For Love of Politics

Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years

Book cover, For Love of Politics, Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years

During their eight years in the White House, Bill and Hillary Clinton worked together more closely than the public ever knew. Their intertwined personal and professional lives had far-reaching consequences for politics, domestic policy, and international affairs and their marital troubles became a national soap opera. Based on unparalleled access to scores of Clinton insiders cabinet officers, top administration officials, close personal friends and skilled analysis of a vast written record, including previously unavailable private papers, For Love of Politics is the first book to explain the dynamics of Bill and Hillary’s relationship, showing that they are two halves of a unique whole and that it is impossible to understand one Clinton without factoring in the other.

Sally Bedell Smith, acclaimed author of Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House, offers intimate scenes from the Clinton marriage, with new details and insights into how a passion for politics sustained Bill and Hillary through one crisis after another. With clarity and depth, Smith examines the origins of an unconventional copresidency, explains the impact of the Clintons’ tensions as well as their talents, and reveals how Hillary shifted from openly exercising power in the first two years to acting as a “hidden hand,” advising her husband on a range of foreign and domestic issues as well as decisions on hiring and firing.

Smith describes for the first time the inner workings of a White House with an unprecedented “three forces to be reckoned with” – Bill, Hillary, and Al Gore – and shows how the First Lady’s rivalry with the Vice President played out in the West Wing and even more profoundly during the 2000 campaign. As Hillary seeks to follow in her husband’s footsteps, this riveting book will leave readers marveling at what they never knew about Bill’s intensely covered presidency and wondering what it would be like to have two presidents, both named Clinton, living in the White House.

Headshot of the author, Sally Bedell Smith

Sally Bedell Smith is the author of Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House, Diana in Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess, Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman, and In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair since 1996, she previously worked at Time and The New York Times, where she was a cultural news reporter. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Stephen. They have three grown children.

For more information on the author, please visit

Also available from Random House Audio.

Praise for Sally Bedell Smith’s New York Times bestseller Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House

“Remarkable . . . a gracefully written tell-all . . . Smith’s portrait of Jackie is irresistible.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Impressively well researched and smartly written . . . rich in character sketches, anecdotes and accounts of events.”
The Washington Post Book World

“This is a sensational portrait of the Kennedys in power – original in concept, exhaustive in research, judicious in approach and lovely in expression. . . . Such is the range of Grace and Power that it makes many of the memoirs, biographies and histories of the last forty years now seem incomplete or incorrect.”
The Globe and Mail

“With stylistic grace and authoritative reporting, Smith delivers what should stand for some time as the ultimate account of a marriage that, even with its secrets bared, remained veiled.”
New York Daily News

Grace and Power really does make you feel that you’ve stepped inside the private quarters of the White House, that you’re rubbing elbows with Jack and Jackie. . . . [Smith is] unblinking but fair-minded in her assessment of the Kennedys and their friends, and she writes lucidly and engagingly.”
Houston Chronicle

“Smith leaves no detail unturned. . . . [She] chronicles Jack and Jackie’s highs and lows: heroic diplomacy, prodigious infidelity and a sparkling intellectual and social life unsurpassed by their successors.”

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Jacket design: Allison Saltzman

Jacket photograph: John F.Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy at Hyannis Port, 1959, © 2000 Mark Shaw// Random House, New York, N.Y.

Printed in U.S.A. 10/07
© 2007 Random House, Inc.