On May 2, 2013, CNN proleptically ran a news segment in which Henry Kissinger advised Hillary Clinton on the life she may expect to lead after serving as secretary of state. It is an amusing piece not only because of the jokes he and she made but also because of a book published almost secretly in 1974 entitled President Kissinger, a satirical piece of political fiction that I found riveting atthe time. Somehow the poet Andrei Codrescu got hold of some advance copies of the book, in mass-market paperback form, and he gave me two of them.
As I recall the plot, a constutional amendment makes it possible for Kissinger -- born in Germany and therefore ineligible to become president -- to overcome the rule that eliminating foreign-born citiens fom pursung the White House. Teddy Kennedy is Kissinger's vice-president, in charge of domestic affairs, and Kissinger ends up as President of the World, certified as such by the UN General Assembly. The writing of the book is quite ordinary and it depends for its effects entirely on a scenaro that seemed far-fetched but oddly in line with where the nation was in August 1974, the month Richard Nixon resigned as president. I pitched a piece on the book and even interviewed its publisher, Maurice Girodias, but New York magazine, which wanted me to write for them, nixed the idea because of Girodias's chequered career as a sensationalist. It is a pity because as a publishing stunt -- though by no neas as an artistic achievement and as a vision of political paranoia President Kissinger was effective in the way of Oliver Stones's brilliant Oliver Stones's JFK, though nowhere near the artisic success that Stone achieved in the film. -- DL
<<< Washington (CNN) – Former Secy. of State Henry Kissinger gave a very public nod Wednesday night to a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign – saying that secretaries of state have a good track record of moving into the highest office in the land.
“At least four secretaries of state became president,” the foreign-born Kissinger joked during remarks at the annual Atlantic Council awards dinner in Washington. “And that sort of started focusing my mind even though there was a constitutional provision that prevented me from doing it. I thought up all kinds of schemes to get around that.”
Then, adopting a more serious tone, he continued. “I want to tell Hillary that when she misses the office, when she looks at the histories of secretaries of state, there might be hope for a fulfilling life afterwards.”
Kissinger, himself a former secretary of state, was presenting Clinton with a Distinguished Leadership Award.
for more, inckuding Clinton's response, click here