When letters written to a friend by a college-aged Hillary Rodham resurfaced in the news a few weeks ago, her mention of a certain "Dartmouth boy" with whom she spent an evening in 1966 piqued notable interest. But last week, the New York Times reported that the mystery date was none other than Robert Reich, former secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. In a post on his video blog, Reich called the encounter a "presidential summit" ("She was the president of her freshman class at Wellesley, and I was president of my sophomore class at Dartmouth," he explained.) and said they went to the Michelangelo Antonioni film "Blow Up."
Now, in a shocking development, I have learned that the date was secretly filmed by fraternity pranksters who, years later, sold the footage to the now-canceled reality television series "Blind Date." Producers of the show, which is known for the occasionally raunchy and inebriated behavior of its subjects, ultimately shelved the episode, deeming Rodham "too yakety-yak" and finding Reich's pants to be insufficiently low-hanging. However, the following excerpts from the rarely seen footage, complete with "Blind Date's" signature "thought bubbles," have come into my possession. Here's a sneak peek at what may come to be called "the hottest date in Hanover's history."
Sidewalk outside of the Nugget Theater in Hanover, N.H. Hillary and Robert speak animatedly.
Robert: When you say "less a treatise on voyeurism than a fashion ad for nihilism," are you talking about the whole film or just the group sex scene?
Hillary: (He calls this a presidential summit?) Frankly, the Lothario impulses of the photographer seemed jejune. Are we really supposed to buy the premise that women find that appealing? It's nothing but predictable machismo in the guise of European-flavored erotica and, boy, do I resent it.
Robert: (I'd better get her drunk.) Totally.
Hillary: Now "Casablanca," that's a good movie.
Robert: Do you have any tattoos?
Later that evening -- a romantic restaurant, over a bottle of wine.Robert: So, do you work out? (Maybe we could squeeze one in later?)
Hillary: (Does he think I'm fat?) I've organized a campus group that combines stretching exercises with rigorous policy discussion. I'm very proud of the work we've done.
Robert: Have you ever made out with your roommate?
Hillary: (Wait, maybe he thinks I'm hot!) Wouldn't you like to know?
Robert: Actually, not really. Let's order dinner, then discuss healthcare. This is, after all, a presidential summit.
Hillary: (Ugh, I knew it.) That's absolutely right! Ha ha ha ha! It's not like it's a date or anything.
Robert: Oh, God no.
Hillary: No, no way! (He thinks I'm ugly. I should have worn that other turtleneck.)
Later still -- a crowded nightclub, Hillary guzzles a fruity cocktail, Robert knocks back shots.
Robert: This place is awesome if you like to party. On Thursday nights, you can do tequila shots off the body of a half-naked girl.
Hillary: (I hate my thighs.) Cool!
Robert: So what are your plans for the future?
Hillary: I want to be president of the United States. Maybe also get through "Finnegan's Wake." I guess you'd say I'm a goal-oriented person.
Robert: Scorpio? (I wonder if my sheets are clean.)
Hillary: Guilty as charged! (Astrology? I'm gonna puke.)
Robert: I plan to work in the White House too. But before that I'll probably become a Rhodes scholar, attend Yale Law and teach at Harvard. But some friends and I are also thinking of forming a band called Vanilla Muffin Road Trip. I feel so confused sometimes.
Hillary: It's hard being a baby boomer. I was just writing a letter to a friend and I said, "I've gone through 3 1/2 metamorphoses and am beginning to feel as though there is a smorgasbord of personalities spread before me."
Robert: (Uh oh, craaazy alert!) That's really beautiful.
Hillary: (He's into me! And I'll never get grief again about not wearing heels.) I know it sounds pretty "Bell Jar." But it's where I'm at right now.
Robert: Listen, this isn't a date you know. Just so we're clear on that.
Hillary: I know, duh. (Am I drunk?)
Robert: I'm not looking for a relationship. Besides, I have a summit with the senior class president of Mount Holyoke next week. We're going to play miniature golf and do some beer bonging.
Hillary: (I'm drunk. Oh, God. Eleanor Roosevelt, where are you?) Your choices disappoint me. But, frankly, my tastes don't run to womanizing wonks.
Robert: (Does this mean she won't spot me a 20?) I'm sure you'll meet someone eventually.