THE SPINE APRIL 24, 2007
Two articles in the Times this morning must have given Hillary Clinton the hives.
One was just a note in the Arts section headlined "Carl Bernstein's Hillary Clinton Book Due in June." Knopf has moved the pub date up from the fall, and did that on the day the author handed in his last pages. The book, to be called A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be 640 pages long in print. Two especially tantalizing items from the note: a Knopf press released confessed that Bernstein "reaches conclusions that stand in opposition to what Hillary Clinton has said and written about herself." (To tell the truth, Hillary always reminded me of Lillian Hellman who, in her last years, told people she was my wife's mother.) The second is that Bernstein, who has been working on the book for eight years, did so "without Mrs. Clinton's cooperation." Carl is one of our bravest journalists. If I were Hillary, I'd be breaking out in hives, too.
The other article, by Raymond Hernandez, is on the Times front page and is headlined "Obama's Rise Strains Loyalty on Clinton Turf." I cam imagine Hillary bitching to Bill, "After all we've done for them! How ungrateful!" The strains are among black public officials in New York. But I'd bet they're emblematic of movement away from Clinton elsewhere in the nation among African-American leadership. In New York, the Clintons desperately calling in chips... and are likely to succeed with some old allies. I'd bet that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will also line up behind her. If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee and--heaven forbid--is elected, this would spell kaddish for both Jackson and Sharpton. Again, if I were Hillary, I'd be breaking out in hives, and having temper tantrums besides. Those ingrates.