Clinton, who will turn 60 this August, embodies the precocious intellectualism, professional competence, gregarious openness, and idealistic good will of the tumescent cohort born between 1946 and 1964; yet our 42nd president seems unable to escape a perpetually adolescent narcissism and self-indulgent hedonism that threaten at every turn to undo his multifarious accomplishments and clownishly topple his tower of gravitas.
How poetically appropriate, then, that Clinton has agreed to be the featured speaker at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ 29th annual convention, to be held June 15-17 in Little Rock, Arkansas, since alternative weeklies — fiesty, iconoclastic, investigative, pop culture intensive — are a boomer phenomenon, springing up in the ’60s and ’70s as the antithesis of the Media Establishment, but now a mature, corporate industry. The AAN represents 125 free-circulation weekly newspapers throughout North America, with a readership of more than 21 million and over half a billion dollars in annual sales.
AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel announced Clinton’s appearance this weekend at the AAN East conference in Washington. “I’ve talked to dozens of AAN members and they’re all excited that President Clinton will be attending,” Karpel said later. “We anticipate a huge increase in attendance as a result of his appearance, including a record number of spouses and mothers-in-law.”[ADBLOCKHERE]
Clinton’s history with convention host Arkansas Times extends back over thirty years – several writers with the paper have covered the former governor since he entered the political arena as a candidate for Congress in 1974. Clinton is a purported reader of the Times and gave his last interview as president to the paper in Jan. 2001 on a nostalgic farewell-to-the-presidency visit to Little Rock.