Newsweek's Quindlen Debunks 'Myth' That Hillary Is A Liberal

January 31st, 2007 6:08 AM

Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen, a favorite of Katie Couric and Tom Brokaw, takes on "myths" about Campaign 2008 in her column in the back of the magazine this week. First up: who says Hillary is a liberal? She's firmly in the political middle:

"Today many of the contenders are enshrouded in the mists of myth. One is that Hillary Rodham Clinton is a flaming liberal. Would that this were buttressed by the facts. If it were, she might have voted against the Iraq war, and the health-care initiative she oversaw as First Lady would have been a sweeping plan for universal coverage instead of a timid column A/column B effort. It's laughable to talk about the senator moving toward the middle. She's been there for years."

It's always amazing to see someone argue that nationalizing one-seventh of the economy was a timid centrist thing to do.

But Quindlen goes on then to bash the leading squishy Republicans in the race: that "the real argument against Giuliani's candidacy is that he was uncommonly divisive and mean-spirited during his time in office, alienating most of the city's minority communities." (It was so unlike the racial peace of David Dinkins' time as mayor?) And: "John McCain must grapple with an important part of his persona that may, sadly, morph into myth: the notion of the former POW as a man who fearlessly speaks his mind." She recalled he couldn't make up his mind on the Confederate flag. 

So who would be a real liberal for this race, someone Quindlen could support? Sen. George McGovern recently spoke at the National Press Club (reprinted by The Nation), and was delighted that Quindlen endorsed his book as the basis of all future national unity for giving up on Iraq:

I give you the respected journalist of the New York Times, and now of Newsweek, Anna Quindlen who told Charlie Rose on his excellent TV program: "There is a wonderful book I am recommending to everyone. It's a very small, readable book by George McGovern and William Polk called Out of Iraq. And it just very quickly runs you through the history of the country, the makeup of the country, how we got in, the arguments for getting in--many of which don't withstand scrutiny--and how we can get out. It's like a little primer. I think the entire nation should read it and then we will be united."