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Side by Side by Hillary

The likely 2016 presidential candidate as portrayed in the summer’s warring Clinton best sellers.

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Illustration by Tony Millionaire  

Hard Choices: “Keeping America safe, strong, and prosperous presents an endless set of choices, many of which come with imperfect information and conflicting imperatives. Perhaps the most famous example from my four years as Secretary of State was President Obama’s order to send a team of Navy seals into a moonless Pakistani night to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice … It was as crisp and courageous a display of leadership as I’ve ever seen.”

Blood Feud: “ ‘The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered, and there is no hand on the tiller half the time,’ she said. ‘That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the fucking tiller.’ ”


Hard Choices: “The President fully lived up to his promises. He gave me free rein to choose my team, relied on my advice as his chief foreign policy advisor on the major decisions on his desk, and insisted on meeting often so we could speak candidly.”

Blood Feud: “Hillary … had come to know Barack, and she had seen him renege on major deals … Obama had promised to keep her in the loop on all foreign policy decisions, only to make his own decisions without telling her until it was too late.

“ ‘Do you trust him on this?’ Hillary asked. ‘Can you trust him?’

“ ‘As much as I trust any politician,’ Bill replied.”


Hard Choices: “Finally, I kept returning to a simple idea: When your President asks you to serve, you should say yes.”

Blood Feud: “Bill said … ‘I’m ordering you to turn the White House down.’

“ ‘Fuck you!’ Hillary said. ‘Nobody orders me around.’

“ ‘It’s a fucking trap,’ he said.

“ ‘I know it’s a fucking trap,’ she said. ‘But how do you say no to the president?’

“ ‘Easy—you say N period O period,’ Bill said. ‘Look, I’m thinking of you and the 2016 campaign.’ ”


Hard Choices: “Much attention focused on what Susan Rice, our Ambassador to the United Nations, said on various Sunday-morning talk shows on September 16, five days after the attacks in Benghazi … Critics accused her of trumping up tales of protest that never happened in order to cover up the fact that this had been a successful terrorist attack on President Obama’s watch. They obsessed over the question of who in the government prepared Susan’s ‘talking points’ that morning and hoped to find evidence of heavy-handed political malfeasance by the White House.”

Blood Feud: “Along with a couple of their close friends, the Clintons gathered in their sunroom at Whitehaven to watch Susan Rice’s simultaneous taped performances on CBS’s Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, CNN’s State of the Union, and Fox News Channel’s Fox New Sunday.

“ ‘I’m almost sad to see Susan take the fall,’ Bill said.

“ ‘I’m not,’ Hillary said … ‘It’s like watching a train wreck.’

“ ‘Well, all I can say is that I’m relieved it isn’t you on the TV,’ Bill said.

“Hillary got up from her chair, walked behind Bill, and bent down and kissed the top of his head.”


Hard Choices: “I thought about the future, and the life that Chelsea and Marc would build together. They had so many dreams and ambitions. This, I thought, is why Bill and I had worked so hard for so many years to help build a better world—so Chelsea could grow up safe and happy and one day have a family of her own … It was our responsibility to find a way to work together to make sure our children and grandchildren inherited the world they deserved.”

Blood Feud: “For the past several months, Hillary had been urging Chelsea to get pregnant, and each time Chelsea had replied that she and Marc were trying, but so far without any luck … ‘Your father and I had the same problem,’ Hillary said. ‘Your father had just been elected governor and I was a partner at the Rose Law Firm. And so we decided to take a vacation in Bermuda, and that’s when I finally was able to become pregnant with you. So I recommend you leave your cell phones and iPads at home and don’t tell anybody where you’re going.’ ”


Hard Choices: “I could let my hair down—literally. Once, in an interview during a trip to India when I was Secretary of State, Jill Dougherty of CNN asked about the media’s obsession with my showing up in foreign capitals after long flights wearing glasses and no makeup. ‘Hillary Au Naturale’ she called it. I had to laugh. ‘I feel so relieved to be at the stage I’m at in life right now, Jill, because if I want to wear my glasses, I’m wearing my glasses. If I want to pull my hair back, I’m pulling my hair back.’ ”

Blood Feud: “At her insistence, the plastic surgery was performed in a series of small steps so that she could evaluate the changes before she went any further. She told the surgeon that if his work started to make her look ‘radically different or weird,’ she would stop it immediately. This approach required multiple surgeries, and over a period of several weeks the doctor painstakingly sculpted her cheeks, lifted her forehead, smoothed her neck, and Botoxed the wrinkles in her face and around her eyes. ‘She won’t talk about it,’ said a friend. ‘She just smiles impishly when asked about it … But she’s pleased with the result and proud that she got up the nerve to take Bill’s advice and do it. I guess she’d have had a head transplant if that’s what it took to get to the White House.’ ”


Hard Choices: “After Bill finished, President Obama unexpectedly appeared onstage to thank him. As the two Presidents embraced, the crowd went wild. Watching from some ten thousand miles away, I was full of pride for the former President I married, the current President I served, and the country we all loved.”

Blood Feud: “ ‘The minute we do what you say and attack Obama, we’ve severed all ties with him,’ Hillary said. ‘It’ll make Obama furious, and he’ll throw his support to Biden or God knows who. He would never forgive me.’

“ ‘Who cares!’ Bill said. ‘In a few months, he’ll have no more goddamn political capital left. I don’t give a shit who he supports. We’re going to steamroll over the son of a bitch and whoever he supports.’ ”


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