Exclusive: Hillary Clinton is busily writing her new book, due from Simon & Schuster probably on June 1, 2014 according to an amazon.com entry. The book will cover her time as Secretary of State, no doubt including the events of Benghazi. The goal is to clear the air and have everything in place for her 2016 campaign for president. So who’s writing Hillary’s book? Or ghost-writing it? I can confirm that the person doing the heavy lifting is Edward “Ted” Widmer, 50, a former speechwriter for Bill Clinton with some heavy credentials. It’s still unclear how he will be billed.
Widmer, a Harvard grad who wrote for the Lampoon, has a long association with Brown University, where he’s held the post of Director of the John Carter Brown Library. Between 2001 and 2006, Widmer was inaugural director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, where, according to his bio, “he created numerous programs designed to enliven the teaching of American history and politics to diverse groups, ranging from Muslim college students in historically anti-American regions of the world to elementary students in under-financed public school districts of the eastern shore of Maryland.”
Yesterday I spoke with his wife, who assured me Widmer would call back after taking their son to the mall. He did not return the call or an email. Sources say that Widmer has conceded that Clinton–though she hasn’t said so directly– is “incredibly organized and planning her campaign.”
(NOTE: Widmer wrote to me late Thursday with this addition: “I have neither said that or anything like it to anyone, nor is it something I believe.”)
Widmer sounds like the right man for this job. The tone and revelations of Hillary’s book are going to be crucial to her campaign. Widmer should get a nice fee, too. Clinton’s last book fetched an $8 million advance. This one, say some reports, could be as high as $14 million–although in book publishing that would be ridiculous and impossible to earn back.
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