During the debate between Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her challenger John Spencer at UR last Friday, something odd seemed to be happening. Aside from that small matter of students being disenfranchised by not being allowed into the debate – and the fact that the school was willing to sell its students out for TV time – I noticed something even more troubling.

Hillary Clinton – widely-known to be a bleeding-heart liberal since her days at Yale Law in the 1970s – had turned more moderate and bland than Danforth oatmeal. This is the woman who worked on cases in defense of the Black Panthers (the militant organization who is blamed for the deaths of 15 law enforcement officials), who interned in the law office of the head lawyer for the American Communist Party, who attempted to socialize our healthcare system while serving as First Lady. All of this, however, had been whitewashed in her obvious plot to win the presidency.

The far-left firebrand of the Democratic Party has, for the past decade, taken steps to conceal her quasi-socialistic agenda with layer upon layer of middling policy and bipartisan efforts that mask her true aspiration of becoming the first female president. Even as late as last July, she compared President George W. Bush to the famous Mad Magazine doofus Alfred E. Neuman.

In the debate last Friday, although she couldn’t find a single fault with her angelic self – much like most liberals tend to do with someone possessing the surname Clinton – she repeatedly faulted the current administration. However, gone was her traditional vitriolic rhetoric, replaced with stale, restrained language that placed the accountability for her failures squarely on the Bush Administration.

“When I made it,” Hillary Clinton said, “I sort of assumed that we’d continue the [Bill] Clinton economic policy? to help us turn around upstate? When that didn’t happen, I just said, ‘OK, we are going to go down some other roads,’ and I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do.”

That contrasts just a bit with the stance she’s often taken in the past. Take just a moment to read the following quote, and think of its likely speaker in your mind: “I predict to you that this Administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country.” Could it be Cindy Sheehan, whose “Bush lied, kids died” rhetoric has been shot down as mistruth itself on both sides of the Congressional aisle? Perhaps it was one of the Massachusetts crackpots, Ted Kennedy or John Kerry? No – it was our dear, bipartisan senator Hillary Clinton.

Let’s reflect: Gas prices are at their lowest in five years. In addition to interest and inflation rates both remaining low, the stock market has closed at its highest point ever – in all of American history. The unemployment rate is lower than the average unemployment of each of the last three decades. Bush has turned around an economy that was sliding into recession when he came into office, due to the mismanagement of the last time a Clinton worked to ruin America. If you’re thinking, “Well, what’s this really mean for me?” let this sink in: The May 16, 2006 edition of the USA Today applauded the strong economy and its leading to the “best college hiring market in years.”

Clinton, on the other hand, promised economically-ravaged upstate New York 200,000 new jobs. Instead of making good on the campaign promise that effectively won her this region, the Rochester area alone has lost over 35,000 jobs since she took office. What kind of economic help – or help of any nature – can we expect from a senator whose main reason for holding the office is to use it as a stepping block to the presidency?

Since we “took a chance” on her six years ago, she’s left New York more beleaguered than when she started the job. It makes me shudder to think of the outcomes if the junior senator from New York wins a position behind a desk in the Oval Office; her largest testament to her time in office is the further-deteriorating situation in both her state and in her personal convictions. If the presidency we have now is “one of the worst that has ever governed our country,” what will happen when this dead-on-arrival shell of her former political self can’t accomplish on her best day, what George Bush could on his worst?

Sansky is a member of the Class of 2009.

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