Just when you thought you'd heard all there was to hear about the Clintons' private life, there is still more. In his new book, Bill and Hillary: The Marriage, Christopher Andersen reveals what he considers to be intimate dynamics of the first family's relationships.
He joined CBS This Morning to talk about how and why the couple has stuck together, Mr. ClintonÂ's behavior and why his wife puts up with it, an alleged affair between Hillary Clinton and Vince Foster and the article about her in Talk magazine, among other topics.
Allegation of An Affair
A big bomb in Andersen's book is the allegation of a Hillary Clinton/Foster affair. In it, he traces back their relationship as they began working very closely at the Rose law firm in Arkansas. Andersen said he spoke to a number of people not named in the book who say they saw Hillary Clinton and Foster repeatedly in truly intimate moments.
"I leave it up to the readers to decide,Â" said Andersen. "I think anyone with common sense would say, given the circumstances, what people saw, the nights that Vince Foster spent at the governor's mansion, leaving the next morning, while Bill was out, by the way, with other women; he was there comforting Hillary."
Furthermore, Andersen said that many times Hillary Clinton and Foster were even open about this alleged relationship. "She told a good friend of hers, who I name in the book, that sometimes you have to go outside of your marriage to get certain things. And she got that with Vince," he said.
Andersen said that Foster gave up his job at the Rose law firm and everything else at Little Rock, Ark., just because Hillary Clinton wanted him in Washington. But he said that when the Filegate, Travelgate and Whitewater issues began to heat up, Hillary Clinton cut him off. Andersen said such a situation "may have contributed Â– certainly not the main factor, he was a man who had problems with depression - but it may well have contributed to his suicide," which he said is something that cannot be ignored.
Hillary In Love With President
Andersen did say, however, he thinks Hillary Clinton is very much in love with the president and described in the book how she was aware of his indiscretions even since the time they were dating.
"She threatened over the course of their marriage to retaliate by having an affair oher own," Andersen said. "She said that even prior to their marriage."
"She has been aware of Bill's indiscretions," he added.
"Recently, she said that for the last 10 years, she felt that - she was surprised with the Lewinsky affair because for 10 years, she thought Bill was behaving himself, which, of course is ludicrous because during that period of time we have Paula Jones, Jennifer Flowers and a host of other affairs that I have described in the book in some detail," Andersen said.
Commenting on Hillary Clinton's explanation in Talk magazine of Mr. Clinton's sexual straying as a result of abuse at age 4 by his grandmother and mother, Andersen claimed it is not true. Rather he said that young Bill was adored by them both. (In the book, neighbors say Virginia Kelly's home looked like a shrine to Bill and joked that all that was needed next would be candles!)
"That's why she's had to back off because suddenly Bill Clinton found himself faced with the assumption on the part of a lot of people that his mother was an abuser and of course she wasn't at all," Andersen noted.
Chelsea And Clinton's Legacy
The book also makes the case that this couple's choices have affected Chelsea. There were reports that Chelsea stopped speaking to the president - especially around the time they went to Martha's Vineyard after his apology to the nation. Andersen said that though Chelsea was aware of her parentsÂ' "turbulent" relationship, the Lewinsky affair took her by surprise.
"Beginning at the age 6, her parents grilled her. Hillary describes it herself; they used to drill Chelsea with the questions. They would pepper her with questions and reduce her to tears, just [to] toughen her up," he said.
"Over the years, she was witness to their arguments and disagreements because they're a very volatile couple. I mean no parent wants to argue in front of the kids. That's a no-no," he added.
"But it happens and it happened a lot in the Clinton marriage. When this happened, however, the Lewinsky affair, it did take Chelsea by surprise and she was rushed to the hospital at Stanford on four separate occasions," he said.
"First time the White House said it was a flu," he said. "After three more times, there were no excuses. I mean it was obvious the stress of the situation was sending her to the Stanford hospital."
The book also goes into detail about the ClintonsÂ' relationship, alleging that power is a big part of the equation. "She loves him, in part, because of the power that he wields. She sees him as a great man, a historic figure," he told This Morning.
"She sees the two of them as really having a legacy," he said, adding that is one of the reasons that keeps them together. The other is Chelsea. He pointed ou how they both feel great affection and concern for Chelsea and always try to make time for her.
"I think Hillary, for Chelsea's sake alone, would never divorce," he said.
Do Readers Care About Clintons' Personal Lives?
"When we say we're not interested in the personal lives of the first family, I think there is a degree of hypocrisy here. We care and we should care,"Andersen said.
©1999 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed