Politics & Government

Out of bounds! Clinton shifts position — again

Throw the flag against: Hillary Clinton.

Call: Illegal shift.

What happened: Clinton went from appearing confused about her position on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants to sympathizing with New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's plan to allow undocumented aliens to get licenses to opposing the idea Wednesday — after Spitzer said to forget the whole thing.

In the Democrats' debate Oct. 30, she was asked whether she supported Spitzer's plan to allow undocumented aliens to get licenses. "It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do?" she said.

But after Sen. Christopher Dodd said they shouldn't have licenses, Clinton added: "I did not say that it should be done, but I certainly recognize why Governor Spitzer is trying to do it."

The next day, her campaign said that she indeed "supports governors like Governor Spitzer who believe they need such a measure to deal with the crisis caused by this administration's failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform." Her aides, though, stressed that she wasn't specifically endorsing any plan.

On Wednesday, Spitzer gave up on his idea.

Then Clinton's campaign said she now opposed such licenses. In a statement, she said: "As president, I will not support driver's licenses for undocumented people and will press for comprehensive immigration reform that deals with all of the issues around illegal immigration, including border security and fixing our broken system."

Why that's wrong: In the words of Dodd's presidential-campaign spokeswoman Colleen Flanagan: "It's flip-flopping cubed. She was for it before she was against it, before she was for it, before she was against it."

Penalty: Send her credibility 5 yards backward, where she can start this answer over again.

By David Lightman