New biography: Hillary nixed divorce idea
Bill Clinton wanted to leave Hillary in 1989 but she worried about being a single mom and wouldn't give him a divorce, according to a new...
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — Bill Clinton wanted to leave Hillary in 1989 but she worried about being a single mom and wouldn't give him a divorce, according to a new biography of the Democratic presidential front-runner.
The Clinton campaign team braced for a flurry of personal revelations spilling out of two biographies being released in the next few weeks.
Among the highlights:
• She thought her husband's election as president in 1992 would save their marriage because his catting around would be curbed by being in the fishbowl of the White House.
• She feared that she — not her husband — was in danger of being charged with perjury by independent counsel Kenneth Starr for her statements about missing law-firm records in the Whitewater case.
• Hillary Clinton is so security conscious that she has on occasion made visitors to her Washington home check their bags, cameras and phones at the door.
• The Clintons secretly fashioned a "20-year project" to send them both to the Oval Office.
The two biographies, written by former reporters for The Washington Post and The New York Times, are due out in June. They were obtained by The Washington Post, which published portions Friday.
The books had been anticipated with dread by Team Clinton. But while they rehash the complicated soap opera of the Clinton marriage, neither reveals any new charges of financial or political misconduct that alone could derail her campaign.
In perhaps the most damning revelation about her service as senator, "Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton" by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta, says Clinton failed to read the full 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) before casting her vote for war. The NIE contained important caveats about the threat posed by Iraq.
Her staff did not deny the charge but stressed that she wasn't alone. Congressional aides who guarded the classified 90-page report previously told The Washington Post only about six senators ever read it.
Gerth and Van Natta's book also contained the 20-year-project claim, and Clinton campaign officials questioned the account. They noted that The Post quoted one purported source for the story, historian and Clinton friend Taylor Branch, as calling it "preposterous."
"A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton" by former Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein reports Hillary Clinton was "tortured" by being targeted by her husband's enemies.
"When I say there was a serious fear she would be indicted, I can't overstate that," former White House lawyer Mark Fabiani told Bernstein.
Bernstein also reports that some years earlier, as his Arkansas governorship was ending, Bill Clinton fell in love with Little Rock executive Marilyn Jo Jenkins and sought a divorce.
The senator's best friend, the late Diane Blair, told Bernstein that Clinton worried about supporting her daughter. "What if she were on her own? She didn't own a house. She was concerned that if she were to become a single parent, how would she make it work in a way that would be good for Chelsea," Blair said.
Hillary told her husband's chief of staff, Betsey Wright, there would be no divorce, saying, "There are worse things than infidelity."
Material from the Los Angeles Times is included in this report.
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.