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The Name Game: Rodham + Clinton - (Rodham Clinton) = Hillary

POSTED:

I must confess to being a bit confused about what Hillary's name is these days.

Her website is HillaryClinton.com. But look at her biography on the site and her last name is nowhere to be found.

It's just Hillary.

That's true right down to the logo:

A little history:

The guest list of a 1977 function at the White House lists her and Bill with separate last names:

William Clinton, attorney general of Arkansas, and Hillary Rodham.

"Clinton," it seems, got tacked on in 1982 when Vernon Jordan suggested it might help her husband's gubernatorial campaign in Arkansas. The Washington Post covered the switch approvingly at the time:

...and Clinton's lawyer wife, who went by her maiden name of Hillary Rodham in 1980, now campaigns full time with her husband and tells voters she's Hillary Clinton.

"Rodham" has come and gone, but it seems to have been disappeared in her current campaign, which is surprising because Hillary actually polls better among Republicans as Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As recently as November, HillaryClinton.com was the "Official Campaign Web Site of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton." Now it's the "Official Site of Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committe" — 100 percent Rodham free. All of her press releases refer to her only as "Hillary," or "Sen. Clinton."

What's in a middle name? Plenty. Just ask Barack Hussein Obama.

UPDATE: I just found an AP profile of Bill Clinton from 1978 on Nexis, in which Bill gives us his take on his wife's name:

He's the husband of a Yale Law School classmate — Hillary Rodham of Park Ridge, Ill. — who, as a Little Rock lawyer, has kept her own name.

"She decided to do that when she was 9, long before women's lib came along," Clinton says.

"People wouldn't mind if they knew how old-fashioned she was in every conceivable way."

Given all of Bill's extracurricular hanky panky in the intervening years, it's impossibly tempting not to add the fortune cookie gag of "... in bed" to the end of that thought.

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