The XX Factor

Tina Brown’s Clinton Chronicles

Jess , Emily and Dayo , I saw Tina Brown’s column on Hillary through a slightly different lens. Brown is writing The Clinton Chronicles , a book about Hillary and Bill, reportedly due out in 2010 . The subject makes sense after Brown’s terrific, dishy bio of Lady Di . The Clintons, after all, are our messy royalty. (The book deal was announced in January 2008, back when it must have seemed like Hillary would still be crowned our next Commander in Chief.)

Given this, Brown probably has some inside dope on what the Clintons are really thinking. She could be channeling Bill’s thoughts about his wife. (Maybe The Big Dog is tired of being muzzled.) She could also be trying to raise Hillary’s profile in advance of the book. Or, maybe Brown is just trying to do Hill a favor, by casting a little deserved limelight her way.

For all the column’s husband-and-wife analogies, I didn’t read it as a takedown of Hillary. To the contrary, much of it seemed like a thinly veiled defense of our Gal Friday. At the end, for example, Brown conjures up the image of Hillary sitting at the back of her State Department plane, feet up, no makeup on, with her “bookworm glasses,” happily digging deep into a pile of briefing papers. It’s a beguiling portrait of a mature, confident woman, content in her element. Brown even suggests that by keeping a low profile, Hillary may be taking a little gleeful revenge on her real husband, Bill, who likely scotched her chances to be president. But given that The Clinton Chronicles is forthcoming, Hillary surely felt she had to publicly distance herself from Brown’s comments. Otherwise, Brown might seem like Hillary’s Andrew Morton .