Currently on the road with her Bangerz tour, Miley Cyrus pantomimes fellatio on one "Bill Clinton" during her seminal hit "Party in the USA" during each performance. It's the latest in pop culture references to the Clinton sex scandals of the '90s, illustrating once again that Millennials love to laugh about the president getting naughty in the oval office. We're in the middle of a wave of general '90s nostalgia — on BuzzFeed (The Story of Egypt's Revolution in 'Jurassic Park' GIFs) and, most notably, on Tumblr. The fact that Hillary Clinton will probably run for president in 2016 dovetails nicely with Millennials' desire to relive their grade-school years.
miley pretending to give Clinton head is iconic bye pic.twitter.com/cQ9aMBwdGI— ☹ bri ✞ (@yungchipotle) February 15, 2014
Millennials look back on the Lewinsky scandal almost fondly. (I'll admit, it's when I first found out about oral sex). Various teen Tumblrs, like monicalewinsky1996, pay homage to the event. Photos like this one get reblogged again and again:
And the teen internet will never be done with this GIF.
While Miley's dance with "Bill" may be peak nostalgia, Beyonce already invoked the scandal in her hit "Partition," off her most recent album. When singing about hooking up in the back of the car, she explains, "He Monica Lewinsky'd all on my gown." This line, of course, spawned even more nostalgia ("The streets need [Monica]") and Tumblr valentines.
Not everyone is reminiscing fondly. Republican Sen. Rand Paul, another 2016 hopeful, is less wistful when looking back on the scandal. He's on a media campaign to derail Hillary by reminding America that Bill is a "sexual predator" and "unsavory character." That tack will probably only work on Baby Boomers who are already inclined to dislike the Clintons. It's not cool to hate on presidents for getting laid.
Mitt Romney, surprisingly, realizes this. On Meet the Press on Sunday, he insisted, "I don't think Bill Clinton is as relevant as Hillary Clinton, if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president. I think her record is what will be judged upon, not the record of her husband." He added that Bill did embarrass the country with his behavior, "but I don't think that's Hillary Clinton's to explain." Romney has no plans to run for president in 2016.
Hillary, who will be 68 in 2016, won't be the youth candidate the way President Obama was. But strangely enough, her husband's philandering has given young people a way to connect with her family. And Miley Cyrus thinks Hillary herself is pretty cool. On Saturday Night Live in October, she played a MTV version of Hills, ripping open her pantsuit jacket to reveal a bra emblazoned with "2016." To reach Millenials, you just have to sex things up.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.