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Mondale receiving birthday cake at Alabama: The candidate and his sons carry the message
up to work because we believe that Gary candidate arrived 30 minutes late-to greet
Hart is the only candidate who can lead this only one clerk and the trusty volunteers.
country into the future," SUNY freshman Nevertheless, exulted Rothschild, "I'm
Gregg Rothschild told an attentive elderly really getting a kick out ofthis."
couple who were breakfasting in a booth. The kick does not seem, on the whole, to
Then it was time to leapfrog along the come from the issues. While many students
schedule-unfolding chairs and a banner at may be concerned about the threat of a
a publishingcompany, pitching Hart's envi- nuclear war, they have yet to translate that
ronmental record in a general store. Not ev- fear into much political action; only Cran-
ery stop was a barnstormer's dream. At ston has been able to tap the freeze move-
Guymond's grocery in Marlborough, the ment for substantial college support. Some
student protests took place last fall in re-
Jackson at Texas A&M: Signing up voters sponse to the U.S. invasion of Grenada and
Bill Meeks-Bryan-College Station Eagle to American involvement in Lebanon and
Central America, but this has not been sus-
tained. "Issues get hot for a while and then
they peter out," says David Thottungal, a
Harvard senior in government and former
president of the Harvard Democratic Club.
Not even that once incendiary issue-regis-
tration for the draft-has yet politicized
many students. Colby College president
William Cotter believes no recent contro-
versy has come home as forcefully as those
of the '60s. "There simply is not at present a
burning issue capable of exciting the inter-
est that Vietnam did," says Cotter. "Viet-
nam was killing classmates. It had a direct
effect on students."
At least two veterans of Vietnam-era
politics argue that today's students
would mass again if given the prop-
er call. "Idealism doesn't come and go,"
Hart told NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS. In
1984, he says, students are "smarter than
they were 10 years ago" about foreign poli-
cy and economics. "It's a rational genera-
tion, and I think that's why it seems less
passionate." George McGovern also de-
tects a different tone this year-"There isn't
the grimness there was in '72"-but no less
interest. "Some of my toughest questions
come from students," he says.
Some former activists question just how
NEWSWEEK ON CAMPUS/MARCH 1984
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