June 23, 2014

Why I've been ignoring the Ed Klein book "Blood Feud."

I notice all the attention-getting quotes and how they contain just the right details:
After her conversation with the president, Hillary called Bill Clinton, who was at his penthouse apartment in the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, and told him what Obama wanted her [to say about Benghazi].

“I’m sick about it,” she said, according to the legal adviser, who was filled in on the conversation.

“That story won’t hold up,” Bill said. “I know,” Hillary said. “I told the president that.” “It’s an impossible story,” Bill said. “I can’t believe the president is claiming it wasn’t terrorism. Then again, maybe I can. It looks like Obama isn’t going to allow anyone to say that terrorism has occurred on his watch.”

This adviser continued: “Hillary told Obama, ‘Mr. President, that story isn’t credible. Among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.’ But the president was adamant. He said, ‘Hillary, I need you to put out a State Department release as soon as possible.’”
Didn't that make you say out loud: "Ah! Just as I suspected! I have always believed that Hillary Clinton must have bristled at the deception she was asked to participate in after the Benghazi attack"?

Isn't it fascinating that I got that quote from you and that it has you saying exactly what I need you to say for my narrative purposes?

Oh, with my prodding you're saying: "Now that you mention it, Professor Althouse, these quotes do sound like they were constructed for the purposes of the book to dramatize a scene about which the author only had a rough outline, and if I'm going to read an imaginative historical narrative, I want something that has the various characters sounding more like real people, not just people who are cranking out the facts — if these really are the facts — in quote form."

45 comments:

Bob Boyd said...

Prof. Althouse, a while back you said Hillary will be President because you didn't see anyone out there who could beat her.
Do you still think that?

Anonymous said...

Terrible Reading Comprehension Guy says:

By Althouse stating "Ah! Just as I suspected! I have always believed that Hillary Clinton must have bristled at the deception she was asked to participate in after the Benghazi attack" it seems she is falling for what is an obviously contrived scenario in the book. I would've thought her ear to be more finely tuned to the artificiality of the "quotes", rather than to use them to bolster her pre-determined support of Hillary in the Benghazi debacle. Frankly, I expect better from the Professor.

Scott M said...

Didn't that make you say out loud: "Ah! Just as I suspected! I have always believed that Hillary Clinton must have bristled at the deception she was asked to participate in after the Benghazi attack"?

No. It just reaffirmed that they're all a pack of dishonest scumbags that treat my like a commodity with a vote rather than a citizen.

Less government power would give dishonest scumbags less power. It boggles the mind that anyone in their right mind thinks the federal government should be bigger.

John Christopher said...

One of those days I wish Althouse watched The Office as the dialogue reads as if it were written by Agent Michael Scarn.

traditionalguy said...

Ed Klein has not yet been on any interviews of new book authors for the Network shows. How long can they resist his National Enquirer like stuff?

It is pro Hillary by drawing contrasts between her and the horrible Obama Lies she suffered as much as we all did.

But exposing Obama Lies is still blasphemy punishable by exile to media Siberia.

CStanley said...

All of the quotes that I've seen from this book have that manufactured quality but some seem "truths". The one you include here has the feel of utter bullshit, though, in that it makes me think that the opposite is true. I am thinking more and more that Hillary concocted the story, not after the attack that killed Stevens, but before.

Remember that before the Cairo protest even started, the Cairo embassy put out a tweet apologizing for the YouTube video. I'll bet there's a much bigger story under all of this. The video had been around and no one had taken much notice of it until a few days before 9/11, when someone brought it to the attention of the mufti in Egypt.

MikeDC said...

My reaction was more along the lines of "Ah! Just as I suspected! I have always believed that Hillary Clinton would quickly abandon any principle and lie to the American people in pursuit of ambition."

tim maguire said...

I think that passage ends on a devastating note for Hillary Clinton--she knows Obama's wrong, that the story is stupid. But lying to the American people will be better for her career than standing on principle, so she lies to the American people.

At least Obama gets the possibility of believing his BS, Hillary is pure calculation.

AJ Lynch said...


Let me edit the quote a bit:


"that story won't hold up. ...why don't you say this instead..."

Now that sounds like Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

So her story is She Was Only Following Orders?

CStanley said...

One reason that this passage jumps out at me as untrue is that Hillary was the one who had the unmitigated gall to tell one of the parents of the fallen that she would make sure we "got the people who made that offensive video" or something along those lines. One does not reluctantly go along with a cover story like this, and then take the story and run with it.

