The Real Hillary Clinton?

HIS EXPOSES OF ANITA Hill and the alleged philandering of Bill Clinton made David Brock, 34, the Bad Boy of right-wing journalism. Now comes his take on the woman conservatives love to hate: the First Lady. NEWSWEEK has obtained an advance copy of Brock's new book, ""The Seduction of Hillary Rodham Clinton.'' In it, Brock says Hillary once hired a Little Rock private investigator to dig up dirt on Bill's trysts. Brock also reports that on Inauguration Day 1993, a U.S. Park Police officer overheard the Clintons shouting obscenities at each other outside Blair House. ""You stupid motherf---er!'' Hillary reportedly said. The White House refused to comment on the book.

The book appears after a new report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation asserted that Mrs. Clinton helped prepare a key document for one of James McDougal's fraudulent real-estate projects, Castle Grande. This document ""deceived'' regulators, the FDIC said. Meanwhile, the president refused to rule out pardoning those convicted in the scandal--which could discourage Whitewater figures from cooperating with independent counsel Kenneth Starr.

Under the direction of George Stephanopoulos, Clinton aides have been holding a series of meetings to devise strategies to neutralize the impact of Brock's book. But the real news may well be that, despite some spicy details, Brock has written a more nuanced portrait of the First Lady than expected, concluding she is neither ""icon nor demon.'' The book is an exploration of her journey from Goldwater girl to acolyte of radical activist Saul Alinsky to political wife. Brock expresses misgivings about the climate of Washington--the attempts by the right to ""get'' Hillary. But didn't Brock contribute to the rancid Zeitgeist? Brock concedes the point. ""I feel somewhat responsible for all of this,'' he said.

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