The incident took place 18 years ago, but the recycling should be more than a little embarrassing for Hillary, who makes the privacy of ordinary citizens a highlight of her campaign. Privacy is part of the debate over government surveillance of everybody in the war on terror. "It's rather unbelievable that [Hillary] Clinton would listen to a conversation being conducted by political opponents," says one Republican campaign consultant, "but refuse to allow our intelligence agencies to listen to conversations conducted by terrorists as they plot and plan to kill us."
But how will the war against terror, in all its different and complicated manifestations, play out over the long campaign? Will social issues trump foreign policy? Can Democrats successfully spin the humming economy as a negative to distract attention from the radical Islamist killers? Rudy Giuliani so far maintains his high poll numbers because voters trust him to be the toughest man in the terror war.
"Values voters" don't like his pro-choice abortion views. But two pro-life governors, Rick Perry of Texas and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, one sitting and one former, endorse him anyway. Gov. Perry, like many conservatives, is satisfied that he'll appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of Chief Justice John Roberts. "When I go to buy a pickup truck, if it has one option I'm not fond of, it doesn't mean I disregard that pickup truck."
Gary Bauer, an evangelical conservative activist, agrees. "I think a lot of evangelical voters see abortion as a moral issue," he told The Wall Street Journal, "but a lot of them also see defending Western civilization against this enemy as a moral issue." (I'll say.) Jews like the former mayor of New York for once evicting Yasser Arafat from a meeting of world leaders at Lincoln Center in New York City. These voters remember Hillary Clinton's famous embrace of Arafat's wife. So the days dwindle down, and between now and November there's lots of time for Rudy, Mitt, John, Mike and all the others to make mistakes to remember. Buyer and seller, be wary.