For Love of Politics:
Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years, by Sally Bedell Smith
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
Sally Bedell Smith's book, published in 2007, is a year-by-year account of how effectively Bill and Hillary work together to win elections, achieve political and policy goals, and contain scandal. In the author's own words, the book explores "how two intelligent, ambitious, and complex people confronted the challenges they faced in the White House, how they worked together and seperately, and how the push and pull of their marriage affected the presidency."
The main point of the book is the idea of "two for one," almost a co-presidency, and less overtly, both Bill's and Hillary's use of the word "we" when describing policy positions and achievements. As this idea is illustrated throughout the book, the different styles, personalities, and approaches of Bill and Hillary are explored. Bill is depicted as a people-pleaser who avoided direct confrontation (though he sometimes had an explosive temper in private), and Hillary is more of a stern disciplinarian type.
Bedell uses the "two for one" framework to describe election strategy, President Clinton's domestic and foreign policy agenda, Hillary's efforts to reform health care, and investigations ranging from Whitewater to Monica Lewinsky. In addition, Bill Clinton's relationships with other women and how they have impacted his career are discussed, including a long description of the Monica Lewinsky episode (including sexual details). Bedell also describes Hillary's successful campaign in New York to become a Senator, and the book ends with the idea that Hillary's run for the presidency is a continuation of the same mission—"high political office, a Democratic agenda, the accumulation of power, and the pursuit of the Clinton legacy"—even though Bill and Hillary had reversed roles.
-- Naomi Lichtenberg, naomi@OnTheIssues.org, March 2008
Click on a participant to pop-up their full list of quotations
from For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years by Sally Bedell Smith, published Oct. 23, 2007 (number of quotes indicated):
- Al Gore (4)
- Bill Clinton (5)
- Hillary Clinton (15)
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.
Budget & Economy|
Bill Clinton: 1995: Bill supported balancing budget in 10 years.
Hillary Clinton: Hillary wanted Bill’s cabinet to “Look Like America”.
Hillary Clinton: 1998: Hillary predicted female President in near future.
Hillary Clinton: Outraged at CEO compensation.
Hillary Clinton: Hillary emphasized education reform without political agenda.
Hillary Clinton: Advocated using force in Bosnia as Bill’s top advisor.
Hillary Clinton: Supported strong funding for international development.
Hillary Clinton: Though Bill supported it, Hillary opposed NAFTA.
Hillary Clinton: Hillary appointed 8 days after inauguration to health cmte.
Hillary Clinton: Condemns insurers as motivated by greed.
Bill Clinton: Response to 1993 World Trade Center bombing muted.
Principles & Values|
Al Gore: Written agreement with Bill Clinton assigning V.P. duties.
Al Gore: Friendly with Hillary in 1992; until healthcare taskforce.
Al Gore: Gore’s influence inevitably diminished due to co-presidency.
Al Gore: 2000: no Bill Clinton campaigning to dissociate from scandal.
Bill Clinton: Self-styled ‘New Democrat’ to separate himself from liberals.
Bill Clinton: Bill’s “let me think about it” meant “I’ll ask Hillary”.
Bill Clinton: Ambivalent about 2000 victory after Gore distanced himself.
Hillary Clinton: 1998: Unforeseen turning point when Moynihan resigned.
Hillary Clinton: Stumble of “baking cookies” was moment of authenticity.
Hillary Clinton: Hillary and Bill made joint decisions during presidency.
Hillary Clinton: Key to Bill & Hillary’s marriage is shared love of politics.
Hillary Clinton: Gives guest church sermon: “What It Means to be a Methodist”.
Hillary Clinton: 1997: Hillary warned against privatizing Social Security.
The above quotations are from For Love of Politics:
Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years, by Sally Bedell Smith.
Books by and about Bill Clinton:
- Bill Clinton's main page
- Back to Work, by Bill Clinton
- Behind the Oval Office, by Dick Morris
- My Life, by Bill Clinton
- Giving, by Bill Clinton
- The Blair Years, by Alastair Campbell
- Clinton on Clinton
- Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton
- The Dysfunctional President, by Paul M. Fick, PhD
- The Natural, by Joe Klein
- Report Card on President Clinton's First Four Years, by Thomas Blood and Bruce Henderson
- The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House, by Bob Woodward
- Past Presidents Archive
- Past Vice Presidents Archive
- Clinton's State of the Union speeches
- Clinton-Bush-Perot Debates (1992)
Books by and about Hillary Clinton:
- Hillary Clinton's main page
- Hard Choices, by Hillary Clinton (2014) - her autobiography while Secretary of State.
- For Love of Politics, by Sally Bedell Smith (2007) - Bill & Hillary's biography for Bill's presidency.
- Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003) - her autobiography.
- Friends in High Places, by Webb Hubbell (1997) - Insider's view of the Clinton governorship and presidency
- God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life, by Paul Kengor (2007) - a religious perspective.
- The Final Days, by Barbara Olson (2001) - exploration of actions at the end of the Clinton presidency
- For Love of Politics: The White House Years, by Sally Bedell Smith (2007) - a joint biography.
- Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race, by Dick Morris (2005) - the predicted race didn't happen, but still a good analysis by Bill Clinton's former adviser.
- Partners in Power, by Roger Morris (1999) - anti-Hillary, anti-Bill, and anti-Democrat.