Drago said...

Men have simply treated poor, wonderful, sweet Hillary so shabbily.

I think I'm getting verklempt.

EDH said...

What fascinated me most was the image of Bill Clinton residing in a "penthouse apartment" atop the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock".

WTF?

Carnifex said...

Didn't that make you say out loud: "Ah! Just as I suspected! I have always believed that Hillary Clinton must have bristled at the deception she was asked to participate in after the Benghazi attack"?

Not really. I don't think she bristles at all about lying, or dying Americans, or just about anything. Except the name Monica. .. or Jennifer...oh hell, just any other womans name Bill calls out in his sleep.

madAsHell said...

Mr. Klein has recognized a market, and filled it with fiction.

campy said...

' "that story won't hold up. ...why don't you say this instead..."

Now that sounds like Bill Clinton.'

Like Hillary needs to be coached in lying.

RAH said...

I have though she thought of the lie and gave that advice to Obam . I think they both colluded in the lie that gave the election to OBAMA

lgv said...

It isn't at all what I expected. First, I thought Benghazi was all on Hillary. Obama wanted no part in it from day one.

Second, we are talking about Ed Klein. I'm more inclined to believe that the juiciest are false versus true.

Someday, I hope to hear the truth. This book doesn't really get us there, other than perhaps forcing more slivers of truth out.

Auntie Ann said...

The dinner party quotes on this pull: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/06/a-plague-on-all-their-houses.php are suspicious too. To get the quotes, the author must have had both sides giving him the play-by-play.

Much of this looks like Woodward quotes to me.

richard mcenroe said...

Bible-throwing Hillary has neither the patience nor the temper to defend a lie too long. Bill would NEVER have been goaded into "what difference does it make?"

Levi Starks said...

This makes her seem weak and un-presidential.
She buckles under pressure even though it goes against her conscience.
Better to present her as the author of the deception, with no conscience whatsoever.
We need politicians who can convincingly lie to us for our own good.

Matt said...

"according to the legal adviser." What's Hillary's "legal adviser" doing blabbing about these conversations? If Hillary did not instruct or allow the adviser to talk to Klein, the adviser is getting pretty close to acting unethically.

If Hillary did instruct the "adviser" to talk to Klein, doesn't that say a lot about the nature of this book? Also, what's a "legal adviser"? Is it a lawyer who didn't pass the bar?

MadisonMan said...

“I’m sick about it,” she said, according to the legal adviser, who was filled in on the conversation.

So, the author is quoting a legal advisor who was filled in on the conversation presumably many days/weeks/months after it happened.

Yeah. I'm sure it's an accurate quote.

Another question I had: Who was in the Penthouse Apt with Bill when Hillary called?

campy said...

"...any other womans name Bill calls out in his sleep."

You really think Hill's been in earshot of a sleeping Bill recently?

Anonymous said...

Some leaked excerpts from the upcoming 'Don't Call Me 'Gal'-Hillary's Story-America's Story'

'Back on the floor of the Senate, the bullets of Republican snipers cut the air above the heads of this ragtag group of Democratic lawmakers, just as surely as they did America's young women and girls. It was gonna be another all-nighter.'

'Mr. President, those....those are our boys out there.'



The Godfather said...

So now it's out in public, what does Hillary say? Does she flatly deny that she advised Obama not to use the "internet video" lie? So far, she's taken the line that it wasn't clear what the Benhgazi attack was about. I don't see why Hillary would think that her calling Obama a liar would advance her political fortunes. Am I missing something?

SteveR said...

With the reelection done and the MSM quite willing to ignore the story the main point is what difference, at this point, does it make?

Joe Schmoe said...

If indeed she did bristle, she not only accepted her role but went on to perform it with some gusto. She kept the video story going for awhile, and even told the families of the slain men that they would get that evil film-maker. If she really did bristle at the deception, couldn't she at least have not proferred it to the mourning families? Just shut up and say sorry for your loss, it won't be in vain, they died as heroes, etc. No need to peddle a lie in a situation that called for sympathy and really should have been a private conversation.

