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The Truth About Hillary

Author: Ed Klein
Publisher: Sentinel • 2005 • 305 pages

Big earthquakes hit Oregon every four hundred years. Locusts take over the skies of  Texas every 17. And every eight years, a Clinton runs for national office, like clockwork: for President in 1992, for Senator in 2000, and then in 2008 and now 2016 for President once again. Locusts and earthquakes are local problems — the Clintons are instead a national infestation.

Fans of Democrat-bashing would do well to pick up “The Truth About Hillary”, a 2005 book written by conservative author Edward Klein. Klein’s book has all sorts of juicy info, giving readers vivid scenes from the life and career of then-Senator Hillary Clinton.

True to form, none of these scenes paint her in a flattering light. Clinton is, in this rendering, a conniving weathervane who changes herself, her “facts” and her attitudes based on the changes around her. In short, she will do anything to get elected; even stay in a marriage that is, according to Klein, based almost totally on political advantage.

Much of this is old and obvious to anyone who reads the newspapers, but is still nice to revisit these old scandals. Perhaps the reader will be reminded of how they felt during the various periods, in 2004, 2008 or 2016, that a Clinton was atop the presidential polls. These scenes recall the shenanigans of the whole Clinton apparatus with their shifting ideologies, hometowns, and beliefs. It also illustrates their typical schmoozing, triangulating and aggrandizing behavior.

The book raises substantive questions about some of Hillary’s puzzling policy decisions; why did Hillary Clinton, who wrote “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child,” stand by while her husband gutted welfare; why did a former peacenik vote for the Iraq War? These are relevant to governance.

But this book entertains the reader in a second way, by adding to the public discourse some provocative and telling details about her life, the kind not found in most newspapers. For example, her White House staff called her The Big Girl. (Yikes.) That when she moved to Arkansas she tried to appear more feminine, so as to appeal to traditional Arkansas voters — even though, Klein writes, she rejected feminine wiles as a political statement — she straightened her hair, adopted a southern accent, and — this is the creepiest — ditched the thick glasses she’d worn much of her life and traded them for tinted contact lenses that made her eyes look bluer.

 Like the most provocative tabloids, this book churns up some of foulest muck this side of the Mississippi. How much does the reader want to read about Hillary Clinton’s sex life? Does the reader care about the culture of lesbianism at her college, Wellesley? That she approved of lesbianism? That she looked like a lesbian and walked like a lesbian and probably knew lots of lesbians and even talked to them? Lesbian, lesbian, lesbian, lesbian? Klein is intent on proving her sympathy with lesbians.

Would the reader like to know more unpleasant details? It is a matter of personal taste, disposition, and how much one likes to treat one’s presidential contenders like a “Real Housewife of Chappaqua.”

Regardless of objections of taste and decency, these are – indubitably – the kinds of things we all talk about when we talk about the Clintons. These are the things which we will no doubt talk about in 2016, and again every eight years, when the Clinton storm comes again, until the sun becomes a red giant and swallows the Earth, or at least until Chelsea’s cyborg transgender grandson loses to George P. Bush’s robot dog.

While the more intimate details may perturb some readers, the sales figures suggest that people soldier on anyway.

They want to know the truth about Hillary.



Original CBC review by Reilly Capps.

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