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The Case Against Hillary Clinton Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 22, 2000

3.3 out of 5 stars 267 customer reviews

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At the beginning of this slim polemic, Peggy Noonan states that she does not hate the first lady, she merely has contempt for her, and in The Case Against Hillary Clinton she explains precisely why. Noonan's objections to Hillary Clinton and her husband ("to understand her you have to understand him") are based both on ideology and style--Noonan considers the Clintons to be self-involved know-it-alls who "stand for one thing: maximum and uninterrupted power for the Clintons." "They have made the American political landscape a lower and lesser thing," she writes. "They have stopped good things from happening, and have allowed bad things to occur; when caught they have covered up and dissembled." Noonan describes Hillary's bid for a Senate seat in a state not her own as "a thing of utter and breathtaking gall." She further dismisses Mrs. Clinton's ability to lead at all, citing the botched health-care initiative, Filegate, Travelgate, and chronic lying by both of the Clintons as evidence. Perhaps Noonan's most persuasive argument against Hillary is that, although she has been in a position to do much good, she has accomplished little on her own: "I am often frustrated with her because she could do some real good, and at a crucial time, and doesn't.... I can't think of a single time in seven years that she jeopardized her position with her base to make progress for her country."

A speechwriter for Ronald Reagan who chronicled her own White House experiences in the book What I Saw at the Revolution, Noonan exercises plenty of creative license in these pages, mostly effectively by inventing dialogue, events, and inner thoughts that serve to illustrate Mrs. Clinton's motives and character as Noonan sees them. And the author notes, as have others, that Mrs. Clinton's Senate race is likely just a first step on the road to the White House: "So New York is the battle that may decide the war. This Senate bid has huge implications, not only for New York State but for the nation," she writes. In all, a persuasive case elegantly presented. --Linda Killian

