Damage Done?

Phew. That musthave been Hillary’s first thought upon picking up today’s New York Times , which reports that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer has dropped his plan to provide illegal immigrants with drivers licenses. The plan became arallying point for Clinton’scritics after she gave what many people considered an evasive answer at lastmonth’s Democratic debate. (It also gave her opponents their bestattack material yet .) Well, now that Spitzer has dropped the measure,everyone can move on, right?

Yes, and George Bush can invite Kim Jong-Il, Nancy Pelosi, andthe ghost of Saddam Hussein to Crawford ranch for a tea party. I highly doubt anyone is going to let this go. If anything, thedeath of the measure could hurt Hillary even more. At the time, herhalf-support for the plan seemed like a smart hedge, even if it sounded a bitbungled. But for the purposes of political attacks, she might as well have beensupporting it. And in the oversimplifying lens of hindsight, the measure could be an even greater liability now that opponents can refer to it as “the failed plan to grant licenses to illegalaliens.”