Kerry dismisses Clinton 'hit list' designation

Secretary of State John Kerry shares a “long friendship” with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that continues to this day, his office said Monday in an effort to play down a report that Clinton felt betrayed by his failure to endorse her in 2008.

ADVERTISEMENT
The former senator from Massachusetts earned the blackest of black marks on a political “hit list” of traitorous politicians kept by Clinton aides, according to the book HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Politico’s Jonathan Allen.

Kerry's office told The Hill Monday that Clinton had been “generous and insightful,” when she turned over the State Department reins last year and that the two have continued working together since then.

“Secretary Kerry and former Secretary Clinton share a long friendship,” Kerry spokesman Alec Gerlach said in an email. “Secretary Clinton’s advice and guidance were both generous and insightful as he transitioned into his role as Secretary of State, and they’ve continued to partner together, most recently at Georgetown University promoting the rights of Afghan women, an effort started by Secretary Clinton and supported by Secretary Kerry.”

The source of the Clinton team's anger was Kerry's decision to endorse Barack Obama, then the junior senator from Illinois, during a campaign rally in South Carolina, just as the primaries were heating up. Kerry's declaration that Obama was the right candidate to “turn a new page in American politics” was seen as a jab not only at George W. Bush but also Bill Clinton, who campaigned hard for Kerry during the 2004 election, even as he was recovering from heart surgery.

Also at the top of the political hit list, according to HRC: the late Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as well as Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), along with Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and former Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.).

HRC will be published by Crown on Feb. 11. It will tell the inside story of Clinton’s relationship with Obama, and of how she recovered after the bruising 2008 campaign and restored her political standing.

Please send tips and comments to Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @TheHillGlobal and @JPecquetTheHill