Americans love political drama – intrigue, illicit romance, and power grabbing on a Shakespearean scale, but while those things may be guilty pleasures on House of Cards – watching the characters we love to hate plot, scheme, connive, lie, and cheat – voters may feel differently when it comes to choosing who will hold the reins of power, make the decisions that shape our future, and answer the 3 am phone call Hillary Clinton prophesized would come.

Now, with just weeks to go before the conventions, the gloves are ready to come off as the candidates hurl questions of character and temperament at the other to cast doubt on the emotional and psychological stability of the other in the minds of the voters.

Clinton hopes to combine a lengthy resume in the public eye serving in a variety of positions beginning with her time as First Lady of Arkansas in the 1980s with the promise of being the first female president of the United States.

Brash billionaire businessman and builder Trump looks to use his status as the ultimate outsider to brand Clinton’s decades in public office as part of the problem in a year when the electorate’s disgust with the establishment elite threatens incumbents and even led to the stunning Brexit vote as Great Britain seceded from the European Union.

Clinton now finds herself on the receiving end of scrutiny she would rather not face so close to the election with the release of a documentary detailing the financial dealings of the Clinton family and its foundation, and the publication of a book exposing the more personal side of the nominee.

“Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill and How They Operate,” comes out Tuesday and the mainstream media, which supports Clinton, has already said the author, Gary Byrne, will not be interviewed on their news shows.

Byrne served in U.S. Air Force before drawing the uniformed protective detail in the Clinton White House, giving him a unique vantage point to observe the First Couple during those years.

He was called as a witness, testifying under oath to a grand jury in 1998 about Clinton’s conduct in the Oval Office.

Now he says he believes it is his patriotic duty to help keep them out of the White House again.

While neither Clinton will enjoy having the Monica Lewinsky scandal revisited for a new generation – the millennials who have a more strict sensitivity to sexual power plays than the tolerant baby boomers who excused Bill Clinton’s improprieties, Hillary has special reason to hate – and fear, Byrne’s revelations.

At the very time she is trying to cast herself as a calm, measured, rational leader who can be trusted to exercise wise judgment in the Oval Office, Byrne offers example after example of what he calls “dangerous, abusive, paranoid behavior.”

Hillary the First Lady is seen as “a human minefield” making the life of the agents assigned to protect the couple a living nightmare as she lashed out at the president – often physically, including giving him a black eye on at least one occasion – while not hesitating to swear at them, make obscene gestures, and berate them.

Although some critics are challenging Byrne’s claim to access at the Clinton White House, he has a long list of administration insiders who can attest to his proximity to the Oval Office, including Clinton Communications Director and current Chief Political Correspondent for ABC News George Stephanopoulos, a donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Byrne has another, unlikely supporter in a former investigative reporter for the liberal Washington Post, Ron Kessler, who says Byrne is “right on.”

“It has to do with her character, the hypocrisy of someone who claims to help the country and yet can’t bring herself to treat other human beings who are less powerful than she is with respect and dignity. Someone like that can really get out of control once they get in the White House.”

Of course, Hillary has the option of filing suit against Byrne for defamation… but that would require proving his allegations as false.

And in defamation cases, truth is an absolute defense.



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