June 14, 2011— -- It reads more like a soap opera than a comic book, with its down-and-dirty details involving two of the most powerful political figures of our time: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
A new 32-page comic book entitled "Political Power: Hillary Rodham Clinton" details the behind-the-scenes machinations of Clinton's contentious 2008 presidential run against then-Sen. Obama, up through his nomination of her as secretary of state. It's a follow-up sequel to the Bluewater Production's first comic book of Clinton, which focused on her early life.
"We delve into how her decision not to run in 2004 helped make Barack Obama a star, how she took him under her wing and how their battle was more personal than many realize; and how close she came to saying 'no' to the position of secretary of state and what changed her mind," writer Jerome Maida said. "It's a fascinating story."
The unauthorized, full-color comic book, released last week, describes how in 2003, then-New York Sen. Clinton sat on a tarmac in a private plane, waiting impatiently for a thunderstorm to pass before taking off for Chicago, where she hoped to attend a fundraiser for Illinois state senator and Senate-hopeful Obama. After eventually making it to Chicago, she was blown away by the young politician, according to the book.
"He's young, brainy, African-American and a terrific speaker," the book shows Clinton telling an aide. "Just the kind of candidate that we need more of, that Bill and I have spent our lives promoting. There's a superstar in Chicago."
It would be a moment that would perhaps come back to haunt Clinton. Maida portrays the two as good friends, with Obama coming to seek Clinton's counsel often after he joined her in the Senate.
"At one point," Maida writes, "Obama gave her a gift: a photograph of him, Michelle, and their two young daughters, Sasha and Malia. From then until she left the Senate in 2009 ... even during their rivalry amid the contentious 2008 campaign ... Hillary displayed it prominently in her office."
Maida said not all of Clinton's quotes in the book are hers. About half of them, he said, are from YouTube, books, and other people's accounts.
"'Game Change' [a book about the 2008 U.S. presidential election] was an invaluable resource and actually helped me change my focus from what she's achieved as secretary of state, which is kind of incomplete and mixed at best, and focus on how she wound up getting the position in the first place, and also accentuate that for anyone else secretary of state would likely be the apex of their political career," Maida told ABC News.
"Hillary's is such a fascinating life; for her it's a consolation prize, a disappointment. I tried to examine how that came to be."
Bill Clinton also features prominently in the book. In one frame, artist Daniel Fitz draws the former president surrounded by three scantily clad women on business partner Ron Burkle's "custom-converted Boeing 757", or, as the book says young aides referred to it, "Air Fe%k One."
Maida said he wasn't necessarily attacking the 42nd president.
"That's just the way it came across," he said. "There were about three pages I was going to use to show how Bill Clinton felt he was unfairly characterized, especially in South Carolina. But those had to be cut. in the end, the book's about Hillary, and the fact that as much as her husband is an asset and she loves him, he can also be a liability for her."
Maida said he has heard from Hillary Clinton's press secretary, who requested a copy.
Clinton's office has not responded to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, perhaps there's a trilogy in the works.
"If sales are good on this one, which seems likely, I would love to actually delve into some of her decisions as secretary of state," Maida said.
As for whether he would like to see her run for the presidency in 2016, he said, "No comment."