In her new novel “Rodham,” Minneapolis-based fiction writer Curtis Sittenfeld offers up a tantalizing premise: What would the past couple of decades of American politics have looked like if a young Hillary Rodham had turned down Bill Clinton’s marriage proposal in the early 1970s?
It’s the kind of irresistible “what if?” scenario that’s been known to fuel many a freewheeling, late-night conversation among political junkies.
What if Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey had eked out a win over Richard Nixon in the 1968 presidential race? That would have meant no Watergate, which historians generally agree left a lasting dent in Americans’ faith in political institutions.
“Rodham” gets particularly rollicking toward the end as it turns to a 2016 presidential election in which Hillary Rodham, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump all still play significant roles.
It’s not Sittenfeld’s first foray into political fiction: Her 2008 novel “American…