Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Survivor: The White House

John F. Harris covered the White House for the Washington Post from 1995 to 2000. He's got a new book out describing what he witnessed. 'The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House examines how President Clinton handled his personal life and national affairs. The New York Times reviews the book with an eye on how President Clinton remains a political target five years after leaving office:

There is, of course, a simpler argument that some Clinton haters use to explain the persistence of their passion. They say that he was, to put it bluntly, a very bad president -- immature, self-absorbed, indecisive in domestic affairs and disastrously weak when it came to representing America in the affairs of the world. It is this argument that John F. Harris utterly demolishes in The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House....

But over the course of 500 pages, Harris also documents the history of a president who, however frustrating he may have been in style and method, usually made the right choices in the end -- even when he felt that he was hurting himself politically.

The Times says Mr Harris has written a truly unusual book about President Clinton -- one that is fair and balanced, neither praising him as perfect nor deriding him as bad for the country.

He details failures in President Clinton's personal life while weighing the long term benefits of his domestic and foreign policies. (NYT)

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