Hard Line Hillary

No less authority than the Washington Times reports today that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is “more conservative than President Bush” on immigration.

This analysis is encumbered by few actual details of where she stands, but it does have this quote, apparently from a 2003 WABC Radio interview with John Gambling:

“I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.”

If the Times has this right — and that’s always a big if — this is a model of, well, Clintonian positioning. It’s something we’ve been seeing for a while from New York’s ambitious junior Senator. And there does seem to be some conservative buzz to support the argument.

The Times quotes from a piece on the conservative website NewsMax.com.

“More than any other leader of either political party, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton has been focusing on immigration reform and border security — taking hard-line positions that appeal to frustrated Republicans in a move that could guarantee her enough support in red states to win the White House in 2008.” (The full NewsMax piece, I hate to admit, is worth reading.)

The Times also has a spokesman for Rep. Tom Tancredo, leader of the immigration-restriction crowd, saying mildly positive things about Clinton.