by Amanda Carpenter | March 23, 2007 9:51 am
In response to Lorie Byrd’s post below about it being “unfair” to criticize Hillary Clinton’s 2002 Iraq War vote, it’s important to looik at why the Billary Duo might be sensitive to this issue.
Since announcing she would seek the Democrat nomination for President in 2008, Hillary has been desperate for a way to appease the anti-war left and still maintain enough credibility on security issues to win a general election. Hillary announced her candidacy only five days after Sen. Barack Obama did in early January.
The progression Hillary made toward the anti-war base had been subtle, but after her campaign announcement it instantly accelerated hard left.
In a press conference as late as January 17, Hillary said she would not support a timetable to get out of Iraq. Seven days after her presidential announcement, on January 27, she demanded that President Bush “extricate the country before he leaves office.”
After that, she took her leftward march to Iowa. At a January 29 campaign stop in Des Moines Hillary said President Bush had “misused” her vote. Then, she marched left at the Democrat National Committee’s Winter Meeting on February 5. Standing alongside the other 2008 Democrat candidates she said, “If I had been president in 2002, I would not have started this war.”
The Clinton campaign may not be as jealous of Obama, as they are scared. Bill’s comments come shortly after an immensely popular anti-Hillary youtube video made the rounds on the internet that depicted Hillary as a 1984-like “Big Sister.” It was recently reveled a technology consultant who had been hired to advise Obama made the spot.
Although that video hit a nerve with the blogosphere, it’s Obama’s firm anti-war stance that threatens Hillary in a Democratic primary.
While Obama was making anti-war speeches in Chicago as a state senator, Hillary declared on the Senate floor before she cast her war vote that Saddam Hussein “has given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members…if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons…this much is undisputed.”
Obama has openly spoken against the Iraq War since its inception, beginning with an October 2002 speech he gave alongside Reverend Jesse Jackson. There, Obama suggested the war was a ploy to distract voters from domestic issues impacting minorities.
Standing in Chicago’s Federal Plaza Obama declared, “What I am opposed to is the attempt by potential hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty state, a drop in the medium income–to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone thorough the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I am opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war, a war based not on reason, but on passion, not on principle, but on politics.”
He went on to explain that “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undermined cost, with undetermined consequence of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequence. I know that an invasion of Iraq without clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al-Qaeda.”
While campaigning for the U.S. Senate in November 2003, he said if he was a senator he would not have voted for of the President’s $87.5 billion supplemental appropriations package for Iraq and Afghanistan. “I think it enables the Bush administration to continue on a flawed policy without being accountable to the American people or to the troops who are making sacrifices,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hillary was trying to take credit for progress that was being made in Iraq.
The Washington Times has her on the record saying that all the intelligence from the Clinton administration checked out with what the Bush administration had found.
In 2003 breakfast meeting with reporters she said she’d be happy to deliver a “thank you note” from President Bush to her husband for the work he did on this. We now know most of the intelligence was botched by Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet–a Clinton administration appointee that served both the Clinton and Bush White Houses. Tenet was the one who made the famous “slam-dunk” case to Bush as chronicled by Bob Woodward in Plan of Attack.
Bill Clinton’s explosive interview with FOX News’s Chris Wallace is a stong indicator of how defensive the Clinton camp it going to be on these issues.(Remember what set Bill off? The ABC “docudrama” The Path to 9//11)
Don’t expect Hillary to cave to the anti-war left on this. If she did, she’d be forced to own up to the first Clinton administration’s role in the run-up to the Iraq War.
Amanda B. Carpenter is Assistant Editor/Congressional Correspondent at Human Events and author of the Vast-Right Wing Conspiracy’s Dossier on Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of her articles here.
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