During last night’s debate, Hillary was asked whether she supported Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens. It wasn’t a pretty picture. Hillary launched into a tirade blaming everything on President Bush. According to this article in Politico.com, her rivals jumped all over her answer, as did Tim Russert:

It was not just that her answer about whether illegal immigrants should be issued drivers’ licenses was at best incomprehensible and at worst misleading.

It was that for two hours she dodged and weaved, parsed and stonewalled.

And when it was over, both the Barack Obama and John Edwards campaigns signaled that in the weeks ahead they intend to hammer home a simple message: Hillary Clinton does not say what she means or mean what she says.

And she gave them plenty of ammunition Tuesday night.

Asked whether she still agrees with New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s plan to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, Clinton launched into a long, complicated defense of it.

But when Chris Dodd attacked the idea a moment later, Clinton quickly said: “I did not say that it should be done.”

NBC’s Tim Russert, one of the debate moderators, jumped in and said to her: “You told (a) New Hampshire paper that it made a lot of sense. Do you support his plan?”

”You know, Tim,” Clinton replied, “this is where everybody plays ‘gotcha.’”

John Edwards immediately went for the jugular. “Unless I missed something,” he said, “Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”

Barack Obama added: “I was confused (by) Senator Clinton’s answer. I can’t tell whether she was for it or against it. One of the things that we have to do in this country is to be honest about the challenges that we face.”

I doubt that this will keep her from winning the Democratic nomination. I’m equally certain that that night’s performance will show up in the GOP’s candidate’s ad campaign. Hillary’s panderfest on the stage at Drexel last night will offer a stark contrast to Rudy Giuliani’s forthrightness. You can disagree with Rudy on certain issues. It’s even fair to say that he’s had a few missteps.

This wasn’t a policy disgreement with Hillary and it wasn’t that she misstated what she meant to say. She said what she meant to say. Unfortunately for her, someone caught her doing what she’s done consistently. Hillary’s tried being all things to all people in the hopes of maximizing her vote totals.

That’s the wrong thing to do this year. People are looking for a leader who’s straight with them, who won’t talk out of both sides of their mouth. That won’t be good for Hillary because she’s nothing if not a panderer.

Here’s the video proof that she’s a panderer with a ‘deer in the headlights’ look in her eyes:

Captain Ed sums it up perfectly when he says that “She can expect to live with this YouTube for the next year.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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