Friday 20 Apr 2018 | 18:29 | SYDNEY
Friday 20 Apr 2018 | 18:29 | SYDNEY

Hillary's primary colours



11 March 2008 12:43

Joe Klein's novel Primary Colors, and the movie based on it, are more morally ambiguous about Bill and Hillary Clinton than Atlantic Monthly blogger Andrew Sullivan allows. Klein does show their political dark side, but his characters also make the fair argument that it can be hard to achieve progress without ocassionally getting into the mud. 

The scene Sullivan embeds from the movie — in which the Stantons (thinly disguised Clinton surrogates)  don't spare a moment to agree they should leak material about an opponent's sex and drug history — does paint a picture of a ruthlessly ambitious couple who will stop at nothing to win. But as the Jack Stanton character later says, if he had not gone looking for the dirt, the Republicans surely would have. So which is better: clean hands and no power, or the opposite?