Bush's surrogates, also trying to exaggerate Clinton's quite minor role in the anti-war movement in 1969, say he met with former organizers for Sen. Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential campaign at Martha's Vineyard. They also speak of Clinton's "role" in the Vietnam Moratorium in 1969.
Actually there were two meetings on Martha's Vineyard. The first was in a private home after the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968; the meeting was an unsuccessful effort to agree on what to do in that fall's election. The next summer the group returned for what attendee David Mixner called "sort of like a Big Chill reunion." Clinton, never part of the Eugene McCarthy crowd, was invited to the second meeting mainly to bolster the group's Southern contingent, which by then consisted only of Taylor Branch, today a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
AT the time, the Vietnam Moratorium was being put together by several of the group, including Mr. Mixner and Sam Brown, who would head the Peace Corps under President Jimmy Carter. It was an obvious topic of conversation at the meeting, and later that summer Clinton showed up in the Moratorium office in Washington. He stayed two weeks, possibly less. Marge Sklencar, one of the Moratorium's four coordinators, remembers: "He [Clinton] passed through like a lot of people did.... Some stayed a few days and l icked some envelopes and Clinton was one of those."
History also shows that the 1969 Moratorium was the first anti-war group to come out of the mainstream. "We were the first to get endorsements from organizations like the United Auto Workers and the National Council of Churches," remembers Mixner.