The presidential campaign is already filled with charges and countercharges in speeches and TV ads. Now, the attacks are coming fast and furious in published books.
News articles of Richard Clarke’s literary success describe him as having gone from “faceless bureaucrat” to “near-celebrity” because of his bestseller "Against all Enemies: Inside the White House's War on Terror." In his book, he blasted the Bush administration’s handling of the war on terror. The book is already in its sixth printing with 550,000 in print and book stores clamoring for more copies as it stands atop the Amazon.com bestsellers list.
Now the Bush administration may finally be getting some literary relief. The newest political book set to come out is from Former White House adviser Karen Hughes. While Hughes may help bolster the President’s caring image, the hammering on Iraq that began months ago with a book from Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill will continue. O’Neill wrote that the administration was obsessed with Iraq from the beginning. In Clarke’s book, Clarke agrees, saying, “From everything I saw and heard, he [O’Neill] is right.”
Rush Limbaugh is already pummeling a Bob Woodward book on the President and Iraq… even though “Plan of Attack” doesn’t come out for three more weeks. Limbaugh has been quoted as saying that “the Woodward book makes this one [Clarke’s] look like... an afternoon in the sandbox.”
At the end of April, Ambassador Joe Wilson will release a book naming the White House advisors he blames for ruining the careers of CIA operatives, including Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson’s wife. Wilson’s story began when Vice President Dick Cheney sent him to Niger to investigate a claim of Uranium being shipped to Iraq. Wilson determined the claim was unfounded, but the President’s State of the Union speech before the war included it anyway. After Wilson publicly criticized the speech, the White House retaliated, and a federal grand jury is now trying to determine who in the administration leaked his wife’s identity to reporters and whether the case warrants criminal charges.
But for now, the battle over Richard Clarke, the author of the moment, continues.
Richard Clarke is beginning his second round of press interviews. He will appear on 'Hardball with Chris Matthews' Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET on MSNBC.