The Klein version of the story is horse-bleep. So who would come up with it? Someone in Hillary's camp? Obviously this version attempts to make her look better. Hillary instantly understands that it's a bad idea and pushes back on the President about it. She has more street-smarts than the inexperienced, aloof President. Not only does it portray her in a good light, but it infers some of the President's weaknesses. Yet for some reason she plays the good soldier and goes along with the whole thing. What a team player.

My gut feeling was that Hillary didn't have a problem going along with it originally. She knew better but didn't care. Now that the Youtube video theory has been disproven in the court of public opinion, her feelings on the matter have 'evolved' in a way that shockingly benefits her.

I kind of like this whole thing, in a way. The Obama machine likes to use 'media static' (or some such similar euphemism; I don't recall exactly) to distract attention from its eff-ups and to try to put heat on the GOP. Now Hillary's camp is doing the same thing to Obama. Couldn't happen to a nicer fella.

Ann Althouse said...

"All of the quotes that I've seen from this book have that manufactured quality but some seem "truths""

In other words: "fake but accurate."

That feeling that it's true even though it's not true is a red flag. I think you should stop yourself when you have it.

CStanley said...

"All of the quotes that I've seen from this book have that manufactured quality but some seem "truths""

In other words: "fake but accurate."

That feeling that it's true even though it's not true is a red flag. I think you should stop yourself when you have it.



I agree, or at least start to be highly skeptical. Still, my point is that a lot of the underlying "truth" about the relationship between the Obamas and Clintons rings true because we have other evidence of it. The part about Hillary bristling after the WH came up with the video story seems patently false and doesn't fit with other evidence IMO,

Saint Croix said...

“I’m sick about it,” she said, according to the legal adviser, who was filled in on the conversation.

Althouse mocks the lie...

I have always believed that Hillary Clinton must have bristled at the deception she was asked to participate in after the Benghazi attack

Right, right, right! But why avoid reading the book? You think Klein is making this up? No way. This is her spin. She's telling us now that she was sick about all the lies she had to tell in the Obama administration. Ha!

If HIllary denounces the book as dishonest or bad reporting, then we might question Klein's reporting. But if she doesn't, then this is her spin, her lies, her dishonesty.

“That story won’t hold up,” Bill said. “I know,” Hillary said. “I told the president that.” “It’s an impossible story,” Bill said. “I can’t believe the president is claiming it wasn’t terrorism. Then again, maybe I can. It looks like Obama isn’t going to allow anyone to say that terrorism has occurred on his watch.”

And I think this part is true! It's just like Bill Clinton to evaluate a lie, whether it will "hold up." It is totally in character for him to discuss and analyze a fictional narrative and if it will work.

We know that HIll and BIll are going to lie, lie, lie. I don't trust anything they say! But that doesn't mean you should ignore what they say. Even their lies tell us so much.

And the description of the Obama and Clinton dinner party is priceless.

Fred Drinkwater said...

EDH: I had the same reaction. I'm visualizing Bill lounging in a mauve silk robe, in an open-plan apartment, done mostly in creams and off-whites, with a few vases of flowers for color accents. He's on the phone, of course, but with whom is not clear. There's no one else in the scene, of course, though one senses lackeys concealed behind doors, ready to bring either rolodexes or G&T's to the boss, as may be appropriate.

Saint Croix said...

See also the triangulation, a Clinton speciality.

“Hillary told Obama, ‘Mr. President, that story isn’t credible. Among other things, it ignores the fact that the attack occurred on 9/11.’

The Clintons adopt Republican talking points. The attack occurred on 9/11! Of course it's terrorism!

Which sounds a lot better than "what difference does it make?"

Edward Klein is the former editor-in-chief of the New York Times magazine, the former foreign editor for Newsweek, and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. Why dismiss his journalism?

Anonymous said...

Professor, your contention that Klein fabricated his quotes may be correct. I doubt it though, since there is no evidence. And neither side has claimed this.

The more likely version, it seems to me, is that he agreed to tell a story on some issue or other benefitting Hillary in return for gossipy back-channel stories he could use. He has her side of the story now, but cannot really prove he's quoting her. A quote, but not a quote.

If I were Klein I'd imagine I'd start there, and then go to Obama's people and say, "look what Hillary's people gave me. I need a story from you if you want to mitigate the damage".

Then for each chapter you play this iterative sort of yellow journalism ping pong with the two camps, hoping to arrive at some approximately common version of the truth.

Boom! A book emerges. Very bit of it may be exaggerated for effect but I'd bet he's got enough to stand behind.

