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Jewish World Review June 13, 2003 / 13 Sivan, 5763

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Why did Hillary write the book? | Having survived and gotten elected to the Senate without talking about her stormy relationship with her husband, why on earth would Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) do so now?

She must know that few people, if any, believe that she didn’t know that her husband was dallying with Monica Lewinsky. She has to realize how parading the phony explanation that she only “found out” on Aug. 15, 1998, wears down her credibility.

Is there anyone who really believes that she didn’t know despite:

• His admitting, under oath, to an affair with Gennifer Flowers;

• The stain on Monica’s dress;

• The FBI request for a DNA sample from her husband, the president;

• Secretary Betty Currie’s circumlocutions to get Monica into the Oval Office;

• Dozens of middle-of-the-night phone calls from the president to Monica;

• Learning that Monica had entered into a plea bargain deal with Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel.

For Hillary not to know, given all this, she would have to be deaf and blind.

So why would Hillary expose herself to this kind of public ridicule? With a dismal credibility rating in the USA Today poll of before the book came out, why would she have her own finger-wagging moment of lying in public, her sequel to his “I did not have sex with that woman”?

The answer is obvious: Money.

In the lexicon of Clinton scandalography, sex has been Bill’s problem and money has been Hillary’s.

He had Gennifer Flowers, she had Whitewater. He had Paula Jones, she had the Rose Law Firm. He had Juanita Broaddrick, she had the futures market. He had Monica Lewinsky, she had the billing records. He had the pardons, she had the gift registry. He had the state troopers, she brought Webster Hubbell to the table.

So Hillary had a choice: handle the Lewinsky scandal with dignity and studied aloofness, or plunge right in with an explanation nobody credits.

For an $8 million advance, Hillary decided to take the risk. For a memoir with distinction and credibility, she would only have gotten $2 million or so. But for a tawdry tell-all, she made four times as much.

Let’s get a few basic facts straight:

Hillary lied about not believing that Bill was involved with Monica on Jan. 21, 1998. She lied because she had to defend her husband to keep him — and her — in office. She couldn’t lead his defense and admit to believing the charges at the same time.

Then, when proof came in the form of an unexpected stain on a blue dress, Hillary had to backfill with a story about being deceived, so she invented the Aug. 15, 1998 denouement that supposedly happened right before Bill testified before the grand jury.

Now, to make $8 million, she must keep up the story and lead the book with a lie.

Why did she choose to stay with Bill? The answer: because he was, and he remains, pivotal to her political life, to her fundraising, and to her strategizing efforts. He is her consultant, her fundraiser, and her chief adviser rolled into one. He may not be faithful, but he sure is loyal.

All this begs another question: Why did she publish now? Why does she do this in the middle of the presidential race when the candidates of her own party are struggling to gain traction? And why is Bill planning to publish his own memoir in September, 2004, just 60 days before the election?

Neither of the Clintons wants a Democrat to do well in ’04. It is vital to their plans that President Bush wins reelection so Hillary can have a shot at an open White House in 2008. If she had to wait until 2012, she would be 65 and the bloom from her husband’s presidency might have faded from view.

By constantly talking about the 22nd Amendment, Hillary’s possible ’08 candidacy, the achievements of the Clinton administration, etc., etc., the Clinton duo keeps other Democratic hopefuls at bay. Unable to gain attention during the Iraq War and the war on terrorism, Hillary now pushes them off stage. Then comes the summer doldrums. By September, none of them will have any real traction.

One needs a codebook to unravel the Clintons and their motives, plans, and purposes. A very, very weird one.

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JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, "Power Plays: Top 20 Winning and Losing Strategies of History's Great Political Leaders" Comment by clicking here.


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© 2002, Dick Morris