I had always believed Hillary Clinton put on the centrism which defined the better part of her Senate career (well, until she started seeing challenges emerging in the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination) as a guise to grease the wheels for this fall’s general election.
After all, before her election to the Senate in 2000, she often seemed the liberal ballast to her husband’s leadership in the Democratic Leadership Council which tried to move their party to the center.
In the Democratic campaign this year, she first moved to the left to try to outflank Senator Obama, then later to the right to appeal to blue collar constituencies in the states whose primary contests came late in the game.
Once she had lost that game, she seems to have reverted to her pre-2000 form, voting against the FISA reform her erstwhile primary opponent had long opposed, but suddenly backed as he felt the need to move to the center in anticipation of the fall campaign.
Now that her presidential hopes seem perpetually dimmed, she’s back to voting her liberal conscience. A conscience she once scorned in pursuit of political advantage.