Friday, May 4, 2007

Clinton Makes Her Stand on the War?

According to the Associated Press, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wants another showdown with Bush.

After Bush's veto of a funding bill that would have also set a date to begin removing US troops from Iraq, Sen. Clinton is leading a new effort to reconsider congressional authorization for the war.

According to the AP, Sens. Clinton and Robert Byrd (D-WV) are planning to introduce legislation that would require the president gain new authorization from Congress to continue military operations in Iraq beyond October 2007.

"If the president will not bring himself to accept reality, it is time for Congress to bring reality to him," Clinton said on the Senate floor.

Clinton voted to authorize the war in 2002, but also supported a failed amendment to the original Iraq war authorization legislation that would have set a one-year timetable on that authorization.

According to AP, support for such a move might have bipartisan backing. Republican Sen. John Warner (VA) has also hinted at support for a reauthorization vote.

Is Sen. Clinton feeling the heat from Democratic voters about her position on the Iraq war? I think so.

Sen.Clinton has been outspoken about her desire to see the war end. She has promised that if elected she would end it. She supported the Iraq Accountability Act, which would have begun to pull out troops by October.

But, she has hinted that if elected she would commit to only a slow redeployment that could keep troops in Iraq for years. She has also hinted at other times that battling with Bush on ending the war is fruitless and that waiting is better.

Her specific ideas, when stated, have yet to really move the nearly unanimous Democratic voters who say that Bush's current course in Iraq is a disaster, or even the 3 out of 4 independent voters with similar views (

Next to other Democratic candidates like Obama, Edwards, Richardson, and Kucinich her anti-war "cred" is somewhat thin.

If this new initiative of hers gathers momentum the way the Iraq Accountability Act did, she may be able to mend her fences.

The other candidates, especially those in Congress, should avoid using competition for the nomination as a barrier to making progress on bringing the war to an end. In fact, I'd like to see them get together in a photo op and project a united position on how to end the war in this session of Congress.

Set aside differences for a time and unite the people around the idea of Democratic presidency with a real strategy for ending the war.

Fight later.

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