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Opening Arguments

Chasing Hillary

I enjoy listening to Terry Gross' interviews on NPR's "Fresh Air," especially her talks with authors. Yes, there's a little liberal bias now and again, but not enough to spoil the appreciation of her interviewing skills. She usually reads not only the book in question but also anything else of the author's she can get her hands on, and she has a way of zeroing in on th most important things the person has to so.

And  I really, really enjoyed her dogged pursuit of a single question with Hillary Clinton: Did she "evolve" on the question of gay marriage, or did the public's evolution allow her to finally say what she had always believed? It's a sort of clever way to ask Hillary if she was being political with the issue.  At least that's the way Mrs. Clinton saw it, and she finally got a little testy with Gress:

CLINTON: You know I really, I have to say, I think you being very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue.”

GROSS: “I’m just trying to clarify so I can understand -”

CLINTON: “No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify. I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons. And that’s just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like I think you are implying and repudiate it. I have a strong record. I have a great commitment to this issue and I am proud of what I’ve done and the progress were making.”

Audio of the whole exchange is at the link and worth listening to for sheer entertainment value. It shows Hillary as political to the core -- the answer to a simple question would anger somebody, so be as slipperry as possible. I don't know why it's so hard to say your thinking has changed on something. That's a sign you keep thinking about the issue as more information is available, not a sign of weakness. But I suspect we've gotten to the point where having a new opinion is supposed to make us feel ashamed that we ever had a different one.