Paul Kengor, author of God and Hillary Clinton: A Spiritual Life, has been defending the senator's faith as genuine in a way that he has done with other presidents whose spirituality has been questioned. His portrayal of her, from what I can tell, is as if she's like evangelicals in a lot of ways. So it's revealing when he would say the following:
I don’t know of any politician who is more uncompromising and extreme on abortion rights than Hillary Clinton. I know this well and don’t state it with anger or hyperbole. Her extremism on abortion rights was the single most shocking, inexplicable find in my research on her faith and politics. I couldn’t understand it. No question. It is truly extraordinary. Nothing, no political issue, impassions her like abortion rights. For Mrs. Clinton, abortion-rights is sacred ground.
By the way, speaking of Catholics, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II saw this abortion extremism in Hillary, and both confronted her on it repeatedly, especially Mother Teresa, right up until the day she died. I have a chapter on this in the book. It’s a gripping story. [hat tip: Justin Taylor]
A lot of people like to describe Hillary Clinton as an opportunist who will say anything to get votes, as having no principles whatsoever except whatever she thinks popular opinion will go along with. I suppose that's possible on some issues, perhaps even some important ones, but it's surely not true with abortion. She's got a very committed view, and if Paul Kengor, who thinks she sounds like most evangelicals when she talks about her faith, can say this about her, then I think it's got to be a pretty deep-seated conviction of hers. But it does undermine any sense in which she could sound remotely like an evangelical, at least on this key issue for many evangelicals.
It's hard to resist comparing Rudy Giuliani, who simply doesn't care about the issue enough to do much either way (as evidenced by his de facto inactivity on the issue as mayor) or to bother having a coherent view (as evidenced by his difficult-to-reconcile statements throughout this campaign). Those who think those two are equivalent on this issue don't seem to me to understand this crucial difference.