Ready for some Benghazi questions? Photographer: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Ready for some Benghazi questions? Photographer: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

There is worry in Hillaryland and it's not about Monica Lewinsky.

Supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are nervous about the questions she will face next month as she goes on tour to promote her new book on her tenure as top diplomat. "Hard Choices" is slated to be published June 10.

The concern is that she will be asked about controversial issues such as the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. She has to walk a delicate line, supporters say, and avoid appearing to be distancing herself from the Obama administration.

Political strategists who are friendly to Clinton say it would be better to focus on the economy, jobs and other issues of paramount concern to most voters than on foreign policy.

The Clinton camp is already talking about setting tough guidelines for permissible inquiries during the book tour. These may be hard to enforce and could create new controversies.

And political operatives say that she's a little rusty because she hasn't been subjected to a lot of give-and-take over the last year and a half. Some of the most accomplished U.S. politicians invariably stumble when they’re out of practice -- witness Bill Clinton in the 2008 presidential campaign and, more recently, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Nonetheless, Clinton backers say the book tour may be good preparation -- like spring training for baseball players -- for the more rigorous tests she would face if she runs for president. They profess to be unconcerned that she will have to answer questions about her husband's affair with Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose account of the scandal appears in the June issue of Vanity Fair.

To contact the writer of this article: Al Hunt at ahunt1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this article: 
Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net.