Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency by Nigel Hamilton - review by Graham Stewart

Graham Stewart

Slick Willie

Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency


Century 766pp £25

To those who can scarcely wait for 20 January 2009, when George W Bush ceases to be technically responsible for anything, the Clinton Years must seem like a remarkably sunny interlude of peace and plenty despite the occasional rain dances performed by his vindictive Republican opponents. Such is the nostalgia for this lost golden age that opinion polls suggest the American electorate yearns to have Clinton back. Cheated of this prospect by the twenty-second amendment to the Constitution, they will settle for his wife, perhaps secretly hopeful that Bill – pace Tammy Wynette – will do more than just stand by his woman.

There are a number of international precedents for wives (or widows) becoming heads of state in place of their indisposed husbands, and few of them ended happily. Certainly, if Hillary Clinton is anything like the foul-mouthed, interfering and heartless harridan painted by Nigel Hamilton in Bill Clinton: Mastering the Presidency

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