Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What Is In A Name?

This story is one of those which make me think that if there is a god he is a sadistic journalist:

As you may know by now, the non-story of the day surrounding Hillary Clinton is that she apparently uses the name "Hillary Clinton" on Presidential campaign material while sticking with "Hillary Rodham Clinton" on her Senate-related stuff.

This alleged "gotcha" story was first pushed by Hearst newspapers in a piece linked (natch) on Drudge, Newsmax, Free Republic and a few other far-flung outposts in the wingnuttia hinterlands. It's now the subject of an Associated Press story -- carried by ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and others -- that actually says in its lede that Hillary has an "identity crisis." Both the Hearst and AP stories strongly imply that Hillary's people are calculatingly using "Rodham" to speak to the New York audience while sticking with "Hillary Clinton" to appeal to the national audience. Says Hearst:

Clinton identifies herself as "Hillary Clinton" in her campaign press releases and on her campaign website. The lone mention of her maiden name is in a campaign biography that says "Hillary's father, Hugh Rodham, was the son of a factory worker from Scranton."

She continues to use "Hillary Rodham Clinton" in her New York-focused press releases and in the Senate.

You must be burning to learn now that this isn't actually true as Horse's Mouth explains.

But what is the point of talking about Hillary Clinton's name? There are two wingnut points: First, the idea is to show her as a chameleon who never stays the same and therefore has no inner core. A flimflam woman. Second, the idea is to show that she is a feminazi-in-hiding, only coming out with her true colors where it is safe. Why feminazi-in-hiding? A real traditional woman discards her maiden name altogether. All anxious conservative men know this.