Clinton's Needle Exchange Program

The Times mentions in passing today in its story on Clinton's new HIV/AIDS proposals that Hillary "also backs federal financing for needle exchange programs, as do Mr. Edwards and Mr. Obama."

That's a dramatic shift from her previous stance, and from her husband's, a move away from their trademark pragmatism and toward something a bit closer to liberal purity.

The changed position is worth pausing over because needle exchange was the subject of one of the campaign's most illuminating moments, during a New York City event at which an AIDS activist, Charlie King, pressed Clinton on her husband's rejection of recommendations that the federal government back needle exchange programs.

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