klein says he is apolitical, leaning neither right nor left. I seldom credit such disclaimers, but, in Klein’s case, it seems to be true.
I found Mr. Klein a likable, chatty, good-humored man on the phone. When he spoke of Hillary, his voice betrayed a note of genuine, non-ideological dread.
Dread is a ubiquitous subtext in The Truth About Hillary. In the epilogue, Klein describes the 80-year-old Richard Nixon’s visit to the Clinton White House in March 1993 — the first time Nixon had been invited there since his resignation.
The Clintons received him graciously. They wanted his advice about Russia and the Balkans. Nixon later wrote of the meeting: "All of this… deliberating over Bosnia makes [Clinton] look weak. We’ve got to get our allies, the Congress, and the people to go along. Instead of telling them what we are going to do, [Clinton is] looking for their permission! This isn’t leadership! He doesn’t scare anybody…"
"Hillary inspires fear," Nixon added.
When Chelsea joined them, Nixon noticed that she ran to her father but "never once looked at her mother." Hillary tried to move closer to her daughter on the sofa, but Chelsea jerked her arm away. "Hillary inspires fear!" Nixon marveled.
Inspiring fear can be useful. Unfortunately, Hillary is unlikely to put this talent to work on America’s behalf. She seems far more keen on crushing the Christian Right than in stamping out Islamist terror.
Hillary’s defenders make much of her Christianity. But Klein exposes the dark side of Hillary’s Methodist upbringing. Her youth minister, the Reverend Don Jones, with whom Hillary formed a life-long friendship, was fired by his congregation for pushing "socialist" ideology. As a high school graduation present, the Reverend gave Hillary a subscription to motive — a Methodist magazine which had been hijacked by the New Left. Klein writes:
"…motive was gleefully vulgar; it editorialized that words like f-ck, b-tch and sh-t should be printed `in tact.’ Photo features included a birthday card for Ho Chi Minh and a picture of a pretty coed with an LSD tablet on her tongue. … Advice was dispensed on draft dodging, desertion, and flight to Canada and Sweden. … motive devoted an entire issue to a radical lesbian/feminist theme, which emphasized the need to destroy `our sexist, racist, capitalist, imperialist system.’"
According to Klein, Hillary became an avid reader of motive. She told Newsweek in 1994, "I still have every issue they sent me."
In her review, Peggy Noonan complains that Klein "ignores the Rosetta stone of Hillary studies, the senior college thesis she wrote on leftist organizer Saul Alinsky..."
But Klein has his own idea of how best to convey Hillary’s radicalism to readers in the heartland — and it is not through intellectual dissection of Hillary’s senior thesis. To the horror of conservative and leftwing critics alike, Klein focuses on Hillary’s sexuality.
"There was a long tradition of lesbianism at Wellesley…" writes Klein. "In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Wellesley girls who had lesbian relationships called them `smashes,’ `mashes,’ `crushes’ and `spoons.’ Men were not permitted to attend college dances; instead, upper-class women donned tuxedos and black ties, and brought gowned freshmen and sophomores as their `dates.’… So many of the college’s female professors lived together in lesbian relationships that a union between two women came to be known as a `Wellesley marriage’…"
At the turn of the century, 90 percent of adult women in America were married. Not so the women of Wellesley. "More than half of Wellesley graduates remained single, and only one female faculty member out of fifty-three was married," Klein informs us.
Wellesley’s peculiar customs included a long-standing requirement that all freshmen submit to being photographed in their underwear. The ostensible purpose of this exercise was to evaluate the freshman girls’ posture and recommend improvements. The buttocks were a special object of attention.
"The buttocks [should be] neither unduly prominent nor having that `about to be spanked’ look," Wellesley girls were instructed.
A Wellesley classmate of Hillary’s recalls: "The notion of a woman being a lesbian was fascinating to Hillary. But she was much more interested in lesbianism as a political statement than a sexual practice… A lesbian… was a dynamic young woman who had thrown off the shackles of male dominance. Hillary talked about it a lot, read lesbian literature, and embraced it as a revolutionary concept."
Klein never states that Hillary slept with a woman — though he names several who are "rumored" to have shared her bed. Klein focuses instead on Hillary’s allegiance to the radical "gender feminism" which she imbibed at Wellesley and which — according to Klein — she never renounced.
