Contrary to his public persona of steadfast support for his wife’s 2016 campaign, a new book claims that a reckless Bill Clinton actually does not want his wife to win the White House, and that he sabotaged her 2008 campaign with his disastrous performance in South Carolina — and intends to do it again.
The book, Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Brand, by Daniel Halper, has won praise for its appraisal of the once and possibly future first family, based on interviews with high-ranking former Clinton administration officials.
Back in 2008, as the book notes, Bill got into a public feud with prominent African American Democrats and the Obama campaign in bizarre red-faced tirades, souring Hillary’s relationships with a key Democrat base and beginning a downward spiral for her campaign effort against Obama. The book also claims Bill had to be talked out of bringing a mistress on the campaign trail. “There were a lot of advisors who told him that was a bad idea,” a former Clinton aide tells Halper in the book..
Clinton aides tell Halper that Bill’s bizarre behavior wasn’t likely an accident and that even Hillary, in private moments, wondered if it was “sabotage.”
Hillary “knows better than anybody that whatever [Bill] does is intentional,” the aide says.
The book quotes other senior Clinton aides that the former president “dreaded” a return to the White House, where he would be “trapped,” or as Halper puts it, “kept out of decision making but also unable to fly around the world and do whatever he wanted.”
Halper describes Bill as “deeply conflicted,” feeling that he “owes” Hillary the presidency because of the Monica Lewsinky scandal but also worried about his place in history.
“If she becomes president, Clinton’s fucked,” says a senior Clinton aide. She will be the first woman president and, as an aide put it, “he’s gonna be the guy that got a blow job and was impeached.”
Pressed on Bill’s self-centeredness, Democrat strategist Bob Shrum tells Halper, “I think he’s a very, very good strategist for himself. I don’t think he’s always a good strategist for other people.”