Hillary's Radical Summer: Maybe Not So Radical

Hillary Clinton
Hillary's radical summer. Photo: Corbis (hippie); Getty Images (Hillary)

In her memoir, Living History, Hillary Clinton "glossed over" her 1971 clerkship at the lefty law firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein by saying she spent most of her time on child custody cases. But the Sun's not going to just let that go. After all, Treuhaft is the firm which defended sixties radicals like Angela Davis and Huey Newton of the Black Panthers, and its founding partners were card-carrying communists. These details should have been "prime meat," according to the Sun, for Republican opposition researchers working for George H. W. Bush back in 1992. So why did they never exploit them?

The Sun doesn't know, but they have no such qualms, calling Clinton's involvement with "America's most radical law firm … yet another indication that radical ideology lurks beneath the patina of moderation she has adopted in public life." Reporter Josh Gerstein digs deep, talking to her old colleagues in hopes of finding that during her "radical summer," Hillary was involved in controversial cases like Huey Newton's defense against shooting an Oakland police officer. Unfortunately, he comes up hard against baby-boomeritis. "I was more connected with Hillary than with other clerks, and I remember meeting Bill that summer," partner Mal Burnstein, who has insisted in the past that Hillary assisted the firm on the Newton case, tells the Sun. "If the Black Panthers Sacramento incident was in fact in '67, then Hillary did not come with me on the Black Panthers case. I may well remember driving to Sacramento with her, but it can't be the same case and I don't know what it was." At this, his partner Doris Walker all but rolls her eyes. "Mal has had a thing about Hillary and the Black Panthers for years. The rest of us know it just didn't happen."

Hillary Clinton's Radical Summer [NYS]