25 March 2011

Gossip From 2006

I've been reading the Heilemann/Halperin book on the 2008 presidential election, GAME CHANGE.

Their account begins in 2006, focusing on how the Obama and Clinton families and associates made key decisions and started to align their forces.

On the Clinton side of that divide, there is some juicy gossip. Senator Clinton's advisers, especially her "war room" devoted to tracking and responding to nasty stuff in the press, were worried that the ex-prez husband's infamous libido might have created new troubles for them. They created a "war room inside the war room" to look into three stories in particular.

Bill was thought -- by somebody or other somewhere -- to be having or to recently have had an affair with:

Belinda Stronach then a member of Canada's Parliament;

Julie Tauber McMahon a wealthy neighbor of the Clintons in Chappaqua, New York; and

Gina Gershon, an actress who played a lawyer for CBS in the 1999 Russell Crowe vehicle, The Insider.

I don't remember hearing about any of these rumors at the time. Of course Hillaryland included people whose special talent is hearing such rumblings before they get to obtuse folks like me, so this is not too surprising.

Anyway, Solis Doyle, the Senator's right hand woman, was perturbed, Heilemann and Halperin tell us, "by the caliber of the people indulging in the speculation." It wasn't Clinton enemies or gossip mongers. Natural political allies and heavy-hitting contributors were discussing these stories on conference calls. Thus the creation of the war room within the war room.

And what did the WR/WR discover? That at least with regard to one woman the rumors were true, thus as GAME CHANGE puts it "Bill was indeed having an affair -- and not a frivolous one-night stand but a sustained romantic relationship."

The authors soon thereafter drop the subject, without telling us whether the one was in fact one of the three women listed a couple of pages before, or someone else.

Your guess is as good as mine. Now I feel up to date on gossip, the "date" being 2006, and am content for another five years.


Henry said...

It's interesting that the Clinton campaign was so concerned that it would hurt them if Bill was having an affair. Wasn't he living in NY when she was a senator? How could he not be having an affair (unless his heart surgery had slowed him down)? I assumed that Hilary was busy as a senator and had agreed to let Bill lead his own life (not that she could stop him). I certainly assume that to be the case now that she spends her time flying all over the world. And I doubt that the public would fault her for it.

Christopher said...

The calculation was that there was a good deal of "Clinton fatigue" in the public -- people didn't want the Clinton family soap opera in the White House again. In other words, stories on these subjects would cause the electorate to fear ... another 4 to 8 years of stories on these subjects.

Henry said...

I suspect that the public would have loved it. Enquiring minds want to know. The Obamas are so dull.

Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.