Hillary's support does not always come from Hillary "supporters"

Hillary has always inspired as much devotion on the left as she has wild-eyed ranting/irrational hatred on the right. But her nearly-successful run for the Democratic presidential nomination brought her a new group of dedicated fans, as well as a cheering section that all but abandoned real support of her and her political views once the race was over.

For those people, some of whom adopted the acronym P.U.M.A. (or Party Unity My A** in response to calls by Democrats -- including Hillary -- to come together to elect Barack Obama), there is no president who could be better than Hillary, no vice presidential pick that wasn't a slight. Some of them would even call the secretary of state slot a "safe, expected place for a woman to be," in order to denigrate the selection of yet another woman for the position, even if that woman is Hillary Clinton.

For them, calling Barack Obama a feminist -- as this month's Ms. cover does -- is a slap in the face to everything they believe in, which, at this point, has little to do with the policies and principles for which Hillary has fought much of her political life. For many of these supposed supporters, their support for Hillary stopped being about Hillary or her political future many months ago. And as many of them are political neophytes, tomorrow's hearing will be about who abused their supposed idol or asked her too-tough questions or proved themselves to be sexist by asking her questions as though - gasp - she were any other nominee for the position.

The rest of her supporters, well, they'll be checking out her suit and her hair and listening to what she has to say about Gaza, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Darfur, Russia, Georgia, 3 AM phone calls and all the rest of it. And we'll be here tomorrow to help with that.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News

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