Friday, June 17, 2005

The Must Read Book of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"

Conservative websites and bankrollers are counting on a new biography of Sen Hillary Clinton (D-NY) to dash her hopes for a 2008 White House bid.

The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President comes out next week. The publisher is Sentinel, which focuses on conservative views and audiences.

Truth About Hillary

The publisher is comparing it to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in publishing ads. That's helping them get free promotion from conservative quarters:
      • sent out a half-million e-mails touting the book as able to destroy a Clinton Presidential bid
      • Richard Mellon Scaife helps fund -- a website that's promising a free copy of the book for people who subscribe to NewsMax magazine
      • The Conservative Book Club (owned by the same company that published Unfit for Command) has placed The Truth About Hillary at the top of their page promoting books critical of the Clintons

Vanity Fair excerpted part of the book earlier this month. The passages revealed nothing new.

Booking on Success

But the conservatives behind promoting the book see reported revelations about Sen Clinton's private life enough to sink her campaign -- much the way the Swift Boat Veterans and the tie in book Unfit for Command contributed to Sen John Kerry's (D-MA) defeat in the 2004 Presidential race.

They may be a bit too anxious. Much of Sen Kerry's problems came because he ignored the claims in the heat of an active race. That delay made Sen Kerry look like he was hiding something.

On the other hand, the Clinton machinery revolutionized "rapid response" during Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. Their press people wore badges that read "Speed Kills" with a skull above crossed lightning bolts. They were able to blunt damaging press with a quick response.

And the book is coming out more than three years before the election. It could have the effect of only "immunizing" the Senator against the same claims during the 2008 campaign. Conservatives are counting on some pretty outrageous claims in the book -- Matt Drudge claims it says Chelsa Clinton was concieved after Bill Clinton raped Hillary in Bermuda. Such claims may be so unbelievable that people could simply consider even legitimate criticism of the Senator three years from now.

All this talk may just be hype for a book the publisher knows will sell like hotcakes to people who don't like Hillary Clinton. And in the end, The Truth About Hillary may turn out to be more Fortunate Son than Unfit for Command. (NYT)

[Cross posted at]

1 comment:

Daniel Kirkdorffer said...

Guess we know who the GOP is most worried about running in 2008.

Next question is, who else is an obvious target for such a future book to discredit?