Bill Clinton thought so little of President Obama — mocking him as an “amateur” — that he pressed his wife last summer to quit her job as secretary of state and challenge him in the primaries, a new book claims,
“The country needs you!” the former president told Hillary Clinton, urging her to run this year, according to accounts of the conversation included in Edward Klein’s new biography of Obama.
The title of Klein’s explosive, unauthorized bio of Obama, “The Amateur” (Regnery Publishing), was taken directly from Bill Clinton’s bombshell criticism of the president, the author said.
RUN, BABY, RUN! A new book says Bill Clinton implored wife Hillary last summer to challenge President Obama.
“Barack Obama,” Bill Clinton said, according to book excerpts, “is an amateur.”
The withering criticism is incredible, given the fact that Bill Clinton is actively campaigning for Obama’s re-election.
But 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.
Bill Clinton insisted he had “no relationship” with Obama and had been consulted more frequently by his presidential successor, George W. Bush.
Obama, Bill Clinton said, “doesn’t know how to be president” and is “incompetent.”
But Hillary resisted the entreaties, according to two of the guests interviewed for the book.
“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.
He later even joked about the prospect of having two Clinton presidential libraries — about the only time that Hillary cracked a smile.
“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.
She said she had the option of running again in 2016.
But Bill wouldn’t let go.
“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.
“Loyalty is a joke,’’ Bill shot back. “Loyalty doesn’t exist in politics.”
Bill’s verbal battle with Hillary over the presidency, if anything, intensified when daughter Chelsea showed up with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky.
“You deserve to be president,” Chelsea said.
Bill was clearly pleased that Chelsea was on his side and vowed to have allies commission polls on a Hillary-Obama matchup.
“What are you trying to do — force my hand?” Hillary said.
“I want everyone to know how strong you poll,” Bill said.
Hillary said, “Go ahead and knock yourself out.”
The book’s explosive claims were shot down last night by spokesmen for the White House and the Clintons, who closed ranks last night.
Bill Clinton’s spokesman Matt McKenna said the excerpts were “totally and completely false” and called Klein “a known liar.”
Phillipe Reines, a spokesman for the secretary of state, noted that Hillary Clinton challenged the veracity of an earlier book Klein wrote about her, “Truth About Hillary.”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz accused Klein of making up facts to sell books.
“Nobody in their right mind would believe the nonsense in this one, especially since both Secretary Clinton and President Clinton have been loyal and supportive of the president at every turn.”
Klein, a former editor of The New York Times Magazine and Newsweek, defended the book and his earlier one as factually sound.
PARIS (AP) — French President-elect Francois Hollande is suggesting that outgoing leader Nicolas Sarkozy's government underestimated the country's budget problems.
The Socialist Hollande spoke after the European Union lowered its growth forecasts for France and the whole of the 17-country eurozone.
Hollande told reporters Friday, "I have known for several weeks that there was a greater degradation than the outgoing government said there was. We conclude that this is a confirmation."
Hollande, elected Sunday, says he wants an independent audit of the country's books.
He said the new figures do not necessarily mean he has less room to maneuver to fulfill his campaign pledges after he takes office Tuesday. "No, we had already expected this," he said in remarks shown on French television.
BLS Note: So, who is the real bully here? Isn't it the media itself, going back 50 years into Romney's past? While completely ignoring Obama's drug use, his pushing women around or shoving them, according to Obama's own words....during his youth, not to mention numerous racist accounts, by the man himself.
Media bias isn’t just about what is and isn’t covered. It's also about how something is covered and rolled out. For instance, the failing and corruptWashington Post has twice now attempted to use decades-old incidents to create ongoing media narratives meant to negatively define serious challengers to their precious Obama. The way in which this is done is to use huge splashes that are rolled out in a way that ensures plenty of attention and coverage (probably through coordination) from their fellow members of the corrupt media.
In October of last year when Texas Governor Rick Perry was looking like a serious presidential contender, out of nowhere the Washington Post quite intentionally dropped a huge, attention-getting spread about a racist rock on a property neither Perry nor his family ever owned (they leased a portion of it for hunting) that was painted over who knows how many years ago.
