Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has jettisoned her maiden name, “Rodham,” in her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. She’s now just plain “Hillary Clinton” in campaign press releases and on her Web site, Hearst Newspapers reported April 30.
The New York Democrat appeared surprised two weeks ago when asked about it, shaking her head and giggling, “I haven’t, I haven’t.” Her longtime communications adviser Howard Wolfson said, “There’s no plan behind it.”
Ninety-five percent of American women use their husband’s last name, according to Laurie Scheuble, a sociologist at Penn State University.
Mrs. Clinton is “doing the right thing politically to appeal to the most voters. She’s conforming to the social norm,” Ms. Scheuble said. When the Clintons moved into the White House in 1993 and the couple mapped an independent policy role on health care for Mrs. Clinton, she began to use “Hillary Rodham Clinton” — a moniker that she retained through eight years as first lady and in her two Senate campaigns in 2000 and 2006.