The book’s greatest flaw is its flogging of all the Clinton scandals, not simply because they are so familiar and ultimately came to so little, but also because they give us insufficient clues to what sort of president Mrs. Clinton might be....Oh, fine then. Character... big deal!
Should Hillary Clinton’s personal limitations — her inclination to shade the truth in the service of her ambition, what former Senator Bill Bradley called her “arrogance,” “disdain,” and “hypocrisy” — disqualify her for the presidency?
It is surely preferable to have our most upright citizens sitting in the White House, but history repeatedly shows that presidents with character flaws have not necessarily been less competent leaders, especially in times of crisis, than those with a stronger moral compass....
About the Bernstein book, Dallek says:
Mr. Bernstein is... hyperbolic about Mrs. Clinton’s influence and importance. President Bill Clinton survived “in office due principally to the actions of his wife, just as their tangled relationship,” he writes, “was central to his being impeached in the first place.”Kakutani writes:
Mr. Bernstein adds: “The impeachment of the president was a direct reflection of the choices she had made, the compromises she had accepted, however reluctantly, and the enmity engendered by their grand designs, successes and failures.”
Mr. Bernstein’s overall take on Mrs. Clinton [is] that her “experiential openness” gave her a “capacity for personal growth and change”....Kakutani notes that the book is really long and that Bernstein spent 8 years writing it and seems rather defensive about spending so much time on it. Are readers going to put up with this? Aside from the health care fiasco, the Clinton Era events that involve Hillary really don't need to be remembered in detail. The Gersh/Van Natta book looks like a better read, perhaps.
[T]his volume does not really appraise Mrs. Clinton’s record as a senator from New York and sheds no new light on her stance on the Iraq war or her current campaign for the White House....
“With the notable exception of her husband’s libidinous carelessness,” Mr. Bernstein asserts, “the most egregious errors, strategic and tactical” of [Bill Clinton's] presidency, particularly in its stumbling first year, are “traceable to Hillary,” including, in large measure, the inept staffing of the White House, the disastrous serial search for an attorney general, the Travel Office brouhaha, Whitewater and the alienation of key senators and members of Congress.