Two new books have raised the temperature in Washington, D.C., because of revelations about our government and the people who are in seats of political power. Excerpts from the books were released to excite and draw people to bookstores.
One of the books, “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War,” by Robert M. Gates, former secretary of defense, came out the past week.
The other book will come out in February. It is “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Politico’s Jonathan Allen.
Gates’ book was reviewed by Gen. Jack Keane for The Wall Street Journal. Gen. Keane retired as vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army in 2003, and is chairman of the Institute for the Study of War. We haven’t read the book yet but Keane’s review has the balance that Gates apparently tried to seek in revealing inside information about the Obama administration. Keane called the book a “refreshingly honest memoir and a moving one.”
According to Keane, Gates admits his mistakes and really didn’t want the secretary’s job, which he held under President George W. Bush, and President Obama asked him to stay on and he did. Gates recently retired from the position. He accepted the appointment in 2006 when we were losing the war in Iraq. Keane said in his review that the job took “extraordinary forbearance in dealing with a politicized Congress and, later, the amateurance Obama White House staff, and that his dedication to the job sprang from his love for the troops and a sense of personal responsibility for them,” Keane wrote.
Later in the Afghanistan War, Gates said Obama didn’t trust his commander, and others, “doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.”
After the publicity about the book, the president took the high road, praising Gates for his service. Gates is being criticized for coming out with his book at this time. Gates believes his revelations may lead to needed changes in our strategy quicker by going public now.
The book on Hillary Clinton may be the more popular one. There was a Hillary political hit list, according to the authors. When the Clintons sat in judgment and compiled the list “closest to the fire” was Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Bill and Hillary had gone all out for her when she ran for the Senate in 2006. Obama also supported her. The authors of the book said that Sen. McCaskill apparently “forgot” that fact because the senator made a remark on Meet the Press that she quickly regretted. Asked whether Bill Clinton had been a good president, McCaskill said, “He’s been a great leader, but I don’t want my daughter near him.”
She apologized to Bill Clinton who was very gracious. That made her feel worse. After McCaskill was elected she told a friend she was terrified of running into Hillary in the Çapitol, “I really don’t want to be in an elevator alone with her,” McCaskill reportedly said. Later when Hillary ran for the Democratic nomination for president, she wanted McCaskill’s endorsement.
When Claire came out for Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination, that was a blow to the Clinton camp, according to the authors of the book.
“Hate is too weak a word to describe the feelings that Hillary’s core loyalists still have for McCaskill,” Parnes and Allen wrote in the book. Claire is trying to mend fences. She now endorses Hillary for president in 2016.
The Hillary book will be out Feb. 11.