In the White House, Hillary appointed likeminded "gender feminists" to influential positions, among them "militant lesbian" Roberta Achtenberg, who abused her position as assistant secretary of fair housing to launch the now-infamous campaign to force the Boy Scouts to hire homosexual scoutmasters.
When Hillary poses as a pro-family, church-going Methodist, she is only play-acting.
During her years in the White House, says Klein, "Everything about Hillary was ambiguous; everything she stood for, she stood for the opposite. She seemed to lack the innate knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil…"
And that, Klein suggests, is the crux of the matter.
Why She May Win
The chapter on Watergate alone is worth the price of the book. It reveals that 26-year-old Hillary — by that time, notorious for her radical activism at Yale — was recruited for the Watergate investigation by Kennedy operative Burke Marshall, a former Kennedy Justice Department official, "who had been one of the first people Teddy Kennedy turned to for help after Chappaquiddick." Klein explains how Ted Kennedy masterminded Nixon’s ouster — a project in which young Hillary played a surprisingly crucial role.
The lessons Hillary drew from Watergate were not good ones. Klein calls her "Nixon’s disciple."
In a June 20 interview, Klein told Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review: "Like Nixon, Hillary is paranoid and has an enemies list. Like Nixon, Hillary has used FBI files against her enemies. Like Nixon, Hillary believes that the ends justify the means. Like Nixon, Hillary has a penchant for doing illegal things."
Klein now finds himself a target of Hillary’s wrath. From the moment The Truth About Hillary launched, major TV and cable talk shows which had scheduled interviews with Klein began cancelling. At this writing, shows on the NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox and CNN networks — including ABC Good Morning, America; Chris Matthews’ Hardball; Joe Scarborough; Paula Zahn; Fox and Friends; the John Gibson Show on Fox, and many more — have all cancelled.
Only Sean Hannity has followed through and interviewed Klein on his Fox News show Hannity & Colmes as well as on his radio show. It took guts to stay the course. "I've had more political pressure than I've ever had in all my years in radio…" Hannity told Klein during the radio interview.
Most of Hannity’s colleagues succumbed to the pressure.
"[T]he entire mainstream media – NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC – have blanked me out," Klein told blogger John Hawkins of RightWingNews.com. "This is my fifth best seller in a row. I've been on all of those networks for all my books up till this one book. I've been a constant guest on the 'Today' show, the 'Good Morning America' show, you know, the Chris Matthews show, etc. Suddenly I'm anathema, and the reason I am is because the Clintons, Hillary in particular, have threatened all these mainstream media outlets."
According to NewsMax, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz asked Senator Clinton’s office whether Klein’s allegation was true. "A spokesman for Senator Clinton told me that when news organizations call, they do make the argument, why give this guy airtime," Kurtz said while hosting CNN’s Reliable Source.
Perhaps that’s all it takes, when you’re Hillary — just a simple, “Why give this guy airtime?”
In an end note to his book, Klein writes, "I did not find it surprising that my repeated requests for an interview with Senator Clinton were greeted by a shattering silence. Nor did it come as a shock that many sources, fearing Hillary’s power to exact retribution, asked to remain anonymous."
It is precisely Hillary’s penchant for witch hunts and enemy lists, as revealed, for instance, in the Filegate and Travelgate scandals, which disqualify her from high office, Klein argues. Unfortunately, that same Machiavellian ruthlessness may well carry her to victory in 2008
Klein does not bother to conceal his fear of a new Hillary presidency. This distinguishes him from many Republicans, whose razor-thin victory in 2004 left them inexplicably smug and complacent.
Hillary has already set up a "below-the-radar" presidential campaign headquarters in the Washington offices of the Glover Park Group, says Klein. There, Clinton strategists such as Joe Lockhart, Carter Eskew, Ann Lewis, Howard Wolfson and Patti Solis Doyle are crafting a winning strategy for 2008.
Racial demographics are the key, says Klein. Due to immigration and high minority birth rates, several red states will turn blue by 2008. Democrats need only retain their present share of black and Hispanic voters for Hillary to win by a healthy margin.
Four red states now turning blue are Texas, Ohio, Iowa and Missouri. Between now and 2008, blacks, Hispanics and other minorities in Texas will grow from 49.5 to as much as 54 percent of the population.
