Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guarding Hillary

According to Ronald Kessler, guarding Hillary was "a form of punishment" as she treated her detail like "sub-humans."  The author has compiled a list of such anonymous revelations from former security staff to show readers the "character" of their leaders.  He also said that Biden liked to take dips in his pool au natural whether there were women security staff present or not.  Kessler also writes of the numerous security breaches that put the first family in jeopardy such as Bradley Cooper being allowed onto the White House compound without a full security check of his SUV.  Many of these allegations have been refuted by a spokseman for White House security, Ed Donovan, who called the book "intellectually lazy and riddled with inaccuracies."

Kessler has written a number of books over the years on the White House, the FBI and the CIA, but this one seems to be a bit too much on the salacious side.  For the past 8 years he has been covering the White House for Newsmax, which gives you a pretty good idea where his political affinities lay.  I guess with Hillary the front runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, a book like this is a convenient way to attack her indirectly.  She didn't respond directly to the allegations.  The Clintons dumped the book in with others by Edward Klein and Daniel Halper as part of a "hat trick" of authors "concocting trashy nonsense for a quick buck."

Meanwhile, Hillary has been stumping her own book, Hard Choices, enjoying a little tete-a-tete with Stephen Colbert to show off her lighter side.  In the New Yorker review, John Cassidy suggests that her second set of memoirs maybe a preemptive strike against other Democrats thinking about running for the presidential nomination in 2016, notably Elizabeth Warren, who is the favorite of progressives.  The longer Hillary doesn't declare the shorter time these other potential candidates will have a chance to get their names across to the national electorate.  This clearly works to Hillary's advantage.

So, we get the conservative establishment launching preemptive strikes of their own in an attempt to kill her candidacy before it ever comes to pass, figuring that their Republican nominees would have a better chance against a progressive like Warren, as Hillary leads all the potential Republican challengers by wide margins in the various polls.

This is a throwback to the early days of pamphleteering, although now pamphlets take the form of "books" rushed to the printers during election seasons so that they can be displayed in supermarkets, malls and airport shopping centers all around the country.  It seems to be an effective form of advertising, especially when the authors appear to sign copies as Hillary has been doing.  You could call it campaigning without campaigning, as there is no better way to endear yourself to fans than by autographing books for them.

Liz Warren has similarly been promoting her memoirs, A Fighting Chance, which contrasts nicely with the title Hillary chose for her book.  Warren is also in demand by Democrats running for Congress, and has been touring the country extensively so that she gets her name out to a broader electorate.  At 65, Warren's "moment" is now, just like Hillary's, and one has to think she will put her name into contention.

Of course, there is also the possibility that the two will appear together at the 2016 Democratic National Convention as running mates, which would easily unite the Democrats, especially in the wake of some of the comments Hillary made recently regarding Obama's foreign policy.  Clinton has since walked back on those comments, given that she was Secretary of State not so long ago, sharing in those "hard choices."

Guarding Hillary may again be the Secret Service's worst nightmare, if we are to take Kessler's book at its word.  Right now, she seems the one candidate able to form a bridge between the two parties, as shaky as it would appear.  Judging by her promotional tour, she wants to keep it that way.

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