Adolescence, that time in between the end of childhood and the beginnings of adulthood, when hormones are pouring into a changing body, is an awkward time of turbulence and change. It is a time when beliefs are formed that shape and remain for life.
And so it was with Hillary Rodham Clinton. Self consciously reminiscing about her conversion from self described Goldwater girl to liberal Johnson supporter, she blames it all on her high school teacher.
[A] young government teacher, Jerry Baker, assigned me to play President Johnson in the debate. Mr. Baker said he wanted us to explore another perspective. He wouldn't back down.
So I immersed myself in President Johnson's Democratic positions on civil rights, health care, poverty and foreign policy. And then something unexpected happened. I found myself advocating for President Johnson with more than just dramatic fervor. My days as a Republican were numbered!
So now we know why Senator Clinton believes President Johnson--a man who fought the black civil rights movement as a Texas legislator but later as president expediently passed civil rights legislation--was a greater supporter of civil rights than the Rev King; she learned it as an impressionable adolescent.