Hillary expects to add these states to presumed victories in New York, California, Florida, New Jersey and Massachusetts, giving her 212 electoral votes — only 58 votes short of victory. Winning Michigan, Illinois, and Pennsylvania would put Hillary "over the top," says Klein.
Hillary’s Money Machine
Hillary’s money machine receives scrutiny in Klein’s book. Managed by her close advisor Harold Ickes, Hillary’s fundraising apparatus features shady money-shuffling schemes of the sort which nearly got Ickes jailed after the Teamstergate scandal of 1996. On this point, Klein cites Eliza Newlin Carney of The National Journal, who wrote:
"[Hillary] Clinton has moved vast sums of money around in a complicated array of interlocking and sometimes controversial campaign accounts — leadership PACS, nonfederal accounts, joint committees with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee…
Now that the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 has deprived the major parties of soft-money contributions, Carney observes that, "The new power centers are now outside interest groups and individual office holders, such as [Hillary] Clinton… With its vast staff budget, and campaign coffers, Clinton’s political organization has begun to assume a quasi-party status."
Carney is referring here to the network of radical foundations, leftwing NGOs, public employee unions and Section 527 committees assembled by Hillary and radical billionaire George Soros, for the purpose of raising and spending campaign boodle outside the purview of the Democratic Party. David Horowitz and I named this elusive network "The Shadow Party" in a three-part exposé posted to FrontPage in October 2004.
Klein informs us that Hillary was "instrumental in starting" the Soros-funded think tank, Center for American Progress, and that Hillary "encouraged Harold Ickes to join with billionaire George Soros in setting up a group called America Coming Together…" Both groups are major nodes in Soros’ Shadow Party network, but most writers ignore Hillary’s role in their founding.
"Despite the effort she and Ickes put into fund-raising, money was really never a problem for Hillary," notes Klein. "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."
By "other" Democrats, Klein does not mean potential rivals such as John Kerry. Hillary invests her money where it will serve her interests.
Hillary declined to run in 2004 because she did not believe she could beat George W. Bush. "We’ve never unseated an incumbent president during wartime. That’s just a given," she told Greta Van Susteren on November 17, 2004.
But staying out of the race meant running the risk that Kerry might win — depriving Hillary of the chance to run in 2008. "Hillary’s future depended on George W. Bush remaining in the White House," writes Klein. Yet, "she had to appear as though she was doing everything in her power to advance the cause of John Kerry."
So Hillary staged an elaborate deception. "She instructed her advisors to draw attention to the fact that she was giving John Kerry’s staff access to her valuable donor list and top fund-raisers." However, Hillary’s list was of little value without Hillary herself working it. "Hillary spent most of her time on the road raising money and campaigning for Democratic senatorial and congressional candidates," Klein observes.
Seeding the grassroots with her loyalists is key to Hillary’s strategy for 2008. "She’s putting Democrats all over America in her debt, building relationships, establishing a firm control over the machinery of the state parties outside New York," says "a leading expert on campaign-finance laws" whom Klein quotes anonymously.
What are Republicans doing to stop the Hillary juggernaut? Nothing, says Klein.
Of course, most Republicans would love to see Hillary lose her Senate seat in 2006. But they see little hope. New York has become a "solid blue state," says Klein, and "thanks to a huge influx of minorities" it is "getting bluer by the day."
One group of Republican strategists is banking on the smug assumption that Hillary cannot possibly win in 2008, no matter what. Klein writes: "Their reasoning went as follows… Allowing her [Hillary] to win an easy reelection to the Senate would grease the skids for her presidential prospects. And if Hillary became the Democratic presidential nominee, she would be the perfect instrument to rally the Republican base, and fill Republican coffers."
The only problem with this calculation, as Klein repeatedly warns, is that America’s changing demographics favor Hillary. Also favoring her is the chronic press blackout on any seriously damaging information concerning Hillary — a blackout which Klein seeks to break with this book.
To read Richard Poe's exclusive interview with Edward Klein, click here.
Richard Poe is Investigative Editor for David Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture, as well as Managing Editor of Horowitz's group blog Moonbat Central. He is a New York Times-bestselling author and journalist whose personal blog appears at RichardPoe.com. Poe's latest book is Hillary’s Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists.