When she was in high school, Hillary Rodham had a friend named John Peavoy. The two weren't very close, but kept in touch through letters spanning Sen. Clinton's college years at Wellesley (1965-1969).
The New York Times recently visited Mr. Peavoy and took a look at his collection of 30 letters from the future lawyer, First Lady, Senator, and would-be president. The Times reviews the letters and offers some snippets, but not the long exerpts for which I hoped.
The author of the piece, Mark Leibovich, characterizes the letters as "by turns angst-ridden and prosaic, glib and brooding, anguished and ebullient." The Senator's intelligence shines through, at age 19 she is writing introspective phrases like
"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."
What's really interesting about the letters is that they were written at a time of profound transition for Clinton, and they reflect intense self- examination. She went away to school as a staunch Goldwater- Conservative, mirorring her father's strict views, but you can see her ideology begin to shift as the Vietnam movement continues. She eventually becomes critical and frustrated of her then- fellow Republicans, and feels alienated from her father.
Another interesting note is how she speaks of the opposite sex. She is frustrated by what she perceives as their intense self-absorbtion, writing the “boys [she'd met] know a lot about ‘self’ and nothing about ‘man.’” So she didn't go for the vain, show-off types back in college, eh? Well, we all know how that turned out.
It's an interesting and uncensored insight into an historical figure.
In an AMAZING turn of events, it seems that Mr. Peavoy also has letters from another future political giant, whom he also met early in his college career.
Mr. Peavoy was nice enough to share one of his letters with SAM:
Woooooooooooooooo! I can't feel my face!!!!!!! Oh man, college RULES! We're havin' a big ole Texas BBQ at the frat house. I musta drank bout 14 beers!
Course when I got up to take a leak someone stole my last can of Bud. But I will find that evil doer and bring him to justice. I will be unrelenting and never give... eh, never mind my buddy Brody just got me a new one... YOUR DOIN' A HECK OF A JOB, BRODY!
Some guy named Kerri just showed up talking about how he's signing up for the war, and we should, too. I told him to relax and have a beer. He started drinking one, but up and left when I started singing the Andover fight song from my cheerleader days. I hate that. When you start something, you can't just leave it, you got to finish it, man.
Look at me, I started 15 of em and i finished every dang one!
OK I got 2 go, buddy. Wish you were hear.