Harold Ickes is the son of another Harold Ickes, born in 1874 and  FDR's Secretary of the Interior for 13 years, actually 12 plus one under Harry Truman. The present Ickes, Hillary Clinton's major domo, was a child of old age. I met him during the 1968 McCarthy campaign when he (and Sara Kovner) ran the McCarthy effort in New York. Harold actually has some charm if, that is, you're not offended by offensive language. Which I am not.

After the disastrous Chicago convention in 1968, some Democrats realized that the nominating process demanded change. I am not exactly sure of the sequence here.  But I recall Ickes being involved in democratizing -- whatever that means -- the process, maybe even as a participant in the deliberations of the McGovern Commission.  And wasn't there also a commission chaired by Senator Howard Hughes, who also had ambitions for the presidency? I don't have my books around me so I can't be sure. Moreover, my memory is going, going...Google doesn't really help in matters of ancient history.

In any case, Ickes was a player in the evolving rules of the party. A lawyer for labor unions in New York, some rough labor unions, he also helped run Jesse Jackson's campaign in 1988. Just so you know the politics of the Clintons' most trusted aide.

Now, of course, Hillary's effort to secure the nomination is being impeded by the arcane party rules, the national rules and some state rules. Many of these are products of Ickes's fertile brain. Will he, as a consequence, know how to get around them?

In the meantime, I'm imagining that the rules are so strictly drawn that even old Harold will be stymied by them.

That's why I am experiencing some schadenfreude.