HANOVER, New Hampshire. A year ago, Chloe Danforth, a sophomore political science major at Dartmouth, was looking forward to the next few years as the high point of her young life. “I remember thinking to myself–I could be part of history,” she says, and she arranged her schedule to graduate a semester early so she could help Hillary Clinton win New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
And then there’s the alien baby story, which the mainstream media is totally ignoring
But all of that changed when Chloe began reviewing some of the “opposition research” generated by the other potential Democratic candidates. “When I read that Hillary voted for Barry Goldwater in 1964, I cried,” she recalls. “But when I found out she was president of the Young Republicans at Wellesley College, I upchucked.”
Clinton has never denied her involvement with the Young Republicans, a paramilitary organization that has been linked to thefts of Democratic candidates’ yard signs, but she is finding it to be an increasingly burdensome legacy. “The primaries are all about winning the hearts of your party’s base,” says Ewell Owens, a professor of political science at Maine’s Colby College. “Hard-core partisans prefer it if you’ve been ideologically pure since you were sucking on a pacifier.”
And so Clinton faces a tough crowd at a Thursday night soiree attended by influential party leaders and liberal activists, a fact that becomes apparent with the first question from Elise Ward, a delegate to the 2012 convention. “What in the world were you thinking?” she sputters, barely able to conceal her rage.
“Excellent question, and one I’m going to ignore for right now.”
“Good question, thank you,” the candidate says, retaining her composure. “First of all, let me remind you that I did not do drugs when I was in college, and so the Young Republicans Club was my form of experimentation. I may have broken a few chromosomes in the process, but I was young and foolish at the time, although less so than everybody else in my dorm.”
Republican Party platforms of the ’60′s caused mind-bending psychedelic effects in some people who were exposed to them, as the party supported the civil rights movement to a greater extent than a Democratic Party controlled by senior southern senators and representatives, while at the same time promoting low taxes and a business-friendly agenda. “I saw Hendrix, the Dead and Coltrane,” says Miles Guthrie, a resident of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district during 1967′s “Summer of Love”. “By far the weirdest stuff I ever heard was a speech by Nelson Rockefeller where he came out in support of both the environment and capital punishment without missing a beat.”
“Dude, help me out. I’m starting a presidential exploratory committee.”
Veterans of Clinton’s past campaigns says she should be judged not by her past but by the present, and in particular her ability to raise money currently. “One thing we learned from the hippies,” says Elaine Balser, Clinton’s 2008 New Hampshire finance chairman, “is that you always stick your hand out and ask for spare change.”