When Politico fashions a story out of nothing but old scraps and ascribes their imaginary “shadow campaign” to Hillary, the internet burns up with commentary and articles about articles about the article. The New York Times justifies its assignment of a single reporter to the Hillary Clinton beat with a Sunday Magazine feature, and both the article and the other-worldly cover draw such attention that the reporter, like a moon reflecting the light of the sun, is suddenly a celebrity herself appearing on CNN and C-SPAN and granting a self-congratulatory interview to a New York Times blogger about how she broke through into the Clinton inner circle. Yet when a reasoned analysis of the subject of Hillary’s much maligned and largely unread honors thesis from Wellesley appears in two digestible parts in Forbes, like a tree falling in the forest, not a sound emanates.
I fully expected, upon wading into Ralph Benko’s The Secret Hillary Rodham Clinton, to find yet another right-wing slam complete with name-calling and labels galore. Instead, to my astonishment, I found well-balanced and informative piece with a fair assessment not only of Saul Alinsky but also of the degree to which Hillary’s study of the man, his methods, and his mission impacted her political trajectory.
Links to Hillary’s thesis (a scan of a rough draft) have been available online for years. In his opus, Mr. Benko provides yet another. Not having linked to the hit jobs published by Politico and the NYT, I provide these links without hesitation and dub them my must-reads for the month. You may or may not agree with everything in Mr. Benko’s analysis, but you will find yourself in an atmosphere of intellectual inquiry that has been rare in connection to any piece about Hillary Clinton in many a moon.
This Hillary has been a secret only to the extent that people have not gone on a search for her. We can thank Mr. Benko and Forbes for shining a light here.