“One aspect of the Clintons’ very public union is that during Bill Clinton’s presidency, they both seemed devoted to improving American life as much as they could. I think of them as busy, ambitious patriots united by common personal and political goals. It sure doesn’t sound like such a bad marriage to me.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Salon. Readers are hereby invited to send in the most egregiously obsequious reviews and fawning interview questions about HRC’s new book, “Living History.”

BERNARD HENRI-LEVY: One of France’s leading thinkers, Bernard Henri-Levy, has just written a book about the murder of danny Pearl. The invaluable blog, Cinderellabloggerfella, has a translation of an interview BHL gave to the Polish paper, Gazeta Wyborcza. Money quotes:

Q: Why does an intellectual leave his cosy appartment in the Parisian boulevard of Saint-Germain and spend months in obscure nooks and crannies at the end of the world?

BHL: First, to pay homage to Daniel Pearl – a brave journalist and a good man, who did not want to hate, only to understand his persecutors completely. Secondly, by following in his tracks, I understood that it was a matter of waking up the world. A little like those intellectuals who escaped from Germany in the 1930s and tried to warn people of the hell that was brewing for them there. I don’t want to err on the side of exaggeration but what I saw there was terrifying – the threat of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, knowledge how to make them and overwhelming fanaticism and hatred.

BHL gets it. Read the whole thing.

GET OVER IT: “What’s the point in painting Hillary with the same lurid colors that the rabid left applies to Bush? Despite the fixations of the DC-Manhattan media axis, the “blue-red” divide has faded since 9/11. Most people in this country have a mixed view of both W and Hillary: We know the former’s not too swift but trustworthy, if a bit too right-wing, and that the latter’s not too trustworthy but swift, if a bit too left-wing. Most of us would like to see more economic security in our lives (score one for H) but are unwilling to take any risks with our national security (score one for W). If he does nothing to increase employment, protect pensions and provide greater health coverage, Bush will be vulnerable in 2004 to a Truman-JFK Democrat, if such a thing still exists. Likewise, Hillary will be history if she doesn’t mend fences with the military and begin to accomodate the pro-military culture that’s no longer a mainly Southern matter and is now a national phenomenon.” – more defenses of Hillary on the Letters Page.