THE NAME GAME, CONT�D.

THE NAME GAME, CONT�D. OK, here�s my two cents on the subject: How about HRC?

I'm with Ezra on brevity and specificity. And you can�t really get any more brief and specific than three initials that are pretty much as instantly process-able as LBJ and JFK. But I disagree with Ezra on another point. He says that as long as she calls herself Hillary, he�ll call her Hillary. But why should what politicians call themselves dictate what we call them? Ezra, if you�d been blogging in 1973, would you never have employed Tricky Dick?

Mark wants her shown respect. Fine. But his solution doesn�t work, because if we�re going to call her Senator Clinton all the time, then don�t we also have to say Senator Obama all the time? And what about Edwards, who is now just Mr. Edwards? (This thread is getting to be a copy editor�s dream.) I would argue that HRC is respectful in a slightly cheeky sort of way and tonally consistent with the values of the blogosphere.

Incidentally, the use of �Hillary� was a mini-controversy during her first Senate race. She unveiled it, as I recall, at her formal announcement at the gym at SUNY-Purchase in front of thousands. A huge �Hillary� banner provided the backdrop. At the time, Monica still being a fresh memory, some pundits knocked her for not using �Clinton," suggesting that she was so mad at Bill that she wouldn�t even deploy his name. Of course, if she�d chosen Clinton instead of Hillary, some of these same people would have written about how appalling it was that she was trading on her husband�s name and why couldn�t she be her own person, etc. She was a figure of sympathy back then, so insane were her critics about every little thing.

--Michael Tomasky

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