Spanning nearly two decades of American politics, The Hillary Effect is the provocative and insightful story of the first viable female presidential candidate in history to win a primary and do so in spite of her campaign team’s mistakes. It addresses the galvanizing impact that her loss represented for both women and men, in and out of Washington. And it revolves around media coverage that treated her differently as first lady, senator, and then presidential candidate—not only because she was a woman, but because she was Hillary Clinton.
Candidly written by veteran political analyst Taylor Marsh, this is the view from a recovering partisan, someone whom the Washington Post called a “die hard Clintonite” in its profile of Hillary in 2008.
The Hillary Effect began when Hillary, as first lady, dared to challenge China’s treatment of women. A countless number of women have benefited and will benefit from her presidential loss, the most famous of these being Sarah Palin (the Tea Party queen of 2010 and first female on a national Republican presidential ticket), who weaves throughout this story as the anti-Hillary. The Hillary Effect also sees Michele Bachmann as a player, as the first Republican female to win a straw poll, primary, or caucus.
The male leads in this stunning tale are Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama (someone who turned out to be very different from candidate Obama), with David Plouffe and Mark Penn making appearances. The story includes a host of media personalities and their outlets, but also new-media and progressive voices, and famous names like Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Sally Quinn, the late Tim Russert, Richard Wolffe, Laura Ingraham, Liz Cheney, Peggy Noonan, Maureen Dowd, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and even Bill O’Reilly, who offered Hillary the best interview she would do during the 2008 season.
All of this is seen through the economic and political crises of today—health care, women’s individual freedoms, Afghanistan, women’s rise around the world, the debt-ceiling debate, tax cuts for the wealthy, Occupy Wall Street, and an American public disenchanted with both Republicans and Democrats.