By Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times
In June, Hillary Clinton released a new book that served as the unofficial kickoff to a presidential campaign set to hit the homestretch in the summer of 2016. But for the moment she’s enduring what Politico called “the summer of the anti-Clinton books,” and what a left-leaning website called “The Summer of Nonsense.”
“There may be no clearer sign of Hillary Clinton’s political reemergence than the flurry of new books critical of her — two in the past month alone, with another pair coming soon,” Politico reports. The books mark the resurrection of a genre that had gone dormant in the years since President Bill Clinton survived impeachment and left the White House in 2001.
Blood Feud, by Edward Klein, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list on July 13, displacing Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices. Klein’s book is said to detail the feud between the Obama and Clinton families and has received mixed reviews. Even Rush Limbaugh said the dialogue seemed stilted, and Buzzfeed amused its readers with a list of “the 9 Most Inane Passages” from the book, which include an alleged physical altercation between Barack and Hillary.
“Blood Feud is the funniest book of 2014. Maybe ever,” Katherine Miller wrote for BuzzFeed. “On nearly every page, you’ll feel like yelling ‘BLOOD FEUD!’ over a guitar solo (think ‘Panama’ by Van Halen) while an eagle flies out of an explosion.”
“Conservatives don’t buy books the way other people do,” David Brock, the founder of progressive watchdog group Media Matters, told Politico in an interview. “I think they buy them as political statements or to see their own prejudices and fantasies in black and white … [Hillary Clinton] called it a cottage industry on The Daily Show and that’s right, it’s a business.”
Media Matters published a detailed retort last week to three of what it called “The Summer of Nonsense” books: Blood Feud,” Daniel Halper’s Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, and Ronald Kessler’s The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents.
Among many other allegations and negative characterizations, Halper’s Clinton Inc. suggests that Hillary Clinton has a drinking problem. And Halper claims drinking may have been behind her 2012 illness. In response, Media Matters writes: “Halper baselessly posits that Clinton may have hit her head after falling down drunk. Invoking a ‘rumor’ from ‘bloggers and websites’ that Clinton drinks heavily, Halper points to ‘one well-known Clinton hater’ for the claim the injury was the result of drinking — citing no names.”
Halper’s book has sold a mere 3,500 copies, according to Politico.
In response to the books, spokespersons for Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton issued a joint statement: “With Klein, Halper and Kessler, we now have a Hat Trick of despicable actors concocting trashy nonsense for a quick buck, at the expense of anything even remotely resembling the truth.”
A fourth anti-Clinton book, by conservative talk show host Aaron Klein, is set for release next month: The REAL Benghazi Story: What the White House and Hillary Don’t Want You to Know.
Klein is the author of several books attacking President Obama, including The Manchurian President and Impeachable Offenses. His website refers to his latest work as “a ground-breaking investigative work that finally exposes some of the most significant issues related to the murderous Sept. 11, 2012, attack” in Libya.
AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski