Hillary vs. Rudy

Quite a few candidates have filed with the FEC, formed exploratory committees, or expressed serious interest in being the next president of the United States. Early polls show Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani leading their respective parties.

Of interest, both are commonly known by their first names. Is it a sign of these informal times? Or could Hillary be distancing herself from the Clinton name and the troubling memories of her husband? Is Rudy simply the easier name for those of us who seem to have problems spelling (or even pronouncing) “Giuliani”? Or, like Madonna, Cher, and Britney, have Hillary and Rudy as larger-than-life celebrities transcended the need for more than a single name?

I think all of these are at least partially correct. I also think it bodes well for the election that name recognition is a given and the voters can focus on more substantive issues. That is, assuming that Mike Gravel and Michael Smith don’t win in the primaries.

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