Bill Clinton may have cheated on his wife with Monica Lewinsky because he had lost confidence in her when she failed to pass healthcare reform, a new book suggests.
The former president may have sought 'solace' in the White House intern after Hillary bungled what should have been the biggest achievement of his first term in office.
Bill 'no longer trusted' Hillary, who he entrusted with the policy, while she withdrew into a prolonged depression, Partner to Power: The Secret World of Presidents and Their Most Trusted Advisers – suggests.
Author and former senior adviser to Congress K. Ward Cummings paints a scathing portrait of a president and a first lady who failed because 'compromise was not part of their vocabulary.'
Cummings writes that they were hampered by characteristics that would later haunt Hillary's presidential run; their 'intense secrecy, the unhealthy nature of their personal power sharing, and their insistence on treating healthcare reform like a war in which everyone was either their friend or their foe.'
Behind close doors: A new book suggests Bill and Hillary Clinton's rocky marriage hampered the presidency due to their 'intense secrecy' and the 'unhealthy nature of their personal power sharing'
Bill's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky could have been sparked after he lost confidence in his wife whose healthcare reform initiative flopped during his inaugural year
In fact, guilt was the 'driving psychological influence' in their marriage; Bill felt it for his philandering and Hillary used it to get what she wanted.
Within this unhealthy dynamic, Hillary was 'addicted' to her husband who rebuffed her and then came to her to be rescued, giving her the love that she craved.
Hillary's role as her husband's close adviser is among those recounted in Cummings's book, which covers advisers from the presidency of Washington to the modern day.
She was one of the most striking because she 'stretched the boundaries of the Office of the First Lady more than anyone in history,' he writes.
But since the time of George Washington, presidents have needed a righthand man - in his case Alexander Hamilton - as their personal counsel.
Most presidents choose one individual or a small group to serve as their confidantes who often work behind the scenes, but at times, such as those during the Bill-Hillary era, they are very public.
When the Clintons arrived in the White House in 1993 there were Democratic majorities in the Senate and the House and it looked as though they would achieve something which had eluded Congress for decades; comprehensive healthcare reform.
Bill thought that Hillary was 'essential to his success' after she helped him win a second term as Arkansas governor.
Bill and Hillary's dynamic was actually an 'unhealthy one', hampered by their inability to compromise and her sense of entitlement 'for helping turn his career around'
'Bill had become deeply and unhealthily dependent on Hillary and she developed a similarly profound sense of entitlement for helping to turn his career around,' Cummings writes.
'She felt she had earned the right to be regarded as a partner to his power.
'Placing her at the helm of his signature program was an expression of their new power-sharing arrangement,' which, Cummings writes, turned out to be a 'gross miscalculation that he would deeply regret.'
'As the saying goes, a team, like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link.
'The Clinton partnership in the White House would prove this as the flaws of their dysfunctional marriage.'
Hillary's National Taskforce on Health Reform was announced on January 25, 1993 and it quickly ballooned from 12 to 500 people split into 12 'cluster teams' and 38 'sub groups.'
She immediately sparked a row when she insisted that all meetings take place behind closed doors to prevent leaks.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons responded with a lawsuit, demanding she keep them public. The organization won and the health insurance industry began a PR campaign which turned America against her.
Hillary's next error would be when she shunned offers from a bipartisan group of senators to create a scaled down program.
She vilified those who told her she would fail and would not even meet with senators offering a compromise.
Cummings writes: 'Hillary would not alter her strategy because she believed herself to be totally in the right.
Her national taskforce on healthcare was announced on January 25, 1993, but her efforts became controversial when she insisted all meetings take place behind closed doors. Her campaign ended seven months later when it ran out of legislative time
'The moral confidence she felt made it easier for her to dismiss efforts by others who wanted to steer her towards compromise.'
With the PR campaign against her going full steam, public opinion began to turn and healthcare reform died seven months later on August 26, 1994, when it ran out of legislative time.
Cummings writes that the failure left the Clintons feeling 'rattled.'
And according to their pollster, Dick Morris, one of the few from their inner circle to dish on their relationship, Bill had likely found it hard to stand up to his wife.
In fact, he described Hillary as her husband's 'attack dog' because she loved conflict and he tried to avoid it.
She took charge of much of Bill's early career because he was 'too nice to manage his own life' and he 'doesn't understand how venal people can be, he's not tough enough,' Morris disclosed.
Bill 'owed Hillary far too much to have any hope of managing her as a staff member,' Cummings states.
Morris also claimed that guilt was the 'driving psychological influence' in the Clintons' personal dynamic.
He said: 'I think the big frustration of their marriage is that she's married to the most elusive, withholding, anal-retentive man you can imagine.
'He uses denial of affection as his method of getting people to do what he wants them to do - the ones he's close to - rather than to praise or give affection.
'I believe it's a relationship in which she's addicted to him. And she adores him. She's the best thing that's ever happened to him. But he's very remote.
The power dynamic between the two was thrown off because Bill 'owed Hillary far too much to have any hope of managing her as a staff member,' Cummings writes, and the president likely found it hard to stand up to his wife
'And when he requires rescue she gets more attention, more affection, more love, more of the caring that I believe she craves from him, and also more power than she otherwise would get'.
According to Cummings, after the failure of healthcare reform Hillary threw herself into writing her 1996 book, It Takes A Village, while grappling with depression.
Cummings poses the question: 'Was Monica Lewinsky a source of solace for the president? The breakdown of their partnership was as educational for the president as it was for the First Lady…
'...both flawed individuals the Clintons were each raised in dysfunctional homes and bore the scars into the White House.
'It is how they chose to deal with the consequences of their difficult childhoods that one can see the causes that would ultimately lead to their unsuccessful efforts as a presidential partnership'.
Partner to Power has several warnings to Donald Trump about the dangers of informal advisers, of which the most striking is perhaps Edward House who served such a role for Woodrow Wilson.
House has not been treated kindly by historians and Cummings bluntly states that for him Wilson was a means of achieving 'his lifelong pursuit of power without accountability.'
House ran gubernatorial campaigns in Texas in the late 1800s but soon had bigger ideas and wanted to manage a residential candidate.
House was seeking a rare combination of, as Cummings puts it, somebody who was 'brilliant, handsome, eloquent, a natural campaigner and breathtakingly