Clinton & Clinton

From The New York Times:

FOR LOVE OF POLITICS Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years By Sally Bedell Smith.

Clintons_2 He is a virtuosic performer with reckless appetites. She is a plodding but savvy political practitioner. Her cool self-possession and occasional dogmatism stand in sharp contrast to his love of speechmaking, his “compulsive need to seduce” and his ideological elasticity. Both are cynical idealists, having been conditioned by decades of combat, going back to Bill’s first campaign, an unsuccessful House race in 1974, to see enemies and vast conspiracies behind every setback. They are genuinely fond of each other, even if he occasionally strays and she occasionally shouts profanity-laced tirades (although, as Myers tells the author, “she always crawled back to him”). And in a profession generally known for prevarication, the Clintons are notable in their readiness to bend the truth to fit political and personal necessity.

Smith covers all the familiar territory — the health care debacle, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, welfare reform, the budget surplus, Monica Lewinsky, impeachment — and manages to come up with some fascinating tidbits. She reports, for instance, that during one of Hillary’s private White House strategy sessions for her incipient race for the Senate seat then held by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the senator’s salty-tongued wife and longtime campaign manager, Liz, made her annoyance clear to the first lady. “You lie about what happens,” Mrs. Moynihan scolded the upstart who would dare occupy her husband’s seat. “You mislead people. You haven’t taken advice.” The pragmatic Hillary, although “disconcerted by such candor,” sucked it up and kept inviting her back “to take full advantage of Liz Moynihan’s unrivaled experience.”

More here.