Emmett Tyrrell
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The premise of the Times article was that "the 1960s still loom large in American politics, providing the underlying text" for much of the 2004 presidential debates. The article went on to mention Hillary's absorption with the ideas of radical theorist Saul Alinsky when she wrote her senior thesis. Doubtless, Ickes and Hillary's other advisers are hoping that the 1960s can be kept out of the 2008 race, though the upper echelons of the Democratic Party are populated by 1960s wunderkinds. The 1960s was the decade of the Black Panthers and bombs going off on college campuses, blowing up libraries and ROTC centers. Hillary actually did legal work in defense of the Panthers. Her husband Bill, Sen. John Kerry and Dr. Howard Dean all could have been among the pompous poseurs that Tom Wolfe captured in "Radical Chic."

Of course the Times' premise is accurate. The 1960s generation does "loom large," but it is not the only generation in American politics. There is a younger generation. In the Democratic Party that younger generation has become impatient with 40 years of blah originating in the 1960s. Now a man some two decades younger than the Clintons has emerged to challenge Hillary's run for the White House. That gives Ickes another reason to cringe. From the Times piece he can see that Hillary's support even among her peers is wavering. A new generation has arisen to challenge her. And over there in the Republican Party at least Sen. John McCain and former mayor Rudy Giuliani could be formidable candidates, particularly during a time when national security is the major issue. Even now opposition research teams from the Obama campaign and among the Republican candidates are probably researching Hillary's life in the late 1960s. They are going to come up with hilarious material.

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Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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