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... Americans will go to the polls to choose between the two major parties' nominees for president.

With those actual events so far removed from today's realities, it is damned near useless to speculate on who those nominees will be or how they will fare.

But it's fun, anyway.

Chris Cilizza, writing from his Post perch, warns us that It's Time to Start Taking Rand Paul Seriously, noting that, with the growing Libertarian bent of the GOP and Paul's access to his father's network of followers, the junior senator from the Bluegrass State is a force that must be reckoned with.


On the Dem side, it's become clear that the nom is Hillary Clinton's for the asking, with nearly two-thirds of polled Dem voters, um, ready for Hillary.

If (and there are not fonts large or bold enough to set that "if" in) the 2016 matchup is Hillary v. Rand, we can expect endless comparison pieces, from the basest fluffery-hackery to serious investigations like Frontline's "The Decision" series.

One aspect of these candidates' lives that will certainly be covered is their formative years. And the editors and producers of the Hillary pieces will have a rich nugget in LIFE Magazines 1969 photo spread "The Class of 1969," featuring four students and graduates from America's top universities, including a recent Wellesley graduate named Hillary Rodham, an engaging, politically astute young woman deeply concerned with the issues of the day. The photos of her in the spread show a bright, clear-sighted individual obviously comfortable with both her intelligence and femininity.

(Go to the link and look if you don't believe me).

On the Paul side, the only national journal to feature the congressman's son in his dear old golden school days was GQ, wherein Jason Zengerle investigated Rand's undergraduate days at Baylor.

While much less information is available on "Randy's" collegiate accomplishments, what little is remembered is far less flattering than a future president might wish. Most here are familiar with the exploits of NoZe and Aqua Buddha.

But, if I were a political op looking to draw a distinct contrast between Ms. Clinton and Mr. Paul, I would be cackling over these very different views of the candidates' early years.

(Go to the GQ link and check that pic as well; Paul is the fellow in the black robe and straw hat).

Then again, this is all a long time from now in a galaxy far, far away.

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