Hillary's war of fog

Reuters

Article Highlights

  • Reading Hillary Clinton’s memoir of her State Department years is like wading through an ocean of oatmeal

    Tweet This

  • The Clintons are focused on the politics rather than the policy of Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state

    Tweet This

  • The more than 600 pages of Hard Choices are a hard slog

    Tweet This

Reading Hillary Clinton’s memoir of her State Department years is like wading through an ocean of oatmeal. Cloying, tiring (sometimes to the point of exhaustion), and as controversy-free as possible, the more than 600 pages of Hard Choices are a hard slog. The book reveals precious little new information, it is overloaded with clichés, and the superficiality of its policy analysis is remarkable even for the campaign-biography genre.

That may be exactly what Hillary and Bill intended. Whether Hard Choices enlightens or educates, or whether it sells many copies, is, for the Clintons, beside the point. They are focused on the politics rather than the policy of Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state, and on how that tenure might enhance their ongoing 2016 presidential effort. Polishing her thin record, excising or at least recasting her mistakes, and, perhaps most important, anaesthetizing her critics are the real priorities. And if my reaction is any indication, the chloroform technique could well work. The crushing effect of the clichés alone may be enough. Really, how much can readers be expected to endure of repeated references to high-wire acts, hard truths, “facing the world as it is,” the need to “keep my eyes wide open,” foreign leaders “riding high horses,” “the legacy of history hanging heavy” over issues, and — not to be forgotten — those clever Israelis who “made the desert bloom”? And did I mention “hard choices”?

The full content of this article is available to National Review subscribers and can be accessed here.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 01
    MON
  • 02
    TUE
  • 03
    WED
  • 04
    THU
  • 05
    FRI
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Event Registration is Closed
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.