The Corner

A Two-President White House

Sally Bedell Smith’s new book about the Clinton years, For Love of Politics, is out today. There have been books this year devoted to Hillary Clinton, from which we have learned a lot, but it seems a smart thing to write a book about Hillary and Bill Clinton, as Smith has done, because that’s what we’re going to get in the White House should Hillary Clinton be elected president. And judging from For Love of Politics, a second Clinton White House would likely be even more of a two-for-one deal than the first. “[Bill] and Hillary set the tone for the Clinton presidency by keeping important parts of their agenda secret, by working through back channels, by purposely making her role ambiguous, and by inhibiting staff members who feared their pillow talk,” she writes of the beginning of the Clinton years. “There was an air of distrust in the White House generally,’ said a prominent Clinton administration official. ‘It was a world of shadows on the wall. This is very important to realize. You were always trying to read the shadows on the wall. Nothing was ever made clear.”

Oh, and my favorite tidbit: Clinton friend Linda Bloodworth Thomason didn’t like Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos and referred to him as “George Step-On-All-of-Us.”

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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