Some people wonder if Hillary Clinton is going to run for president in 2016. Some people have no doubt that she will be running. But some people say that she has been planning for this race for decades.
In a new book titled Clinton, Inc: The Audacious Rebuilding Of A Political Machine by Daniel Halper, the author outlines his case on the ambitions of Hillary Clinton for the White House, even in the early days of Bill Clinton’s terms.
In those early days, Clinton critics were demanding the release of Hillary Clinton’s records from her days as a partner at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock as part of the investigation of a now largely forgotten early scandal known as Whitewater.
Mrs. Clinton was reluctant to release documents or to comply with the requests of the special prosecutor in the case.
One aide approached the First Lady’s press secretary, Lisa Caputo, then in her midtwenties. “Why doesn’t she just come fucking forward and release them? The president had no business in the matter. It won’t hurt him.”
“We can’t,” Caputo replied. “Hillary’s got her own ambitions.”
“What do you mean?” he asked. “It doesn’t get better than First Lady.”
“Well, there’s ’04. Or ’08.”
It’s always been known that Mrs. Clinton had political ambitions, but never before had an aide confirmed with such assurance that she was envisioning the presidency for herself, even as her husband was just settling in.
Halper’s description of Whitewater as a “now largely forgotten early scandal” is curious. Whitewater ended up being handed to a special prosecutor — you may remember Ken Starr — who expanded the investigation again and again until he finally caught the president lying about … well, you know what that was about. That “early scandal” stuck around in one form after another until it got Bill Clinton impeached.
Perhaps Halper views it as “now largely forgotten” because it got overshadowed by the Monica Lewinsky silliness. Perhaps it is also “now largely forgotten” that Ken Starr’s successor declared that there was nothing in any of those investigations that the Clintons could be prosecuted for.
“This office determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that either President or Mrs. Clinton knowingly participated in any criminal conduct.”