Hard Days Atop the Hyatt Hotel: Hillary Clinton’s Book Trashed
ADAM MICHAEL LUEBKE
Under a peculiar set of circumstances that need not interest you much, I found myself at the 40th floor atop the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego.
I strolled into the lounge area. It was Sunday afternoon, and a few pairs of people sat in stuffed chairs. They lifted their martinis and wine glasses to their lips between paused bits of conversation. I hovered by two older, high class women for a moment, pretending to enjoy the view of the water and all the tiny buildings and people far, far below. Really, though, I wanted to imagine what it was like to be a person of importance. To wear professional business attire. To sip stiff alcoholic drinks at Top of the Hyatt prices, and feel like I had a strong enough grip on the material world to let my consciousness get foggy, even for a second, on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
In the far corner, furthest from the bar, a man wearing a business suit stared off into the distance. On the table was a glass of white wine. His bald head had a reassuring roundness to it. No bumps or deformities were apparent. If he was in charge of no other aspect of his life, he was well in control of that slickly-shaved head. In his fluffy chair he sat idly. One foot rested on its side, while the other foot stood atop it.
What struck me was the 656-page book and notebook next to his drink. How did I know the exact number of pages in the hardcover? Because I’d done a little research into the book, in a blog post called “Hillary Clinton’s Book Bombs: Not One Good Sentence“. So here was one of the elusive few who actually bought and was reading the old horse’s latest.
I sat in the chair beside him. He started for a second, but then relaxed because I smiled at him. “I’m a correspondent for Dear Dirty America,” I said, “and I want to ask you about Hillary’s book. I haven’t been able to find one person in my large list of contacts who will dare waste one second flipping through it. I’d like to know what you think of it.”
The man raised his arm. His dark suit sleeve slid down his forearm. He snapped his fingers. “You’ll want a Scotch before I really get into it,” he said.
“No, no,” I said, and politely refused the drink.
“It’s the only way you can read the damned thing,” he said. “Get soused and let your eyeballs slosh down the pages until they bump up against the end.”
“Why even bother?” I asked.
“I work with campaigns, that’s all. I keep up on all related manners. How to spin stories, how to present innocuous biographies of prominent politicians who have dirty hands and fingers. It’s a difficult maneuver, you know, to at once satisfy the curiosity of the public while not actually touching upon or stoking the fires of the controversial subjects.”
“Like that killer bee attack in Malawi,” I told him, nodding. “No mention of that in the book. Nearly 700 pages, and not one good story.”
“Not one good sentence, even, ” he said. “You’ve got a woman who is 14 million dollars richer, and her ghostwriter cannot be bothered to make the language sing even a little. He cannot be bothered to write anything of worth about the volcanic Benghazi affair, which is an atrocity, don’t let anybody fool you,” he said.
All the while he, as still as a statue, stared out the window, except his mouth moved fluidly in the light of the lowering sun. “Simon and Schuster will write off the extraordinary loss and it’ll get filled in by the American taxpayer.”
“And the assassination attempt on her life in Israel,” I said. “Not a word about that either, right?”
“This is not a book of substance, my friend,” he said, “this is a book that demands America remember the face of Hillary Clinton all the way through 2016.”
“I always see that mirthful grimace of hers, smeared in lipstick.” I pointed to the pink sticky tabs sticking out between the pages. “What are all those sections about that you found worth marking?”
“The blandest sections possibly written by a neutral human about another prominent human,” he said. “It’s something to marvel at. How anyone can write so much about so little. That, my young man, is the secret to success in the political realm, and it’s done expertly in this case.”
“An entire forest,” I said, and glanced out at the boatyard, “destroyed to produce a little buzz about another corporatist shill politican.”
“Decimated,” he said.
“And to think some good Democrats out there think she’s a beacon of liberty and hope for women in America. People are too easily programmed. It seems like nobody remembers the abysmal 1976 trial where our good friend Hillary Rodham Clinton descended upon the courtroom like Satan’s own blonde strumpet. As she defended her client, Thomas Alfred Taylor, Hillary stomped the character of the 12-year old girl who had accused Taylor of raping her. Clinton called the girl a liar and said troubled girls exaggerate their sexual experiences.”
“Horrendous!” he said, but did not move. The man’s eyeballs did not turn to me as he recalled the murky history. “Clinton gloried in the outcome of that case,” he said. “Clinton knew he was guilty. Taylor’s underwear were crusted with the victim’s blood. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d held the undies in her hands just to get a feel for the case. Hillary laughed about how Taylor passed a polygraph test. ‘I’ll never believe in those tests again!’ she said.”
My friend shook his bald head. The sour look on his face made it seem like he could hear her cackling laughter. “She’d have been proud to get Charlie Manson off on probation and a few hours of community service if she thought it would help her career.”
The corners of his eyes crinkled as he watched the horizon. A straight line of clouds had formed. An alien ship, I imagined, miles wide, miles high, drifting inland slowly, with no need to rush. What would all the minuscule humans do while the craft hovered over our heads? What defenses do we have against forces as impregnable as that?
My friend threw back his wine and set the glass next to Hard Days.
“She’s a monster,” he said. His eyes were glassy from the drink. “I’ll stop being diplomatic. And her book is a brilliant lesson in snooze-literature. Spun just right for public consumption, but not one worthwhile detail that would teach you anything about voting that witch into the highest office of the land.”