Those who remember Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton from another era are giving critical reviews of “Living History,” the New York Democrat’s memoirs, published Monday.
“There should be enough ammunition there for another several thousand radio broadcasts,” said radio talk-show host Lucianne Goldberg in an e-mail message yesterday, noting she would “absolutely” read the book.
“I’ve even read Sid the Squid’s tome,” she added, referring to former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal’s recent book. “I find the artfulness of both absolutely fascinating. What very strange people they are.”
Talk-radio host Michael Reagan yesterday said he wouldn’t read it.
“I already lived through those eight years. I didn’t believe her then. Why should I believe her now?” he asked.
But there is much initial bustle. Bookseller Barnes & Noble reported yesterday that 40,000 copies of Mrs. Clinton’s book sold in their stores in the first 24 hours; publisher Simon & Shuster estimated nationwide sales for the first day at 200,000.
“I’d call it ‘Killing History.’ She’s destroyed the fact that there are still 80 missing witnesses from the Clinton investigations,” noted Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, the legal group that has filed 90 cases against various high-ranking officials for misconduct, including former President Bill Clinton and Mrs. Clinton.
“What Mrs. Clinton leaves out is more telling than what she leaves in. Maybe we should call the book ‘Avoiding History’ instead. Judicial Watch is not mentioned, though we still have three cases pending against her. [Internet muckraker] Matt Drudge isn’t mentioned either,” Mr. Klayman continued.
Former Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican, who served as House manager during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment hearings, also has problems with the book.
“Joining forces with Sid Blumenthal and other so-called historians of the impeachment process, Hillary Clinton has fired yet another shot in the battle to rewrite the history of her husband’s impeachment,” Mr. Barr said, calling it “a deliberate mischaracterization of the impeachment process.”
Gary Aldrich, the 26-year FBI veteran who provided evidence during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment hearings and authored the 1996 best seller, “Unlimited Access,” says he bought Mrs. Clinton’s book.
“I won’t read it all, just the parts on Filegate and Travelgate that I am particularly sensitive to and interested in,” Mr. Aldrich said.
“This book makes the political landscape more dismal. I’m a believer in a strong two-party system, and I think all of us want to see new Democratic candidates. This book just sucks the oxygen out of the air,” said Mr. Aldrich, who has written a new book, “Thunder on the Left: An Insider’s Report on the Hijacking of the Left.”
He continued, “We’re all tired of hearing about the Clintons, and we’re ready to move on. But they seem incapable of moving on themselves.”
One close observer plans to take Mrs. Clinton to task, point by point.
“Perhaps the book should be called ‘Selective History.’ Or better yet, ‘Revisionist History,’” said David Bossie, who served as chief investigator for two Senate committees examining Mr. Clinton’s foreign campaign contributions and his involvement in Whitewater.
“As one of the few people who actually know the facts about Whitewater, Travelgate, campaign finances and the Monica Lewinsky affair, I’m reading the book because I’m checking it for omissions as well as out-and-out lies,” said Mr. Bossie, now president of the Citizens United.
“I’m compiling a list of my findings. And I find that Mrs. Clinton fabricates, and she continues to tell the same lies,” Mr. Bossie said, calling some of the writing “sleazy.”
He is particularly distressed over her comments about U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson.
Mrs. Clinton wrote that Mr. Olson misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about providing “free legal counsel” to special prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment, and that despite Mr. Olson’s “evasiveness, he was confirmed” to his current appointment.