In her book Hard Choices, Hillary Clinton does a lot of name-dropping. And it's not just U.S. diplomats and foreign dissidents—she squeezes in room for U2's Bono, A-Rod, and Art of War author Sun Tzu.
But in terms of sheer quantity of name-drops, no one can compete with Barack Obama—not even Bill Clinton. Over the course of her book, Clinton references Obama (or sometimes just "Barack") more than 300 times. It's worth noting that many of these mentions are referring to the general "Obama administration" which she was a part of.
The rest of the list reads like a Who's Who of American international relations—both good and bad—over the past five years:
Coming in second was Clinton's husband, with 167 mentions, followed by Richard Holbrooke, a close adviser and friend of Clinton's. Holbrooke served as Clinton's lead foreign policy advisor during her 2008 presidential run. Had Clinton won, Holbrooke would have been her secretary of State. Instead, he served as envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan until his death in 2010 (Holbrooke was actually in a meeting with Clinton at the State Department when he suffered a fatal tear to his aorta).
Holbrooke had served as consigliere to Democratic presidents since the 1960s, but Clinton writes that the Obama administration's treatment of Holbrooke frustrated her:
Holbrooke's old-school style of diplomacy—that mix of improvisation, flattery, and bluster that had outmaneuvered [Slobodan] Milosevic—was a bad fit in a White House intent on running an orderly policy process with as little drama as possible. It was painful to watch such an accomplished diplomat marginalized and undercut. I defended him whenever I could, including from several attempts to force him out of the job.
The book also sticks to its title, referencing various "hard choices" 14 times, and the more generic "choices" 95 times. Of course, this kind of #datajournalism doesn't say much about the actual content of the book. What it does do, however, is give a good sense of the people Clinton finds truly important in her life. Holbrooke was one of them.
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