Hillary Clinton book excerpt: Will it change how we see her?

Perhaps in an attempt to make her experience more relatable to average Americans, Hillary Clinton compares the hard choices of diplomacy with the hard choices that families face in everyday life.

Cliff Owen/AP/File
This May 14, 2014 file photo shows former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking in Washington, D.C.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has released a short excerpt from her upcoming memoir, "Hard Choices," to promote it prior to its June 10 release. The vacation book buying-and-reading season is almost upon us, and publisher Simon & Schuster surely wants as many Americans as possible to think “Clinton book” when they’re planning their packing for the beach.

In the short selection, Ms. Clinton says there were some decisions she made as secretary of State that she wishes she could go back and reconsider. But she also says she is “proud of what we accomplished” at State. And, perhaps in an attempt to make her experience more relatable to average Americans, she compares the hard choices of diplomacy with the hard choices that families face in everyday life.

“All of us face hard choices in our lives.... Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become. For leaders and nations, they can mean the difference between war and peace, poverty and prosperity,” she writes.

There’s little detail in the stuff released Tuesday. The only real tough policy call that Clinton mentions is the decision by President Obama to launch the raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden – a military, not diplomatic, operation.

As Mediaite reports, Simon & Schuster officials say the release of this teaser is preemptive.

“How do you keep the jackals in the news media from leaking your book? One way is to leak it yourself,” writes Mediaite’s Evan McMurry.

We’d say the release is not so much to supplant other Clinton stories as to add to them. Lots of other Clinton threads are in the news at the moment. Simon & Schuster wants to make sure as many as possible contain the phrase “upcoming memoir.”

For instance, among Democrats there is some angst as to whether Clinton should have some competition in upcoming primaries, if she decides to run. Politico covered this well Monday with a story about how some in the party are “wary of Hillary.”

These party figures "are anxious about the spectacle of a Clinton juggernaut, after seeing what happened when she ran a campaign of inevitability last time,” Maggie Haberman writes.

Meanwhile, Republican fundraiser and guru Karl Rove is continuing his frontal assault on Clinton’s qualifications. On Fox News over the weekend, he said that voters don’t like “people who seem to already have it made” and that Clinton is at risk of seeming “old and stale.”

In this context, the upcoming release of Clinton’s memoir might be a political help. Journalists may have some stories about her as an actual person to chew on, as opposed to further abstract discussion of her qualities, good or bad.

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