Hillary is up in the polls! Hillary is down in the polls!
She’s a feminist and women love her; she’s an enabler and women hate her.
She’s brilliant and hardworking; she’s entitled and untrustworthy.
Sounds like Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2016 or even 2008 presidential campaign, right? Well, go back even farther to the year 2000 to discover how every one of those phrases was uttered during Hillary’s very first campaign when she made history as the only first lady to ever run for office. That groundbreaking bid for U.S. Senate in New York made headlines around the world, coming as it did on the heels of her husband’s scandalous affair with a White House intern.
Reporter Beth J. Harpaz was there, covering this political whirlwind for The Associated Press, and her book, “Candidate Hillary,” previously published as “The Girls in the Van,” revisits every key moment of the race. This funny, fascinating account puts you in the press van that followed Hillary from Buffalo to Brooklyn as she fought a cast of familiar characters, including New York’s pugnacious Mayor Rudy Giuliani. It’s filled with all the successes and missteps, the kind that plagued the assumed front-runner’s 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, which instead went to a young Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama. Now, updated with new perspectives from the author and an introduction by National Politics Reporter Lisa Lerer, “Candidate Hillary” offers a window into Hillary’s vulnerabilities, strengths and the inner workings of the Clinton machine, all told with authority, humor and the benefit of hindsight.