Noah Blundo: Young Hillary showed early signs of things to come

Noah Blundo

If you haven't yet been forced to the point of vomiting by the onslaught that is the 2008 election season (Motto: "The focus groups are still tweaking our motto to appeal to NASCAR Dads"), get ready to lose your lunch, because the whole thing is reaching levels of inanity not seen since, well, whenever you last read one of my columns.

After passing through the Superficial Personality Assessment phase (Is Obama black/white enough?) and the Fashionistas Critique the Candidate phase (Hillary's cleavage! OMG!), we are now entering the Recollections of Youth phase, as evidenced by a recent New York Times article about Hillary Clinton's college correspondence, headlined "In the '60s, a Future Candidate Poured Her Heart Out in Letters."

Here we find the revealing truths about Hillary (or should I say Sen. Clinton?) as a college student, such as: her politics changed, she argued with her parents, she reinvented her personality, and she thought she was the first person to have such profound thoughts. Consider this quote from one of the letters:

"Sunday was lethargic from the beginning as I wallowed in a morass of general and specific dislike and pity for most people but me especially."

So Hillary the college student was (surprise!) introspective and verbose. Gosh, do you think she drank beer and read subversive literature, too? I can only imagine what other profound insights we'll see from further journalistic forays into Hillary's younger years:

"In 1st Grade, A Would-Be President's Ambition Comes Through"

Though nearly just embarking on her elementary school career, accounts of the 7-year-old Hillary Rodham show she had a sense of the give-and-take compromise that would serve her well later in legislative politics. Cafeteria attendants recount a shrewd little girl who would stride confidently up to the much bigger second-graders and offer to trade her carrots sticks and cookies for a bologna sandwich.

However, though she got three out of a potential four points in the "plays well with others" category of her report card, school yard stories show a girl who was not averse to taking what she wanted. A former classmate recalled the young Ms. Rodham couldn't be counted on to abide by the five-minute limit on the swingset, and often muscled her way to the craft table to get the fluffiest cotton balls for her snowman pictures.

Other former classmates recall events that foreshadowed the marital troubles to come for the future candidate, with several recalling that the 7-year-old Hillary uttered the phrase "boys are yucky" more than once.

"A Toddler Gurgles Her Way Toward Being First Lady"

Even this early in life, a 2-year-old Hillary demonstrated the commitment to quick and easy health care access that she campaigned for as first lady, straightaway demanding a bandage -- no, the Flintstones kind! -- for even the smallest and most inconsequential of boo-boos.

Also, the so-called "tortured relationship with fashion" that is said to plague the current Sen. Clinton shone through as Hillary the toddler would insist on dressing herself, only to come out with her pants backward and her socks mismatched.

Further insights into the diapered life of the young Hillary are elusive, as early childhood friends rebuffed efforts to probe further.

"Did she like apple or grape juice better? What kind of a question is that?" said one former Hillary playmate. "The woman could end up being in charge of our nuclear arsenal, and you're asking about her favorite sippy cup. Sheesh!"

E-mail Noah Blundo at noah.blundo@timesreporter.com