Politics

The Candidates' Former Selves

For most of us, the college experience—what we remember—lives on in two neat categories: “Never Again” and “I Found Myself.” This formative process produces “Don’t Remind Me” and “The Best Time of My Life,” where high-minded philosophies mix with pragmatic acceptances that retain extraordinary influence on our decisions, hopes, fears, aspirations and nightmares until the end of our days. And it's the same with our political candidates, our fearless leaders who were once fearful fresh(wo)men, whose honesty and openness at 18 would horrify campaign managers, PR gurus and senior strategists of later years. Before the spin set in, before we became utterly confused by who we might elect into office, we can take a step back from who they are and look at who they were.

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Sean Cronin