The New York Post brings us a touching passage from Ed Klein’s new book, “Blood Feud,” in which Bill Clinton plans his death to provide maximum political benefit for Hillary:
“I’m worried how my health will affect your campaign,” he said. “I have to do all I can to prepare the campaign playbooks, but I also have to accept the fact that if I fall by the wayside, you have to continue without me and make a positive thing out of it.”
A positive thing?” Hillary said. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Obviously, you have to have a big state funeral for me, with as much pomp and circumstance as possible,” he said. “I’m thinking maybe I should be buried at Arlington [National Cemetery] rather than at my library in Little Rock. After all, I was commander in chief for eight years and have every right to be buried at Arlington.”
“Bill!” Hillary said, trying to interrupt his train of thought.
“I’m going to plan this thing out in detail,” he said.
“I don’t want to hear this!” Hillary said.
“Wear your widow’s weeds, so people will feel sympathy for you. Wear black for a decent mourning period and make my death an asset. The images on television of the funeral and the grieving widow in black will be priceless.
“When I’m gone, people will think only of my good points and forgive, if not forget, the bad. I’ll be remembered in a positive light more in death than I was in life. That always happens. Everybody knows that. So you’ll have to take maximum advantage of my death.”
Klein might actually have done Hillary a favor here – this is the closest she’s seemed to a sympathetic human being since she launched her book tour, responding to Bill’s morbid obsession over using his own corpse as a political prop with appropriate horror.
This obsession with building hardcore political power around First Ladies seems to be a Democrat obsession for the moment – how does Senator Michelle Obama grab you, citizens of Illinois? – but imagine the reaction if a Republican power couple had a conversation like this. If George Bush had been caught talking about staging his death to fetch an extra two million sympathy votes for Laura’s presidential campaign, the reaction in the media would be disgust and loathing for both of them, no matter how much Laura protested the idea. We’d be told it was proof that they’re soulless and power-hungry, not to mention their evident low opinion of American voters as a bunch of easily-manipulated emotional ninnies.
But when you’re a Democrat, the by-any-means-necessary thirst for power is no big deal, because your fellow travelers approve of people with the Right Ideas doing whatever it takes to get the power necessary to implement them.