Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Oh, dear:

I'm not sure when this started, but a ... cross appears to have become a regular part of Hillary Clinton's wardrobe.

She wore a gold one July 20, for a speech criticizing advertising directed at children. No picture available.) And she wore the diamond-studded one pictured above to the News last week. A Google Images search doesn't seem to turn up any others, though whenever you think you've noticed something new about Clinton, her aides usually produce rock-solid evidence that it has always been thus....

Is it, perhaps, a sign that her faith may be a bit more in the foreground as 2008 approaches?...

That's from the political blog of the New York Daily News. A subsequent post does turn up several more photos of Hillary wearing a cross.

All of them were taken after 2000.

Look, this is the kind of cynical calibration that pols running for president engage in all the time, and it's a relatively trivial example -- but some can get away with it and some can't. John McCain, for instance, can oppose torture, then sell out to Bush on the torture bill, then pointedly fail to join fellow "mavericks" John Warner and Lindsay Graham for the bill signing, and it won't be read (except by some lefty grumblers) as a mark of character. That's unfair, but that's the way it is. He has a rep as a straight shooter, so he can get away with that.

But Hillary doesn't have John McCain's rep. Hillary, rightly or wrongly, has the exact opposite of John McCain's rep. Therefore, every time attention is drawn to something like this (and attention has been drawn -- Drudge picked up the story yesterday), the notion that she has no principles and acts only out of expediency is reinforced.

She should know that, but it appears she doesn't. And that's what I worry about for 2008: that she's going to win the Democratic nomination and lose in a lanslide, because she just can't stop making easily avoidable mistakes like this.

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