Book: Hillary rejected Bill's edits to speech

Hillary Clinton refused to allow her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to alter her 2008 Democratic Convention speech with his own "poetic flourishes," according to a new book on the former secretary of State.

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The anecdote, described in the soon-to-be-released HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, marks rare friction between the power couple amid the burgeoning debate over how the former president would influence his wife's candidacy if she were to seek the White House in 2016.

"While she had been on the mock stage at the convention center, Bill had delivered edits. He had ripped up the structure and added some of his own poetic flourishes," wrote authors Amie Parnes, of The Hill, and Jonathan Allen, of Bloomberg News. "But Hillary was having none of it. Bill and the set of advisors she had hired from his 1996 campaign had proved disastrous at developing her message and strategy for the campaign. She was the one in the hot seat now … 'It's my speech,' she declared as she left to find [Bill]."

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Parnes and Allen highlighted Bill Clinton's widely regarded talents as a political campaigner. But they also warned that he's something of a wildcard, whose support hardly makes his wife's ascension to the White House inevitable.

"They share the same goal, but they have different strategies of getting there. So I think that's going to be an interesting moment to see how this plays out," Parnes said. "If Bill Clinton can be the Bill Clinton that he was for Barack Obama in 2012, she's got it made. She can take it to the bank. She can take it all the way to the White House.

"But I think if he is the Bill Clinton from 2008," Parnes added, "that's a little bit of a precarious situation for her."

Allen echoed that message, saying Bill Clinton has been a master campaigner — except when it comes to races involving Hillary Clinton.

"He's so good at political strategy for everyone, including himself … But with her, there's a blind spot," Allen said. "You see this visceral reaction to what's going on with her … and it's a problem for him."

Hillary Clinton has not said if she'll enter the contest, but public opinion polls put her far ahead of other Democrats thought to be eyeing the party's nomination.

In their book, Parnes and Allen delve into details of the campaign apparatus that's already springing up around Clinton, despite the absence of an official declaration that she'll run. Cheryl Mills, for instance, a top adviser to the former secretary of State, has been interviewing possible campaign staffers.

And Guy Cecil, current head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, has already met with Clinton about becoming her campaign manager.

"Cecil has already made up in his mind that if he's asked, he's going to do it," Allen told NBC.

With the cogs in full motion, Parnes and Allen say, Clinton is all but certain to jump into the race.

"She's like a ski jumper. She's headed down the hill. There's very little that's going to stop her from launching," Allen said. "So this is a campaign that is in full swing. It's more a question of whether she stops running than whether she starts running."

HRC is due in bookstores on Tuesday.