Wilbur said...

"Not really. I don't think she bristles at all about lying, or dying Americans, or just about anything. Except the name Monica. .. or Jennifer...oh hell, just any other womans name Bill calls out in his sleep."

How could she hear him? They haven't shared a bedroom in over 30 years.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Now Hillary is caught in a three-pronged dilemma.

If she denies the story, she brings unwanted attention to the whole Benghazi matter once again. If she admits the story, she risks the wrath of Obama and his team of zealots. If she says nothing, the people and the press will assume it to be true.

Brando said...

There's two ways this early overexposure to Hillary! can go. First, it could get everyone sick of her and scandal-weary to the point that her numbers drop enough for the Democrats to jump in the fray and pick someone else for their nominee (or at least make it a real race). Second, it could rebound to her benefit, creating sympathy for someone who is being constantly and even sometimes unfairly attacked.

I tend to suspect that anything in the closet by now would have come out--this being her second presidential campaign, and the fourth one for the Clintons as a couple. How anything big could have been missed by now is beyond me. But the reminders of the micro-scandals--the overly conniving half-truths, the gaffes, the buckling under questioning--these could chip away at the armor in the same way they did in 2008.

After the midterms it'll be interesting to see what happens among the Democrats. Will O'Malley pick up steam among the left, and racial minorities? Will Biden jump in for his last campaign? If we see Cuomo or even Warren announce their candidacies, then we know they smelled blood in the water.

hombre said...

When is an Obama lie not a lie?

When Hillary reluctantly repeats it. Right? LOL.

Brando said...

I do hope the GOP comes up with something better than Benghazi if they're going to beat Hillary. It's simply never going to become their Watergate, and not just because the press is in the bag for Hillary (if anything, the need for a good horse race to write about, and the desire to be the next Woodward and Bernstein should for most journalists trump any personal biases towards the Democrats). What keeps it from becoming another Watergate is that for most Americans the scandal appears to simply be that we lost three diplomats in a terrorist attack on our consulate, and while it is the administration's responsibility to protect our diplomats from such attacks it can't always be prevented everywhere (same as Bush couldn't really be blamed for 9/11--the public realizes the terrorists only have to be lucky once). Had there been something more egregious--maybe a recording of Obama laughing off the idea of needing more security at the consulate a few days before the attacks--that would be something. But otherwise the people will give Obama (and Hillary) a pass.

As for the Susan Rice talking points, it's pretty clear that she doesn't have any idea what she's talking about any of the time. She's our Baghdad Bob, basically. But at worse, that part of the scandal can be seen as an administration lying to the public after a terror attack (by implying it was a spontaneous attack by a mob rather than a planned terror attack) in the heat of an election. A slimy tactic, to be sure--and that's of course if it is proven that this was intentionally misleading, rather than the usual incompetence they've been displaying--but hardly beyond the pale in presidential elections.

Of course, if there's something to this Benghazi scandal that I'm overlooking, I'm all ears--surely all the outrage over it should be based on something more. But it doesn't seem clear to me to be a major scandal and I can't say I'm surprised that the public hasn't been more outraged.

The GOP would be better off finding a new line of attack if they want to prevent Hillary from getting elected and stealing the White House china.

ken in sc said...

I think Bill Clinton sleeps like a baby. He doesn't call out any names except maybe baby. He doesn't remember their names.

mtrobertsattorney said...

I think what bothers most Americans about Beneghaz is not the fact that the there was a terrorist attack, but rather the administration's garbled attempts to explain why there was no attempt to rescue those Americans.

Hyphenated American said...

So Obama was too stupid to know what happened, and he did not care.
Hillary suspected he was wrong, but she preferred to lie to the American people to help her party.

Good summary?

Hyphenated American said...

"She's our Baghdad Bob, basically"

She is Obama's "Baghdad Bob", not ours.

Zach said...

The one fact on the record regarding Hillary!'s thoughts on the Benghazi story is that she found a chump, Susan Rice, to go on the Sunday talk shows pushing it. Hillary! herself was called away on, um, urgent business.

mikee said...

Hillary was so sick about the deception about a video being the cause of the attack that she told it - again - to the mother of one of the US victims at his funeral.

That is upset, alrighty!

When will Althouse realize Hillary is worse than Obama in terms of mendacity, vulgar megalomania and angry vengeance? I'm betting just after Althouse votes for her again in 2020.