Here comes the 2008 presidential cycle, and on cue, Associated Press reporters are finding "centrists" in the race whose voting records are NOT a 50-50 mishmash of conservative and liberal. This cycle's "centrist" contenders are Hillary Clinton (actually strongly, staunchly liberal) and Evan Bayh (liberal most of the time.)
AP reporter Beth Fouhy stressed that Hillary Clinton won "even the most conservative areas of her adopted home state of New York," but there are drawbacks: "Despite her centrist six-year Senate voting record, Clinton's reputation remains deeply rooted in her polarizing eight years as first lady. Skeptics say she may still be too liberal for many voters, who recall her husband's scandal-plagued presidency and her own audacious effort to reform the nation's health care system."
AP does the same for Senator Evan Bayh: "The 50-year-old senator has charted a centrist's course throughout his political career, including two terms as governor and eight years in the Senate."
But the American Conservative Union's voting index doesn't match these assessments. Senator Bayh's lifetime ACU rating is 21 percent conservative, so he votes the liberal position about four of every five Senate votes they've counted. Hillary Clinton has a lifetime ACU rating of nine percent, or 91 percent liberal. In 2005, Bayh was a 20. Hillary was a 12.
Or consult Americans with Democratic Action, the liberal vote-counters. Did they find Evan and Hillary in the center? On their 2005 tally, Hillary Clinton is one of 22 "Senate Heroes" who scored a perfect 100 percent with the liberal group. Evan Bayh scored a less-than-centrist 95.
We've been here before. The Washington Post painted the same inaccurate picture in 2005.