An able leader since the ’60s

The first time Hillary was president was when she became class president at Wellesley.  Even in her early twenties in college, Hillary was willing to put herself out in a leadership role, work hard for votes and do a good job listening to both her constituents as well as the established governing bodies.

Michael Kruse does a wonderful job of describing the recollections of many of Hillary’s classmates and colleagues at Wellesley, when she worked her way up to serving as class president back in 1968, during a very tumultuous time in America, in an article published in Politico on August 26th entitled “The First Time Hillary was President.” 

WELLESLEY, Mass.—In the fall of 1968, in the wake of one of the most violent, volatile summers in American history, as young people clashed with police and clamored for an end to the war in Vietnam and the draft and for greater racial justice and women’s rights, the student body president at Wellesley College stood in front of the incoming freshman class and talked to them about the merits of conversation and committees.

“On some campuses, change is effected through non-violent or even violent means,” not-yet-21-year-old Hillary Rodham, the future Hillary Clinton, told the approximately 400 newest students of the country’s preeminent women’s college. “Although we, too, have had our demonstrations, change here is usually a product of discussion in the decision-making process.” She had just spent much of her summer in Washington, interning on Capitol Hill. At a historic juncture of acute anti-establishment fervor, she told them to trust the system. Progress at Wellesley, she explained, “often results through action taken by the Senate of the College Government Association.”

The idea of “President Hillary” in 2016 is thrilling for some and scary to others. But for one small group—students at Wellesley in 1968 and ‘69—it is a phenomenon they have already lived through. And while the student presidency has only so much in common with the job she’s bidding for now—welcoming new students is not exactly a state of the union address—what she did in elected office as a junior and senior in college turned out to be remarkably predictive of the kind of politician she has become.

[To continue reading“The First Time Hillary was President,” click here.]

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