ALBANY, N.Y. — "While she is known to millions simply as "Hillary," New York's junior senator is having something of an identity crisis in her official life.
The Clinton camp appeared to be at a loss to come up with an explanation when the Albany Times Union newspaper asked about it.
"I haven't, I haven't," Clinton said with laugh when asked about her apparent name change.
A strategic decision? Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson told the newspaper: "That's a fair question, but there's no plan behind it."
The name game has been going on for some time in Clinton's world.
When Hillary Rodham married Bill Clinton in 1975, she kept using her maiden name as he pursued his political career in Arkansas and she built her reputation as a lawyer in Little Rock. But, in the wake of his loss in a re-election race for governor, she began using "Hillary Clinton." He won back the governorship.
"Hillary Rodham Clinton" became the standard in 1993 as the Clintons moved into the White House. She continued to use that when she ran for Senate from New York in 2000."
Back when she was running for the NY Senate seat, some enterprising journalists discovered that Hillary Rodham had never legally changed her name to Clinton. In a flurry of tomfoolery, the Clinton machine poo-poo'd the findings, offering that she indeed HAD submitted the requisite paperwork but that it was lost somewhere along the way.
In other words, they lied. The woman has switched names more times than an identity-thief, yet gets a pass from the willing press.
You try it. Try changing last names whenever it pleases you, on legal documents, no less. And as far as anyone can still determine, RODHAM remains her legal name, the one she pays her taxes on, the one she is issued a drivers license for. I fully understand that becoming a lawyer is little other than learning how to thwart the law, but do upon occasion feel that those who would LEAD us have some semblance of respect for what is the right thing to do.