Students Commend, Chastise Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton loomed large on Harvard’s campus Friday night as two groups of students gathered to alternately vilify and glorify the 2008 presidential candidate.

Fans of the former first lady celebrated Clinton’s 60th birthday at a low-key party hosted by “Harvard Students for Hillary,” while some 30 of her detractors attended the premiere of a scathing documentary on the New York senator.

At a showing of “Hillary! Uncensored: Banned by the Media” hosted by the Harvard Republican Club, film-goers discreetly unwrapped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and miniature Almond Joys as they listened to associate producer Douglas C. Cogan denounce what he called the “largest election law fraud in the history of the United States.”

“My message to Hillary is: you cannot hide from this forever,” Cogan said.

In the film, Cogan, a part-time real estate broker, contends that Bill and Hillary Clinton defrauded businessman Peter Paul into footing the almost $2 million bill for a Clinton fundraiser in August 2000. Cogan’s film says Bill Clinton promised he would enter into business with Paul, a former convict for cocaine possession, after leaving the White House.

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment.

Activist Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien also spoke at the Harvard Hall event, contending that Hillary Clinton had betrayed feminism.

“A person should be judged by the content of their character, not the contents of their underpants,” she said.

Across campus, however, students hosting a 60th birthday party for Clinton gave the candidate a somewhat better endorsement.

The event hosts decorated soda bottles with “Hillary ’08” stickers and posted colorful fliers around the otherwise sparse Mather common room, advertising 60 reasons to vote for the Senator.

“Because ‘Hillary Clinton’s cleavage has more Google hits than ‘Harry Potter,’” one poster read.

Students wearing campaign pins milled about, eating desserts as “Revolution” by the Beatles played in the background.

“This is what we need right now: a revolution,” said Tyler R. Goin ’09, who welcomed celebrants at the door.

Those at the film premiere didn’t show the same faith in the impact of their event.

“One documentary isn’t going to bring down Clinton,” HRC vice president Colin J. Motley ’10 said.