Five Reasons Why Millenials Don't Care About Monica Lewinsky
May 11th, 2014
10:32 AM ET

Five Reasons Why Millenials Don't Care About Monica Lewinsky

After a decade of silence, Monica Lewinsky shot back into the spotlight this week writing an essay for this month's Vanity Fair. In it, she details just how difficult life has been being remembered as "that woman." A big question has been whether or not this would affect a speculated Hillary Clinton run for President. The media has been full of bipartisan responses since the essay's release, but when millenials were confronted with the idea many said, "Who's Monica?"

1. Ignorance is Bliss.

The Clinton/Lewinsky scandal broke in January of 1998. Eighteen-year-old voters for 2016 were born that same year. There is simply a lack of institutional knowledge among their peer groups to trickle down into political conversations.

Dr. Jason Johnson, a political science professor at Hiram College told CNN that only two students in his college classes knew who Monica Lewinsky was. "Even when I said she's been referenced by Eminem, Kid Cudi, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé - none of them had even Wikipediaed her before," Johnson said. "I found that a lot of my millenial students didn't really know much about Monica Lewinsky, and they didn't care."

2. There have been juicier sex scandals in political history since "Zippergate."

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Anthony Weiner aka Carlos Danger and his selfies, David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, John Edwards' love child, gay sex scandals, straight sex scandals– these are the headlines millenials are familiar with. While Clinton's impeachment may have influenced their lives eventually, the fallout from more recent scandals are the ones that actually affect the leadership that represents them and their tax dollars.

3.  A President's private life isn't as important as their public policy.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli,  Libya


Blame Scandal, House of Cards or media gluttony, but millenials are somewhat desensitized to political behavior that their parents and grandparents may have found controversial.

Danny Funt, a student at Georgetown University said the Lewinsky scandal simply would not play into the 2016 election cycle. "A president's private life still matters... I think it's worthy of Twitter gossip," Funt said.

Young voters priorities lie in advancing policies that affect their peers– most popular issues include healthcare, gay marriage, marijuana legalization, privacy issues and freedom of information on the Internet.


4. Her 15 minutes are up.

It's easy to sympathize with Lewinsky's career failure  but her essay confirmed what we assumed was true: Monica Lewinsky will never be someone other than Monica Lewinsky. If that's the only way she can make money, there are some people out there who will continue to buy the magazines, but it ain't millenials.

5. They are ready for the U.S. to have its first female President.


"Hillary Clinton can make history. That excites young people," said Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala.

The prospect for a woman to be in the Oval Office seems to outweigh any scandal of the past in young voters minds.

Clinton has started a tour of colleges with the Clinton Global Initiative, where she very well may be priming that demographic. "We are going to make sure the millennial generation really is the participation generation," Clinton said in a speech at Arizona State University in March. At these events, Clinton has been very vocal on issues popular among young, more liberal voters.

But some strategists suggest her age may hinder her appeal to millenials.

Counteracting that– perhaps intentionally– Clinton is very active on social media.

One female student who attended Clinton's event at the University of Miami told CNN, "Age isn't a factor. It's how 'with it' you are. She's very with it."

To watch our full conversation, click below:
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. johndrake31

    I care.

    May 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Reply
  2. impasto

    You joke about Chelsea, but she truly believes that just being a Clinton, she is qualified to run. I deplore dynasties. Our founding fathers deplored dynasties. We can certainly do better than more Bush's, and more Clinton's. We must.

    May 12, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  3. impasto

    Eventually, Hillary Clinton will have to address some real issues. Her stance on marijuana has not "evolved" yet. If you look back to 07-08, she was against the decriminalization of pot. Being the politician that she is, if she has any hope, which I hope she doesn't, she will have to rethink her pot policy, as well as just about every other policy she stood for back then.
    This is one of the primary reasons that I don't want to see her run. She is living in the past, which really did not do her much good, even in the past.

    May 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  4. Jane

    ... and 10 reasons why millenials don't care about Hillary ... and 15 reasons why millenials don't care about Chelsea getting her turn too .. and 20 reasons I don't care what millenials don't care about ...

    May 12, 2014 at 2:17 am | Reply
  5. 333maxwell

    Monica who? (looks at the Calendar of the new century)

    May 12, 2014 at 1:39 am | Reply

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