22 October 2018
Hillary Clinton's latest book makes a good curtain-raiser for a 2016 presidential run. Photo: AFP
Hillary Clinton's latest book makes a good curtain-raiser for a 2016 presidential run. Photo: AFP

Clinton book offers 2016 campaign template: jobs from abroad

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has kept her political cards close to her chest, but both supporters and potential adversaries are closely monitoring her every word and action for any indication of her plans for 2016.

Which is why “Hard Choices”, her memoir about her stint at the US State Department, has obtained much free media publicity long before its scheduled release on Tuesday from Simon & Schuster, and is likely to secure a place on the best-seller list this summer.

Most early reviews say the book offers a good remedy for insomnia, while others say it has been carefully edited to remove any information that could be used by rival camps against Clinton during a possible presidential run.

But the thick tome – 656 pages weighing 2.4 pounds, according to The Washington Post’s Jaime Fuller — may provide a template for the economic message of a 2016 campaign, says Bloomberg News.

In the sixth and final section of the book, Clinton, 66, writes that as secretary of state, she visited foreign capitals to help boost jobs at home, according to Bloomberg’s Annie Linskey and Jonathan Allen.

Most of her predecessors point to treaties and negotiated settlements as signature achievements, but Clinton allies say she takes pride in the jobs she created as the nation’s top diplomat, Bloomberg reports.

“She provided strong support for American business and in so doing supported a lot of US jobs,” Bob Hormats, who worked under Clinton at the State Department, was quoted as saying. “She could certainly go to a Caterpillar plant or a Boeing plant or even small companies and say ‘I used the power and influence of the secretary of state and of the State Department and of our embassies to enhance business opportunities for this company and for the workers of this company.’”

In the book, Clinton says she talked lobbied Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika on behalf of GE, which was seeking a US$2.5 billion contract to help build six natural gas plants in the northern African nation.

After the meeting, Clinton writes, she was “optimistic” the company would prevail and “less than a year later” it did.

“Over the next few years GE will build generators and giant turbines for these plants in Schenectady, New York, and Greenville, South Carolina, supporting thousands of manufacturing jobs,” she says.

Clinton also mentions her October 2009 trip to Moscow where she pushed the Russians to pick US airline manufacturer Boeing for a US$4 billion contract.

“I made the case that Boeing’s jets set the global gold standard,” she says.  Boeing eventually won the deal for 50 new planes, which Clinton says “translated into thousands of American jobs”.

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