Clintons make author out of anyone

July 03, 1996|By MIKE LITTWIN

IF YOU'RE ANYTHING LIKE me -- and millions are hoping you're not -- you have two towering ambitions in life.

One is to sing a duet with Kathie Lee Gifford. Any song will do, but I was thinking either "Muskrat Love" or "Eve of Destruction."

The other is to write a best-selling book.

Once it was a difficult thing to write a best-seller. For one thing, you needed talent. And, even more difficult to come by, a good agent. Of course there was another option. If you didn't have talent, you could always wear dark glasses, hang out with nerds, gain maybe 50 pounds and change your name to Tom Clancy.

Now, you don't have to make that kind of sacrifice. Anyone can write a best-seller. There's a can't-miss formula: Simply do a tell-all book on the Clintons. You don't even have to know anything, as proved by the latest big-buzz book, via former FBI agent Gary Aldrich, who knows less than Sgt. "I Know Nus-zing" Schultz.

Aldrich had tentatively titled his book, "My Life With the Clintons: I Made the Whole Thing Up." Told that the title was too clunky, he changed it to "Even Pathological Liars Can Sell Books."

The book is, of course, a sensation. Though he's still waiting by the phone for Kathie Lee, Aldrich did land a gig on "Brinkley," where they made a great show of dismantling the book, which made you wonder why he was invited on to begin with.

You know what was in it for Aldrich, besides getting a free shot at the Clintons and their staff, some of whom, Aldrich wrote, were -- gasp -- unkempt. Some of the men apparently wear ponytails and earrings. One of the women, he wrote, wears no underwear. Another dresses only in black. And he was in the room, he said, when one of the woman staffers, wearing a very short skirt, "kept ostentatiously crossing and uncrossing her legs." Do you think this man may have a slight problem?

Maybe he does, but, as a famous author, he also got to see Sam Donaldson's hair-piece up close and is now on a first-name and middle-initial basis with George F. Will.

The book is all very entertaining, I'm sure, especially the part about Clinton sneaking out of the White House to the Marriott for late-night trysts, except that Aldrich later admitted he really didn't know if Clinton had ever been to the Marriott or was even a member of the Marriott frequent-guest program.

But I figure if FBI agents, whose writing usually goes something like "perp apprehended at 21-hundred hours," can write best-sellers, I don't see why I can't.

It's easy. You don't even have to use your name. Or the Clintons' name. "Anonymous" hit with a best-seller novel based on the Clintons, who were called the Stantons, from a small southern state where the governor who's running for president spends most of his time running after women.

Then came "Blood Sport," James Stewart's take on the Whitewater scandal, in which Stewart learned, exclusively, that nobody knows what the hell Whitewater was about. But he did learn, as one reviewer pointed out, that Whitewater Mama Sue McDougal -- one of Stewart's primary sources -- was a babe, or so Stewart mentioned every other page.

Bob Woodward weighed in next with his book on the Clinton-Dole race. I guess it's a prequel. I know Woodward is an investigative genius and all, but as far as I can tell the race has barely begun.

Is he going to put out monthly updates? Look for Woodward's 600-page August update in which Bob Dole makes major policy announcements on "Regis & Kathie Lee": "Bob Dole has no litmus test for the vice-presidency, except that Bob Dole will not choose a cross-dresser or Cal Ripken." Asked later about Ripken, Dole said, "Bob Dole knows Cal Ripken is no leader."

In Woodward's book, the big hook was Hillary Clinton's talks with Eleanor Roosevelt. Woodward has some experience talking to the dead, if you recall his book on Bill Casey and the CIA.

Aldrich also makes a claim for the dead. He claims that Al and Tipper Gore are Deadheads. He also says that some people in the Clinton White House who grew up in the '60s once used drugs. Worse, he says that George Stephanopolous, the former boy wonder at the White House who is now just boyish, once left (I'm not making this up) a birthday cake on his desk for nine days and that he also left potato chips scattered on the floor. Did Aldrich work for the FBI or for Martha Stewart?

I feel sure I can do better than this.

I'm on the trail of a few juicy items. Here's one: When Bill Clinton was in England during his college years, did he eat fish and

chips or just chips? And, in either instance, did he leave the chips on the floor?

Anyway, I don't want to give too much away. I'm saving my best for Kathie Lee. But I will tell you the working title: "Outside the White House: The Bill Clinton I Never Knew."

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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