Photo: Hillary Clinton Office
It’s been just 11 days since Hillary Clinton left office as US Secretary of State and she’s already set her sights on a new project. Last week she was asked a range of personal and political questions from reporters, among these was the (quite literally) million-dollar question: “Are you planning on writing your memoirs already?”Clinton must have been expecting it. Not only have the Clintons churned out seven books between them but the inevitability of a new Clinton tome was suggested earlier in the month on CNN.
Despite her reticence on a potential run for the presidency in 2016, the publication of a new book is an obvious signpost. Comments made by Julie Bosman of the New York Times back in 2007 are still relevant. According to Bosman, candidates use a memoir to “build gravitas and grab media attention… a dumping ground for past unpleasantries, paving the way for the campaign-trail line ‘I addressed that in my book’.”
Some readers criticised Clinton’s previous memoir Living History for its “lack of candour”, but for the estimated $10 million it earned her, you can understand the temptation to write a sequel. Hopefully readers will be safe from a Cherie Blair-esque harrowing analysis of her and Bill’s sex life, notoriously preserved for all time in Mrs Blair’s Speaking For Myself.
Let’s hope Clinton’s narrative modesty protects her from the media led hostility (and parody) that stalked Sarah Palin’s attempt at autobiography, Going Rogue.
The Washington Post has started an online poll to help suggest a title for the book. One suggestion played on her former book and penchant for hair accessories: “It Takes a Scrunchie”, while The Daily Beast asked will “BFF Barry Obama blurb the book?”
For now, Clinton has some time on her hands to decide what her legacy will look like. The Washington Post calls it “quasi-retirement”; she calls it “catching up on about 20 years of sleep deprivation”.
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