Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejected offers two weeks ago by President Barack Obama and his administration to replace Joe Biden as the vice president in the 2012 election.
So says Edward Klein, sourced by conservative-leaning newspaper the Washington Examiner, and now making waves on conservative news aggregation site Drudge Report.
The news is spectacular … and spectacularly absurd. The chain of events that have happened with this story clearly make it a smear campaign against Obama, one seeking to steer media coverage against Obama and to paint a supposed administration that is crumbling from within.
"As recently as a couple of weeks ago, the White House was putting out feelers to see if Hillary Clinton was interested in replacing Joe Biden on the ticket," conservative writer Edward Klein told Secrets. "Bill Clinton, I'm told, was urging his wife to accept the number two spot if it was formally offered. Bill sees the vice presidency as the perfect launching pad for Hillary to run for president in 2016."
The quote is filled with supposed gold nuggets. Why does Obama want to replace Biden? Why does he think Hillary would be the best for the job? How deep is Bill Clinton’s involvement in the White House? Does Hillary really want to run for president in 2016? Is Obama feeling the heat of election 2012? Is the Obama administration looking for a game-changer in election 2012? Is the Obama administration already throwing up hail-marys in a vain attempt to win re-election?
Apparently, Klein quoted unnamed sources who revealed that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett asked about the vice presidency during a lunch with the secretary of state.
"The lunch was ostensibly about policy issues, but the subject of the vice presidency came up," Klein said. "Hillary told Valerie Jarrett that she was not interested in running as Obama's vice president."
This might be the biggest bombshell of election 2012.
Or then again, it’s all farce.
Edward Klein himself is no stranger to controversy. He is alleged to have lifted quotes, made-up scenes, or blown out of proportion real events in his critical book of the Obama administration, The Amateur.
As the Washington Post explains of Klein, “The evolution of his career has raised eyebrows among liberals and conservatives, and the highly personal portraits he crafts have prompted questions about sourcing, accuracy and intent.”
WashPo further explains, “The uproar over his 2005 book about Clinton, The Truth About Hillary, rang out from all quarters. One of the most talked-about suggestions in the book was that Bill Clinton raped Hillary, an act that led to the birth of their daughter, Chelsea. Klein never states outright that a rape occurred, but he fashions a scene, based on what he claims are two anonymous sources, that leaves an impression of violence and sex.”
So, let’s be honest, Klein has made up garbage about Hillary before.
The story was reported by conservative newspaper the Washington Examiner, and a link to the story was placed on conservative mega site Drudge Report, a site which records over 13.3 million unique visitors every month.
Drudge Report has commanded unbelievable influence this election. Political rumors have become front page news on the conservative site, but they have also tended to be completely false. Earlier this summer, Drudge reported that, first, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then, current CIA Director David Petraeus were the front-runners for Mitt Romney’s vice president. Both stories were as far from accurate as could be.
Analysts have claimed that, given Drudge’s appeal to conservative readers, sources within the Republican Party have leaked false information to the site in order to steer political conversations or deflect the media from focusing on more damning Republican stories.
Klein’s book The Amateur was widely ignored by the mainstream media, but saw vigorous sales (especially among conservatives) because of its promotion by Drudge.
Clearly Drudge has the weight to drive conversation.
Then there's the Obama administration itself. Biden has been an easy target lately. In a Tuesday speech in Danville, Va., the historically red (and currently purple) state with a significant black population, Biden told the audience that the GOP is "gonna put y’all back in chains."
This very moment, then, is an opportune time for conservatives to lash out against the Obama ticket.
So we just followed the money, so to speak.
Two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton apparently turned down the VP job. It’s all hear-say from a group of conservatives looking to make something out of nothing.
UPDATE: 2:33 PM -- Drudge Report has now taken down the link to the Hillary VP story.
Game. Set. Match.