The switch leaked Tuesday as a tweet from a Washington Post reporter: “A change at the @washingtonpost copy desk today: ‘Per the Clinton campaign, the preferred first reference’ is ‘Hillary Clinton.’ No Rodham.”
There was nary a word in the news outlets that hailed Hillary in 1993 when she inserted her maiden name to become Hillary Rodham Clinton.
At the time, her spokeswoman Lisa Caputo told the New York Times, “Mrs. Clinton was Hillary Rodham Clinton all through the campaign and the transition.”
Caputo added, “It’s how she signs her autograph, it’s how she signs her correspondence, it’s how she is referred to within the campaign. I mean, there’s nothing new here.”
Not quite. She was Hillary Rodham when she married Bill Clinton and remained so until 1982, when Bill ran for governor of Arkansas after losing a previous re-election bid.
“I learned the hard way that some voters in Arkansas were seriously offended by the fact that I kept my maiden name,” Hillary later wrote.
She remained Hillary Clinton until Bill became president. Then she became Hillary Rodham Clinton, and that is how the author was named in 2014 on her book “Hard Choices.”
“I think it was a feminist statement of sorts [to add Rodham],” one Democrat told me. “Now her name fits better on letterhead.”
This fourth name change was done so quietly that invites to Hillary fundraisers still include Rodham. Someone didn’t get the memo.
But a Clinton aide told me, “The Washington Post asked us if we had a preference. We said Hillary Clinton was fine. That was all. It doesn’t mean that saying Hillary Rodham Clinton is incorrect.”