All the Washington Post wanted to do here was to link the N-word to Rick Perry and to blunt his message and criticism of Obama by tying him up in defensive knots over nonsense. The bigger goal, though, was to aid and abet Obama's reelection by using the weakest of reasons to define Perry -- and by extension, his supporters and the Republican Party -- as racist.
Using the exact same m.o., this morning the Washington Post dropped what had to be an intentionally-timed bomb on presumptive nominee Mitt Romney. Within hours of Obama suddenly deciding to stop lying about his position on same-sex marriage, the Washington Postread Mitt Romney's teenage mind, found it anti-gay, and in a huge, attention-getting feature worked hand-in-hand with the Obama campaign to paint their likely challenger as a snooty, wealthy, homophobic, prep school bully.
Compare today's story about Mitt Romney to a 2008 story the Washington Post published about then-candidate Obama's formative years.
Just for starters, look at the difference in the headlines. Mitt Romney's immediately tagged as the prep schooler with troubling incidents in his past. By contrast, Obama is headlined as a thoughtful Seeker. The Romney article opens immediately with the tale of Romney's homophobic bullying. This is in stark contrast to the opening of the '08 Obama piece which paints a picture of Obama's hard-scrabble life growing up in Hawaii.
Hilariously, you have to read -- no joke -- over 8,800 word before the words "drug use," "marijuana," or "cocaine" are mentioned in reference to Obama.
This is how the Washington Post tries to get away with claiming it covered Obama's sordid past but also how it gets away with covering Obama's sordid past without defining Their Candidate in a way that might hurt his chances of winning an election.
When it comes to Barack Obama's formative years (and not-so distant past), to cover its Palace Guarding ass, almost all of the media dutifully report the facts but, quite intentionally, almost always in a way that does the least amount of damage. And when these stories drop in one media outlet, other media outlets cooperate by not picking up on the story in a fashion that will create a news narrative.
As you can see, this was reported before the 2008 election got started and we all remember how hard the media worked to tamp down the 20 years Obama spent at the knee of racialist demagogue Jeremiah Wright (but heard none of that crazy stuff!) and the troubling fact that Obama's political career began in the living room of admitted and unrepentant domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers.
The timing of today's Washington Post hit-piece on Romney only confirms what I already suspected: That Journolist is alive and well and that the same news outlet responsible for bringing down a corrupt president through their extraordinary investigative reporting of Watergate, is now coordinating hit-pieces to amplify White House messaging.
BLS Note: And the Media celebrates, all atwitter, at this meaningless, non-consequential moment. Obama has changed nothing except his campaign coiffures emptiness.
This was not some silly accident, anymore than George Stephanopolis' questioning of Romney on birth control during the debate, and well before any of us knew what these manipulative idiots were up to, was not planned and contrived by Left-wing operatives.
But you will note that the ever-brilliant media swallows this line of bullshit hook, line and sinker, and without question.
Meanwhile, for some of us, the covered-up Larry Sinclair Drama comes to the fore, and in spades.
From Jessica Yellin, CNN Chief White House Correspondent
Washington (CNN) -- Vice President Joe Biden has apologized to President Barack Obama for putting him in a tough position that led to Obama's announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage, senior administration officials said Thursday.
Obama said in an interview that aired Thursday on ABC that he made his decision public earlier than he had planned after Biden's weekend remark that he was "absolutely comfortable" with letting gays and lesbians marry.
Two senior administration officials said Biden and Obama met Wednesday morning, and Biden apologized for putting Obama in a tough spot. Obama responded by saying that he knew Biden was speaking from the heart, said the officials, who didn't want to be named discussing private conversations between the president and vice president.
Biden's remarks on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday launched a controversy that led to Obama announcing that his position on same-sex marriage, which he had previously called "evolving," had shifted to support. When Obama's full interview aired Thursday, he said his disclosure came sooner than planned as a result of Biden's comments.
