Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hillary Clinton’s Hardest Choice: To Give New Ghostwriter Credit


The world waits for Hillary Clinton’s new book, “Hard Choices,” on June 10th. I know I have it all queued up on But Clinton’s hardest choice may start at home: will she give her ghost writer a credit this time?

I wrote about a year ago that Edward “Ted” Widmer, a long time Hillary associate, was actually writing “Hard Choices.”

Widmer, 51, is a Harvard graduate who wrote for the Harvard Lampoon. He has a long association with Brown University, where he was the Director of the John Carter Brown Library.At least that’s where used to be. Widmer now works out of the president’s office at Brown. After all, his prestige factor has rise considerably.

Between 2001 and 2006, Widmer was inaugural director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington widmerCollege, 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.”

Last year I wrote that Widmer has conceded that Clinton–though she hasn’t said so directly– is “incredibly organized and planning her campaign.” He sent me an email later claiming: “I have neither said that or anything like it to anyone, nor is it something I believe.” Well, it’s a year later and Hillary is pretty much the front runner for the Democratic nomination.

But what credit will Widmer get on “Hard Choices”? Clinton caused an uproar with her bestseller, “It Take a Village,” when she denied the ghost writer any identification at all. That book was written by Barbara Feinman, a Georgetown University professor. Feinman was paid $120,000 for seven months’ work. She eventually went public and complained about lack of credit.

So how did it work out? Widmer emailed me this afternoon: “…sorry, I don’t have the answer — I haven’t seen printed version…”




Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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