Still think that Barack Obama might pull a convention surprise and put Hillary Clinton on the ticket and bounce the human gaffe machine Joe Biden out of his administration? Edward Klein has a reminder for all of us why Hillary wasn’t on the ticket in 2008. The title for Klein’s new book for Regnery on Barack Obama, The Amateur, comes from a conversation that took place last summer between Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in a passage excerpted by the New York Post today:
“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”
The withering criticism is incredible, given the fact that Bill Clinton is actively campaigning for Obama’s re-election.
But according to the book, Bill Clinton unloaded on Obama and pressed Hillary to run against her boss during a gathering in the ex-president’s home office in Chappaqua last August that included longtime friends, Klein said.
“The economy’s a mess, it’s dead flat. America has lost its Triple-A rating . . . You know better than Obama does,” Bill said.
Bill Clinton insisted he had “no relationship” with Obama and had been consulted more frequently by his presidential successor, George W. Bush.
Obama, Bill Clinton said, “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent.”
Hillary replied that it didn’t make any sense to take a risk now (in mid-2011), which implies that she’s not as ready to hang up her political spurs as she claims. Bill responded that the nation needed Hillary, but then amended it to “The country needs us!” That is, of course, the same selfless attitude that so many of us recall from the Clinton days. The memories of The Big Me have only faded because the self-absorption of the current President makes Bill Clinton look like the amateur in that regard.
Besides, had Hillary run against Obama, it would likely have finished both of them. The fight would have drained the surprisingly limited resources that Obama has accrued and would have forced Hillary to do real damage to Obama in a primary. There would have been no guarantee that she would have won, either, against an incumbent President whose party establishment would have feared losing the White House altogether had he been supplanted in a primary. Plus, let’s not forget that Hillary couldn’t beat Obama when she was the favorite and had a large initial funding edge. If Obama lost a general election after taking damage from the Clintons, the party would never have forgiven her — or Bill, for that matter.
Otherwise, this is just popcorn-passing time for Republicans. The Clintons will deny the quotes, and they’ll go after Klein as a tool of Regnery, a conservative publisher known for its broadsides against the Obama administration. Klein has a resume that might make that difficult, however, as Amazon notes in the entry for the book:
Edward Klein is a seven-time New York Times bestselling non-fiction author. He is also the former foreign editor of Newsweek and former editor-in-chief of The New York Times Magazine. Klein frequently contributes to Vanity Fair and Parade, and currently lives in New York, New York.
In other words, he’s no amateur. This new book just might have to be The Official Book of the Obamateurism Series here at Hot Air. It definitely makes my reading list.