From Publishers Weekly

Seasoned conservative political commentator Noonan (What I Saw at the Revolution, etc.) joins the anti-Hillary literary feeding frenzy with this scathing biographical essay. Addressing herself to the voting population of New York State, Noonan rails against "Clintonism"--which she defines as the using of any tactic to achieve a political goal, including "misleading constituents on serious and crucial issues," "evading responsibility for governmental mistakes," "smearing opponents and critics" and "lying"--as she begs New Yorkers not to elect the First Lady as their senator. But the book's unusually urgent purpose isn't the only thing that makes Noonan's text irregular: mirroring, in some ways, the controversial methods Edmund Morris employed in Dutch (his recent biography of Reagan, Noonan's former boss), Noonan mixes her thoroughly researched, nonfictive prose with confusingly presented fictional passages: invented internal monologues, "transcriptions" of speeches Hillary never made and the like. Noonan's rant occasionally falls flat, too--especially as she strains to make what are essentially ideological differences seem like commonsense, apolitical moral questions--and some of her most fiery points (such as her suggestion that the Clintons were the first politicians to distort the electoral process with spin and lies) ring hollow. Still, when she's not fictionalizing or psychologizing the First Lady, Noonan offers a searing analysis of what she sees as the emptiness of HRC's political platform and the mountain of questions about her past that remain unanswered. Relentlessly passionate and concise, Noonan--an extremely capable writer--lays out, in lively prose, the central complaints that New Yorkers will be hearing in the coming months from conservatives opposed to Mrs. Clinton's candidacy.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (March 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060393408
  • ASIN: B000EXYZKE
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Edward M. Lopez on March 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The subject and target of Peggy Noonan's new book The Case Against Hillary Clinton is not so much Hillary Clinton, but rather Clintonism, the corrupt and cynical philosophy of politics as a means for obtaining and maintaining power that has damaged and divided the country over the past seven years.
Ms. Noonan admits that the book is a polemic written by someone who is very much one of the "Other People" and not "My People" in Hillary Clinton's Manichean ethos. As a polemic, The Case Against Hillary Clinton more closely resembles Christopher Hitchens' No One Left to Lie To than it does Barbara Olson's unflattering biography of Mrs. Clinton. Peggy Noonan does not have the temperament of Hitchens, whose contempt for William Jefferson Clinton literally drips from each page as he punctuates his points with stinging epithets. One gets the impression that she treated this book as a necessary duty. She takes no joy in examining and explaining these joyless and empty narcissists who are unable to live without the adulation and attention of others. In another context, we might feel sympathy for them, but not when they play out their private issues on the world's stage and at the nation's expense.
The Case Against Hillary Clinton makes a convincing case why the people of New York should NOT elect Mrs. Clinton as their Senator. She shows that Mrs. Clinton possesses above-average intelligence, below-average character, and virtually no accomplishments of her own. The only substantive venture for which she was given responsibility, the misguided and health care task force, ended in political disaster, which directly led to Republican control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years. Prior to that, Mrs.
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Format: Hardcover
Peggy Noonan is a talented writer - clear, lucid, witty, always engaging. Her book offers ample insights into why Hillary Clinton and her husband will hopefully "just go away", rather than continue to inflict their special blend of arrogance, hypocrisy, and deceitfulness on the country.
Ms. Noonan's case could have benefited from stronger editing. I felt, for example, a hypothetical conversation snippet imagined at Hillary's future gravesite was regrettable and tasteless. More concerning - especially after Ms. Noonan wrote negatively (and accurately) about Edmund Morris fiction/non-fiction Ronald Reagan biography - was an extremely interesting portion of her book set at Michael Eisner's home; a scene which turns out, in the end, to be entirely made up by Ms Noonan. She describes how she wound up watching this (fictional) scene, as the friend of Eisner's housekeeper! I felt disappointed and manipulated after reading this fascinating scene to find out at its close that Ms. Noonan had imagined it entirely - including fictional quotes from Ted Turner, etc.
The whole thing left a bitter taste - much like Edmund Morris' fictional footnotes. I felt similarly concerned about Ms. Noonan's repeatedly telling us, sometimes with quotes, what the Clinton's were thinking during various scenes. Can we have a collective moratorium against fictional excursions set unannounced in in purportedly non-fiction, serious books? Ms. Noonan is a wonderful speech writer - I feel she may have succumbed to the temptation to write Hillary a good speech here and have some fun in the process - but she could have done this and made her point far better by just saying "Here is the kind of courageous speech I would love to hear from Hillary but never will.
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By A Customer on March 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Noonan has done a wonderful job of describing what most of us have come to know over the last seven years. I thank God that someone has put into words what Clintonism and its founders have done to this country. This is a must read for anyone who wants the unvarnished truth about Hillary Clinton, and without the left-leaning filtering that the media usually performs when it comes to the Clintons.
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Format: Hardcover
The Clinton White House, its acolytes and apologists, and its Hillary-led, Mao-like driving sense of entitled victory at all costs has scraped the national consciousness bloody. Much like a doctor removing bits of glass from a patient furious with discomfort, Noonan will be vilified by segments of the public tired of their collective skinned knee, and she will be demonized by the thought police on the Hillary payroll and best-friends list. Noonan's intellectual and personal courage in writing this burning indictment of a Stepford Stalinist who has more in common with Napoleon the boar in Orwell's "Animal Farm" than with Elizabeth Cady Stanton is to be more than applauded. It is to be gravely surveyed as the first book to coolly, and not a little sadly, mine the psyche of a First Lady who devoted her considerable intellectual firepower and Oscar-worthy charisma to the ignoble end of her own personal advancement on the backs of the disenfranchised and needy, and to the destruction of those who stood--and still try to stand--in her way. Continue to wield your surgical tweezers in the service of the national consciousness, Dr. Noonan: we, the easily charmed public, may snarl at your unpleasant pathological findings, but someday when the Clintons finally have their superegos pried from the national podium, we'll read this book again, and marvel at your insight, wit, and fearless icky surgical exploration of the "Being Hillary Clinton" national psychosis. And if Hillary wins the Senate, and then runs for president, we will all shake our heads and think, Peggy, you tried to warn us.
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