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The Flip Flop: Hillary’s Shoe of Choice

"Americans say they are hungering for honesty and demanding clarity when selecting
the next president, so it is downright fascinating how little they really care about Hillary’s stance on just about everything."
Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Jill Chapin

Guest Editorial

October 4, 2007

Senator Clinton’s current lead in the polls says more about her supporters than it does about her.

Americans say they are hungering for honesty and demanding clarity when selecting the next president, so it is downright fascinating how little they really care about Hillary’s stance on just about everything. Because her stance has consistently been a straddle.

The first wide stance I noticed was when she was running for senate. Sporting a Yankees cap, she professed to be mad about them, even though she had always been a Cubs fan. Yet oddly, there was no head scratching from the electorate over her unnecessary pandering. So is she a Yankees fan or a closet Cubs fan? No one seems to know or care, because Hillary supporters have an uncanny ability to shrug off her charming inconsistences.

What wasn’t so charming was her Iowa ethanol gaffe. Although she had voted against increased production several times in the senate, while campaigning in the Corn State she was suddenly ethanol’s biggest supporter. Someone in the crowd called her on it, asking her why then had she voted against it. She stammered about needing to protect her constituents in New York from higher fuel costs. Again, her supporters blithely deleted from their memory bank another glaring two-step.

She manages to consistently be inconsistent, changing her stance to suit her audience. One day she has both feet firmly planted on the side of NAFTA, and another will find her digging in her heels against NAFTA when speaking to union members.

Last year she approved the torturing of terrorists if it could foil an imminent plot. Last month she said she was against all torture.

She has backed legislation giving amnesty and permanent resident status to some illegal workers, and also has said that she is adamantly against illegal immigrants.

On homosexuality early this year: "We want to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits . . . I am proud to stand by your side." Sounds like she’s a loyal ally of homosexuals? When asked by ABC whether homosexuality is immoral, she replied, "Well, I’m going to leave that to others to conclude."

She chastised Senator Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons in the war on terror. Yet just last year she said, "I would certainly take nuclear weapons off the table."

People who heard her speak in South Carolina last month about ending the Iraq war thought she meant we should immediately get out. Even though she said no such thing, her words are so measured and nuanced as to be well-received by anyone. "We must begin to end the war in Iraq and bring our troops home as quickly and responsibly as we can."

How could anyone be against this statement? Yet it says absolutely nothing about an immediate withdrawal, nor absolutely anything about what she would do as president. But again, who cares? If you’re a Hillary supporter, you are gifted in interpreting her words to suit your agenda. But Hillary is the most gifted of all because - so far - her fans haven’t caught on yet.

All candidates fine tune their speeches to their audience du jour. And they sometimes genuinely have a change of heart on some issues as they get new information. But for most candidates, you’ll find an underlying thread of consistency that allows us to grasp their basic stand on important issues. Senator Clinton’s threads are in shreds; there simply is no way for discerning voters to stitch them together to better discover what she really means and believes.

Nothing she has ever said quite captures her modus operandi as did her response to an innocuous question about who she would root for if the Yankees and the Cubs both made it to the World Series: "I would probably have to alternate sides."

If you choose to disregard a response like this that so aptly embodies her position on most issues, then you will get the president you deserve. But don’t complain later that she misled you.



Editor's Note: Views expressed by columnists published on FogCityJournal.com are not necessarily the views or beliefs of Fog City Journal. Fog City Journal supports free speech in all its varied forms and provides a forum for a complete spectrum of viewpoints.



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