First Lady Builds Political Resume on Diplomatic Israel Trip

By Ben Anderson | July 7, 2008 | 8:07 PM EDT

( - First Lady Hillary Clinton's tour of Israel is a politically motivated trip designed to garner support from New York's Jewish voters for Mrs. Clinton's likely US Senate campaign, according to a former federal prosecutor and author of an expose of her political life.

"It's such a critically timed visit (to Israel) that it's hard for one to say it's not a political trip," said attorney and author Barbara Olson in a telephone interview with

But Mrs. Clinton said Thursday that she's visiting Israel in her official capacity "as the first lady of the United States - to further deepen the already strong bonds between our two countries."

Asked if she planned to engage in Mid-East diplomacy, Mrs. Clinton said, "I am doing everything I can on behalf of my husband and our government and the United States to further the peace process."

During a stop Thursday in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Mrs. Clinton was reminded of her early support of Palestinian statehood, as several speakers, including Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's wife Suha, repeatedly mentioned Palestinian independence.

"Next time, I hope we host you in our state of Palestine and its capital city, Jerusalem," said Dr. Jihad Mashal, who heads a healthcare center which receives aid from American taxpayers.

But the first lady avoided reiterating her position on Palestinian statehood, a point of bitterness which could upset Jewish voters in New York.

Olson's newly released book, Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton, outlines Mrs. Clinton's political background and steps the future first lady took to build her political resume.

As a young law professor, Mrs. Clinton once tried to join the U.S. Marine Corps to establish a military record, according to Olson.

"Hillary had already put together quite a resume as a campus leader, a law professor, and an embryonic legal scholar," Olson wrote. "Imagine how a Marine Corps ring would have rounded out that image? She would have macho credentials that would prove she could run with the boys to balance her blooming feminist stature."

"This is a book of Hillary's politics. Everyone else has focused on her marriage, her love life, her husband's love life," Olson told

On her book Hell to Pay, Olson adds, "This is the real Hillary Clinton - what she believes, what she says, what she's written. This is what Hillary Clinton is and what she's going to do if she's given power on her own to remake our government with her vision."

While serving as chief investigator of White House firings made by the Clinton Administration during its first term, Olson uncovered evidence that political operatives were collecting the confidential FBI files of the president and first lady's presumed enemies. Olson is currently practicing law in the private sector in Washington, D.C.

Olson said she was inspired to write the book after "Four years of investigating the Clinton Administration, finding that all roads led to Hillary, reading her background, reading her writings and realizing that this is a person who is going to be in politics for many years to come.

"It doesn't end with Bill Clinton's eight years in the White House," Olson added. "She has had a real insatiable desire for power and now that we're in a period where a woman can be a viable candidate for president, I think she realizes that she no longer needs to be behind the candidate, she can be the candidate."