The Case for Hillary Clinton

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The Case for Hillary Clinton was written by Susan Estrich and published by the publishing house of William Morrow on October 11, 2005.

Estrich wrote the 288-page book to argue that "In an atmosphere where conservative Hillary-bashing is still as virulent as ever, Estrich demonstrates all the reasons that this principled leader still blows away any other potential contender in the early polls for 2008."[1]

In the introduction to the book, Estrich writes, "Can a woman who has been more vilified, humiliated, put down (and, yes, lied to), more than any of us--can she stand up, fight back, use her own intelligence and power, find her authentic voice, her real style, her center, grow into exactly who she was meant to be, and at the age of sixty -- in her true prime -- shatter the glass and change the world?" For Estrich, the answer to that question in the book is an emphatic "yes".

Notable quotes

  • "The right has already played all its heavy guns against Hillary."[2]
  • "Several of these people had been in and out of Arkansas in his campaigns, and sometimes they told stories involving Bill Clinton and women...I heard all these stories as the only woman in the room. I laughed at all the appropriate moments, and never objected or expressed shock...People like me knew that her husband cheated on her left and right."[3]
  • "In June 1992, after the Gennifer Flowers mess, I once teased him, 'Look, I don't mind defending you, but I wish you had better taste.' 'She used to be better looking,', [Bill Clinton] joked about Flowers."[4]
  • "When the makeovers ended and she became the principal instead of the wife, the voters responded and her numbers climbed. Voters are like that. They know."[4]
  • "She would turn out to be more conservative and less strident, more Midwestern, more white-bread, than people expected...all we Americans needed to do was what New York voters had done: Move beyond the old caricature and focus on the woman she had become."[5]

Chapter summaries

One: "Imagine"

Topics discussed

Two: "If Not Now, When?"

Topics discussed
  • The claim is made that it would matter if the President of the United States was a woman.
  • "We would never have to worry about Roe v. Wade again."
  • The Geraldine Ferraro campaign in 1984, and Estrich's role in it.
  • Claim that after the Ferraro candidacy, there was a "dramatic increase" in the number of women elected to office in America.
  • Estrich's role as campaign manager for Michael Dukakis in 1988.
  • Estrich says that the feminist movement was stalling out as of 2005. In 2005, 22.5% of state legislators were women.
  • As of January 2005, 13 of the 100 largest cities in American had a female mayor.
  • Discussion of some lawsuits in the 1970s the led to women having a more equal legal status with men.
  • Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Shirley Abrahamson was "horrified" to learn from Estrich that most of Estrich's law school classmates did not pursue legal careers wholeheartedly, and instead invested themselves in marriage and childrearing.
  • As of 2005, according to Estrich, social equality has eluded women and except at the lowest level of society, does not exist.
  • Women have "become complacent about failure" to achieve equality.
  • If Hillary Clinton were to be elected, the movement for women's equality would immediately be galvanized. "It would rock the boat in a way nothing else I can imagine could."
  • "Every bigwig from corporate America will look around and say, 'We better have some women on board.'"
  • More women will become partners in law firms if Hillary is elected.
  • "Bit by bit", if Hillary is elected, "we'll get that old revolution started again."
  • Discusses HRC's lifelong support of abortion rights.
  • If HRC is elected, women will have a better chance to balance work and life.

Three: "But Can She Win?"

Topics discussed
  • HRC clearly meets the "competency bar".
  • But, meeting the competency bar also involves having the competency to get the position.
  • The poll numbers in New York in five categories show dramatic improvement for HRC in the five years since she became New York's U.S. Senator.
  • Sen. John McCain said on "Meet the Press" on February 20, 2005, "I am sure that Senator Clinton would make a good president."
  • Republican operative Lee Atwater used to tell Estrich and others that there is a little boat, and on that boat are the people that Americans have decided are competent enough to be president. Dukakis never made it onto the boat.
  • In a Fox News poll taken in 2005, 59% of respondents believed that HRC is competent to be president.
  • "If you look at the poll numbers in New York, they suggest that the real Hillary Clinton, the person she has become, is nowhere near as polarizing as the old idea of her."[6]
  • " the sum of all her problems".
  • Estrich goes on at some length, in a negative way, about then-Tennessee governor Phil Bredesen, who told the "Times of London" that southern voters were revolting against the idea of an HRC presidency.
  • Describes opposition researcher Gene Sperling.
  • According to Nick Kristof of the New York Times, "television magnifies her emotional reserve and turns her into a frost queen."
  • An HRC candidacy is believed to be a candidacy that will galvanize the GOP base in opposition.
  • Elections are won in the middle, and HRC holds her base so strongly that she will never have to throw red meat to it during the campaign. This gives her a big advantage in trying to win the middle.
  • "Of all the candidates, she has the fewest secrets, and is likely to make the fewest mistakes."
  • Pollster Scott Rasmussen invented a "Hillary Meter" to measure how far off HRC is from the political center.
  • In 2005, her polled negatives were at about 40%.
  • In 2005, her job approval ratings in New York were in the high 60s and low 70s. Estrich describes these as "stratospheric."
  • In October 2000, 44% of New York voters said that HRC was not honest or trustworthy. By 2004, that number had fallen to 30%.
  • Estrich considers various different combinations of states that would yield an HRC victory in 2008.

Four: "What's Wrong With Hillary"

Topics discussed
  • Opens with the question of why HRC put up with Bill Clinton's transgressions.
  • In the summer of 2000, Bill Clinton called Estrich and said, "Women are mad at Hillary because she didn't leave me. It's just not fair. What do we do?"
  • Discusses The Truth About Hillary: "There will always be a market for the Hillary trash, just as there is for hardcore porn."
  • "None of the Hillary Haters' stuff has anything to do with her life now."
  • Says that all of the reasons given to dislike HRC are based on events that happened long ago, and do not reflect the current HRC.
  • "What her critics have succeeded in doing is continuing to apply the labels as if there were facts underneath -- while the factual base has grown positively ancient and decrepit, and the new facts are overwhelmingly positive."
  • Discusses The Case Against Hillary Clinton by Peggy Noonan. That book describes HRC as "disturbed", "borderline", "fake" and a "pathological narcissist."
  • Discusses HRC's father, who "ran a one-man drapery business."
  • HRC's mother did not attend college, and HRC's mother did not attend HRC's graduation ceremony from Wellesley.
  • In response to the allegation by Noonan that HRC is a "pathological narcissist", Estrich consults a psychiatrist, who says that "Bill's the narcissist."
  • Quotes a lengthy excerpt from a speech by HRC on the unhealthy influence of modern media on today's children.
  • Discusses Rewriting History by Dick Morris.
  • Says that HRC's involvement with federal health care policy was influenced for the worse by Ira Magaziner.
  • Hillary tried to join the U.S. Marine Corps[7]
  • Discusses Carl Limbacher's book, Hillary's Scheme: Inside the Next Clinton's Ruthless Agenda to Take the White House.

Five: "Can She Lose? The Rock Star and the Rest"

Topics discussed
  • Predicts there will be "a slew of governors" running for president in 2008, "on both sides of the aisle."
  • Foreign policy credibility will be key in 2008.
  • Iowa "can transform one or two of the midgets into giants".
  • The early caucus in Iowa is not a good way for Democrats to pick their nominee.
  • Hillary and Bill Clinton supported George McGovern (over Ed Muskie) in the 1972 Democratic presidential nominating process.
  • "In Democratic politics, in a multi-candidate field, black voters predominate in Southern primaries, which is why Hillary Clinton will look very strong in the South."[8]
  • Includes an analysis of why Howard Dean tripped up in the Democratic presidential nominating campaign of 2004.
  • "The difference between being involved and being committed is like the difference between the contribution of the chicken and the pig to a ham and egg breakfast: The chicken is involved but the pig is committed."[9]
  • Harold Ickes routinely uses very vulgar language, such as calling Bella Abzug "a runny cunt".

Six: "It Isn't Just About (Her) Sex"

Topics discussed

Seven: "Moments of Truth"

Topics discussed

See also



External links

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  1. From the Publisher's Description
  2. The Case for Hillary Clinton, Kindle Version: Location 302 of 1352
  3. The Case for Hillary Clinton, Kindle Version: Location 327 of 1352
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Case for Hillary Clinton, Kindle Version: Location 363 of 1352
  5. The Case for Hillary Clinton, Kindle Version: Location 476 of 1352
  6. Location 1133 of 5352
  7. Location 2238 of 5352
  8. Location 2584 of 5352
  9. Location 2647 of 5352