My colleague Dan Gainor mentioned there was a Hillary-book story on the front of the Life section of Thursday's USA Today. The headline was "Hillary books vie for votes." Reporter Bob Minzesheimer devoted his story to forthcoming Hillary books, both due in bookstores on June 19: one by Carl Bernstein, still living off his Watergate fame, and one by Jeff Gerth and Don van Natta of the New York Times. Gerth first broke the Whitewater story open on March 8, 1992.
Left out: any new or forthcoming Hillary book by conservatives, including Bay Buchanan's brand new book The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton -- or my book with Brent Bozell on Hillary's history of syrupy, excuse-making media coverage, Whitewash, due in September. (That should explain Dan's friendly tip after he saw the headline.)
I'm halfway through Bay's book, and I'm looking forward to the Gerth-van Natta book, which might have some very interesting investigative tidbits. I'm sure it's the one that Hillary is sweating, and not the ones issued from the bowels of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I'm not as enthusiastic about Bernstein, who spent the 1990s denouncing any and all scandal-mongering around the Clintons -- an odd pose for a Watergate crusader. Minzesheimer reports that the publishers are sniping at each other over the non-conservative Hillary books:
In one corner is A Woman in Charge by Carl Bernstein of Watergate reporting fame. It will be published by Knopf, which also is Bill Clinton's publisher.
Her Way by Jeff Gerth and Don Von Natta Jr. will be published by Little, Brown, whose editor in chief Geoff Shandler is questioning how "objective and critical Knopf can be about Hillary when it's also publishing Bill."
Knopf released Bill Clinton's best-selling 2004 memoir, My Life, and signed him to a new book on public service (as yet untitled).
Knopf's Paul Bogaards says, "The editorial integrity of this (publishing) house speaks for itself. It's ludicrous for Little, Brown to suggest that. They should be very careful if they're going down that road."
....Neither publisher is releasing advance copies and only hinting at the contents, which could prove a distraction for Clinton in a tight Democratic presidential race. Shandler says Her Way has "tons of new stuff" that will raise questions for voters. Bogaards says of Bernstein: "His reputation as a reporter allowed him access to individuals who might not speak to others."
I'll believe it when I see it.