His latest, “The Amateur,” in which he contends that the president is ill-suited by experience and temperament to occupy the White House, contains scenes that did not occur or that were vastly misconstrued, according to those who Klein says were present. The Obama book, released by conservative publisher Regnery, has been largely ignored by the mainstream media. Nonetheless, it has sold vigorously thanks in large part to an early boost from conservative blogger Matt Drudge. It will perch at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list Sunday for the fourth consecutive week. In the month since its mid-May release, nearly 66,000 copies have been sold, according to Nielsen BookScan.
A pugilist in print, Klein in person is a well-mannered, fit-looking 75-year-old who chooses his words carefully and yields little when challenged. He sat recently for a 21
2-hour interview in his Park Avenue apartment, interrupted only by his white-uniformed maid delivering coffee and water on a silver tray.
“If there’s criticism of my work that’s legitimate,” he said, “I’m ready to hear of it.”
Klein is no stranger to criticism. 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.
The scene begins with a drunk Bill telling friends, “I’m going back to my cottage to rape my wife.” The book was so inflammatory — it also suggestively painted an environment of lesbianism around Hillary — that some of Klein’s conservative allies parted ways with him. Political strategist Dick Morris, no friend of Hillary’s, wrote in the Hill in 2005, “These accusations do not belong in our public dialogue.” Morris declined to comment on Klein’s latest publication.
Conservative columnist and editor John Podhoretz also was disgusted by the Hillary Clinton book.