Cover image for The case against Hillary Clinton
The case against Hillary Clinton
Noonan, Peggy, 1950-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : HarperCollins Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxi, 181 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
Format :


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E887.C55 N66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E887.C55 N66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E887.C55 N66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E887.C55 N66 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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As the long, scandal-ridden trial of the Clinton years comes to an end--and as the first lady mounts her own campaign for independent political office--it is time for a summation. What is the legacy of Clintonism? What is there in Hillary Clinton's background, talents, or record of achievement that qualifies her to represent New York in the U.S. Senate? And, most important, what will happen if Hillary should win this fall? Where will her ambition lead her next?

Peggy Noonan, one of our most astute political observers and a speechwriter for the Reagan White House, argues in this passionate and compelling book that everyone in the United States--not just New Yorkers--must look closely at Hillary and the implications of her Senate bid. The Case Against Hillary Clinton offers an eye-opening assessment of the scandals, and failures of the Clinton years, from Whitewater to health care to the Filegate and Travelgate affairs--casting a revealing light on the first lady's motives and behavior. It poses searching questions about the difference between the citizens of New York and the Clintons of Arkansas; between public service and lip service; between the whole truth and the shameless parade of evasion and spin the first couple has marshaled throughout their White House years. And finally, in these pages Noonan calls on us to consider the climate of deception and disgrace the Clintons have left in their wake--weakening our nation's moral standing and damaging our political process in ways that will take years to heal.

Never before has the character of a first lady been so integral to the fate of a presidential administration and no writer before Peggy Noonan has had the courage to offer so uncompromising an estimation of Hillary Clinton as the one contained in this book. The Case Against Hillary Clinton takes the measure of the woman, the candidate, the striving politician--and offers a convincing argument that her calculated bid for power will be the first truly important election of the new millennium.

I thought, seven years ago, that the Clintons might turn out to be inspiring. They had guts, came from nowhere, were bright and hard-driving; he was educated, credentialed, a political moderate but not a boring one; she appeared to be something new and interesting, a modern woman who operated with confidence in all the circles of the world.... Hillary could have been a strong and encouraging presence, maybe continuing to work in the world as a lawyer, as Cherie Blair has in Great Britain--a judge, working mother, and "first lady" who is everywhere a figure of respect.

What a presidency this would have been. What a legacy they would have left .

What did the Clintons do with their two administrations? They left behind a country more damaged, more removed from its old, rough idealism; a country whose children live in a coarser and more dangerous place; a country whose political life has been distorted and lowered.... And for this reason, for all of these reasons, Clintonism should not be allowed to continue.

And if it is not to continue, the next great battle may prove to be the decisive one, and that is the battle of New York.

-- From The Case Against Hillary Clinton

Author Notes

She was a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan from 1984 to 1986; in 1988, she was chief speechwriter to Vice President George Bush during his campaign for the presidency. She is currently a columnist & contributing editor at The Wall Street Journal & a political contributor for Fox News. She lives in New York City.

(Publisher Provided) Peggy Noonan graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Before entering the Reagan White House, she was a producer and writer at CBS News and an adjunct professor of Journalism at New York University. She was a speechwriter and special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. She is a weekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal and an author. Her books include What I Saw at the Revolution: A Political Life in the Reagan Era, Character Above All, The Case Against Hillary Clinton, When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan, John Paul the Great: Remembering a Spiritual Father, Patriotic Grace, and The Time of Our Lives. In 2010, she received the Award for Media Excellence by the living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The former Reagan speechwriter takes her shots at the First Lady.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Seasoned conservative political commentator Noonan (What I Saw at the Revolution, etc.) joins the anti-Hillary literary feeding frenzy with this scathing biographical essay. Addressing herself to the voting population of New York State, Noonan rails against "Clintonism"--which she defines as the using of any tactic to achieve a political goal, including "misleading constituents on serious and crucial issues," "evading responsibility for governmental mistakes," "smearing opponents and critics" and "lying"--as she begs New Yorkers not to elect the First Lady as their senator. But the book's unusually urgent purpose isn't the only thing that makes Noonan's text irregular: mirroring, in some ways, the controversial methods Edmund Morris employed in Dutch (his recent biography of Reagan, Noonan's former boss), Noonan mixes her thoroughly researched, nonfictive prose with confusingly presented fictional passages: invented internal monologues, "transcriptions" of speeches Hillary never made and the like. Noonan's rant occasionally falls flat, too--especially as she strains to make what are essentially ideological differences seem like commonsense, apolitical moral questions--and some of her most fiery points (such as her suggestion that the Clintons were the first politicians to distort the electoral process with spin and lies) ring hollow. Still, when she's not fictionalizing or psychologizing the First Lady, Noonan offers a searing analysis of what she sees as the emptiness of HRC's political platform and the mountain of questions about her past that remain unanswered. Relentlessly passionate and concise, Noonan--an extremely capable writer--lays out, in lively prose, the central complaints that New Yorkers will be hearing in the coming months from conservatives opposed to Mrs. Clinton's candidacy. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Reagan, argues that Clinton's Senate campaign is simply the beginning of a long-term try for even more power, which must be stopped. To do that, Noonan sets out the problems she sees in Hillary's character, including a duplicitous nature, insincerity, and dishonesty. However, the author concentrates more on her own impressions and feelings than the facts leading to those conclusions (she even acknowledges, after rehashing the "Filegate" and "Travelgate" matters, that "nothing that I have written here is new," and the information about those events could be found in myriad sources). Noonan speculates at points on what Hillary was thinking, or why she did certain things. She also includes a strange 30-minute segment detailing a meeting of entertainment industry moguls at which Hillary spoke at length about moral responsibility, which Noonan was able to record surreptitiously; only at the end of the chapter does she reveal that this was simply her fantasy. Such lapses into speculation and the lack of new information, combined with reader Karesa McElheny's tendency toward coyness alternating with indignation, make this a lesser entry into the Hillary Clinton biography oeuvre. For purchase if requested. [With Clinton's election to the Senate, there will undoubtedly be requests.ÄEd.]ÄSally G. Waters, Stetson Coll. of Law, St. Petersburg, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.