"I had already made a decision that we were going to probably take this position before the election and before the convention," Obama said on ABC's "Good Morning America." Biden "probably got out a little bit over his skis, but out of generosity of spirit," he said.
He added that he would have "preferred to have done this in my own way, on my own terms," but "all's well that ends well."
Separately, Biden spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said Obama "has been the leader on this issue from day one, and the vice president never intended to distract from that."
Once Biden's comments drew attention to the issue, Obama made plans to announce his support next week on a previously scheduled appearance on the ABC talk show "The View," a senior administration official said Thursday. The president and his advisers knew Obama would be asked about the issue in the wake of Biden's NBC interview, said the official, who didn't want to speak publicly about internal administration discussions.
Ultimately, they decided to move up the timeline and have him announce his support during the ABC interview at the White House, the official said. And a top Democrat told CNN that Obama knew the issue would come up at the convention, partly because of a push for support for same-sex marriage to be included in the Democratic Party platform, and in debates.
Multiple top Democrats told CNN the president's senior aides are annoyed with Biden for forcing the conversation on same-sex marriage now. One source said Biden has, in the past, counseled the president against coming out for same-sex marriage, making this move that much more frustrating.
But the sources said they don't believe it will create a lasting rift between the two leaders. Biden is known to go off-script, something Obama knew when he selected his vice president.
In explaining to ABC how his position has evolved, Obama noted that his daughters Malia and Sasha have "friends whose parents are same-sex couples. It wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. And frankly that's the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective, not wanting to somehow explain to your child why somebody should be treated differently when it comes to the eyes of the law."
Asked about whether his new position is a calculated move in an election year, Obama said it would "be hard to argue that somehow this is something that I'd be doing for political advantage. Because frankly, you know, the politics -- it's not clear how they cut."
The interview aired the same day Obama attended a fundraiser in Los Angeles, where support for same-sex marriage is strong. Movie star George Clooney hosted the event, which is raking in $15 million, according to a top Democratic source. And on Monday, openly gay singer Ricky Martin is hosting a fundraising event for Obama in New York.
But some in the African-American community have expressed strong disapproval of Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage. A Democratic official said the White House has been actively reaching out to African-American community leaders and pastors and will continue to do so in the wake of the president's decision, but the official noted that even the president's base won't always agree with him on everything. "There are going to be issues you don't agree on," the official said.
And Obama told ABC he won't spend much time talking about the issue, because he's focused on the economy. The announcement puts Obama squarely at odds with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has since reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage. "And I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," Romney said during a Wednesday visit to Fort Lupton, Colorado. "My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights and the like are appropriate, but that the others are not."
The issue is a divisive one in American politics, but it's uncertain how the development might play out at the voting booth.
A Gallup Poll released Tuesday indicated 50% of Americans believe same-sex marriages should be recognized by law as valid, with 48% saying such marriages should not be legal -- a dramatic shift from a few years ago. A Gallup poll in 2009 found 40% supported same-sex marriage and 57% were opposed.
But a CNN/ORC International poll, taken in late March, indicated policies toward gays and lesbians were tied for last in people's opinions of the most-important issues facing the country.
Obama said he supports states deciding the issue on their own, but added that he was "disappointed" by Tuesday's vote on the issue in North Carolina, where a ban on same-sex marriage was added to the constitution. Obama called the amendment discriminatory against gays and lesbians, a spokesman said earlier Wednesday.
Six states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York -- and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, while 31 states have voted in favor of constitutional amendments that seek to defend traditional definitions of marriage as a heterosexual union.
In February, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire signed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage beginning in June, but opponents there have pledged to block the bill and called for voters to decide the issue. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed into law a bill that permits the state's same-sex couples to wed as of January 1, and state residents may vote to affirm such a law.
Minnesota will vote on a state constitutional amendment similar to the one in North Carolina, while Maine will have a referendum on allowing same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, two cases seeking to overturn laws forbidding the practice, one from California and another from Massachusetts, could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court in coming months.
CNN's Josh Levs, Phil Gast, Bill Mears, Dan Gilgoff and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.