Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and the Twilight Struggle Over American Power

By Mark Landler

The deeply pronounced tale of 2 supremely formidable figures, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—archrivals who grew to become companions for a time, trailblazers who percentage a standard experience in their old future yet carry very diverse ideals approximately the way to undertaking American power

In Alter Egos, veteran New York occasions White apartment correspondent Mark Landler takes us contained in the fraught and interesting courting among Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton—a dating that has framed the nation’s nice debates over warfare and peace for the previous 8 years.

In the annals of yank statecraft, theirs was once a very unlikely alliance. Clinton, daughter of an anticommunist father, used to be raised within the Republican suburbs of Chicago within the aftermath of global struggle II, nourishing an unshakable trust within the usa as a strength for reliable in far-off lands. Obama, an itinerant baby of the Seventies, was once raised by way of a unmarried mom in Indonesia and Hawaii, suspended among worlds and a witness to the fewer savory facet of Uncle Sam’s impact overseas. Clinton and Obama might later come to embrace competing visions of America’s position on the planet: his, confined, inward-looking, painfully conscious of limits; hers, hard-edged, pragmatic, unabashedly old-fashioned.
Spanning the arc of Obama’s terms, Alter Egos goes past the speeches and press meetings to the Oval place of work huddles and South garden strolls, the place Obama and Clinton pressed their perspectives. It follows their evolution from sour competitors to cautious companions, after which to whatever corresponding to competitors back, as Clinton outlined herself anew and distanced herself from her previous boss. within the approach, it counters the narrative that, in the course of her years as secretary of kingdom, there has been no sunlight among them, that the injuries of the 2008 crusade were solely healed.
The president and his leader diplomat parted corporation over a number of the greatest problems with the day: how fast to wind down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; even if to arm the rebels in Syria; tips on how to reply to the upheaval in Egypt; and no matter if to belief the Russians. In Landler’s gripping account, we enterprise contained in the scenario Room in the course of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, watch Obama and Clinton paintings in tandem to salvage a convention on weather switch in Copenhagen, and discover the key heritage in their nuclear international relations with Iran—a tale with a number of clean disclosures.

With the grand sweep of historical past and the pointillist element of an account in accordance with insider access—the e-book attracts on particular interviews with a couple of hundred senior management officers, international diplomats, and acquaintances of Obama and Clinton—Mark Landler bargains the definitive account of a posh, profoundly very important courting. As Barack Obama prepares to relinquish the presidency, and Hillary Clinton makes might be her final bid for it, how either regard American strength is a important query of our time.

Advance compliment for Alter Egos

“A marvelous journalist has introduced us a bright, page-turning, and revelatory account of the connection among Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, in addition to in their statecraft. Alter Egos will make a sign contribution to the nationwide debate over who could be the following American president.”—Michael Beschloss, bestselling writer of Presidential Courage

“Mark Landler, the best newshounds operating in Washington this day, supplies an inside of account of Hillary Clinton’s dating with Barack Obama that brims with perception and high-level intrigue. It’s either enjoyable to learn and eye-opening.”—Jane Mayer, bestselling writer of Dark funds: The Hidden historical past of the Billionaires at the back of the increase of the novel Right

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A chagrined Holbrooke clammed up whereas the more youthful aides within the room traded eye-rolling glances. Moments like that made it transparent why Richard Holbrooke was once going to be a foul slot in the Obama management. a guy of excessive drama and an acute feel of his position in background, he ruffled feathers in a White condo that prided itself on an absence of drama and operated at the precept that the president—and the president alone—makes heritage. Holbrooke was once, briefly, now not Obama’s type of man. yet he used to be Hillary’s form of man. She relished his larger-than-life character, tolerated his excesses, and defended him opposed to the dart throwers within the White condo. She might shop his task numerous occasions, such a lot dramatically in March 2010, and grieved after his unexpected demise from a torn aorta 9 months later. At his memorial carrier on the Kennedy middle, Clinton added a heartfelt eulogy, reminiscing concerning the Teletubby-like yellow “sleeping swimsuit” he used to alter into on in a single day airplane journeys, and recounting how he as soon as trailed her right into a girls’ room in Pakistan to badger her approximately whatever or different. “There was once no escaping him,” Clinton acknowledged. It was once transparent she didn’t are looking to. Holbrooke is a unprecedented case within which own chemistry is helping remove darkness from the deeper changes among Clinton and Obama. an identical features that endeared him to Clinton rubbed the president the other way. The Henry Luce–American Century worldview he dropped at the desk used to be inspiring to Clinton yet hopelessly superseded to Obama. He used to be the embodiment of the generational conflict among a tender president who got here of age after Vietnam and an older secretary of nation steeped within the triumphs and tragedies of Democratic international policy—many of which bore Holbrooke’s imprint. It was once this Democratic institution that the upstart senator from Illinois had taken on and overwhelmed within the election. even supposing Holbrooke was once folded into the Obama international coverage crusade workforce after Clinton’s defeat—playing a cameo function in an epic forged of 3 hundred advisers—he used to be endlessly marked as a Clinton guy. now and then, it felt just like Obama’s aides used him as a proxy for his or her lingering resentments opposed to Hillary. definitely, Holbrooke exemplified Clinton’s view of the yank function on this planet: brash, intrepid, convinced that the USA was once essential to cracking the world’s hardest difficulties. She trendy his wearing-down of the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic at Dayton in 1995, which had produced a tremendous international coverage success for her husband. She beloved the way in which he threw himself at most unlikely missions, conversing with such ardour approximately supporting Afghans to develop vegetation except opium poppies, that she dubbed the local New Yorker “Farmer Holbrooke. ” It didn’t harm that Holbrooke had cultivated her for years. He supported her candidacy in 2008 and was once assumed to be a lock for secretary of kingdom in a Hillary Clinton management. while she ended up on the country division, she sought after him to be her deputy, a request Obama’s aides denied.

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