EDWARD KLEIN IS A CONTEMPTIBLE SLEAZEBAG, AND THE WORST DIALOGUE WRITER EVER
If you think you should concern yourself with whether Bill Clinton called Barack Obama an "amateur," as Edward Klein claims in his forthcoming book The Amateur (according to today's New York Post), then I just want to remind you of the reaction to Klein's 2005 book, The Truth About Hillary.
No, not the expected outrage from liberals and Democrats. I'm talking about the reaction from the right.
John Podhoretz wrote (in the New York Post):
This is one of the most sordid volumes I've ever waded through. Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn't have to suffer through another word.
To which National Review's Jim Geraghty responded, "John Podhoretz is my hero."
Joe Queenan wrote:
... it is a very bad book ... it is a lazy, cut-and-paste recycling of other people's work ... it relies too much on nasty personal comments about Senator Clinton provided by anonymous sources ... it sleazily intimates that Hillary Clinton is a lying, scheming, smelly, left-leaning lesbian and a non-maternal parent who consorts with lawyers who defend mobbed-up unions and bears a striking character resemblance to both Richard Nixon and Madonna, and who tacitly approved of her husband's rape of a young woman at a time when Mrs. Clinton may or may not have been bathing, washing her hair or shaving her underarms, while hanging out with short-haired women from the sapphic charnel house Wellesley College.
Its most scurrilous charge was that Chelsea Clinton was conceived during a rape of Hillary by her husband, a charge Klein backed down from when he was challenged by -- of all people -- Sean Hannity.
So we're talking about a guy so sleazy even wingers give him a wide berth (or at least they did back in 2005). And now we have this in the New York Post -- and if we can't prove that Klein is peddling irresponsible nonsense, we can at least say with certainty that he writes some of the most implausible dialogue in the history of the English language:
... 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....
Obama, Bill Clinton said, "doesn't know how to be president" and is "incompetent." ...
"Why risk everything now?" a skeptical Hillary told her husband, emphasizing that she wanted to leave a legacy as secretary of state.
"Because," Bill replied, his voice rising, "the country needs you!"
"The country needs us!" added Bill....
"I want my term [at the State Department] to be an important one, and running away from it now would leave it as a footnote," Hillary argued....
"I know you're young enough!" Bill said, his voice booming. "That's not what I'm worried about. I'm worried that I'm not young enough."
"I'm the highest-ranking member in Obama's Cabinet. I eat breakfast with the guy every Thursday morning. What about loyalty, Bill? What about loyalty?" she responded.
Wow -- this is like Politico fan fiction.
Even if something vaguely like this actually happened, couldn't Klein have at least gotten some help reproducing the moment -- perhaps from someone who has a passing familiarity with the way English is spoken by actual humans?