Last week Senator Clinton proposed a vote to reverse the authorization of the Iraq war, what many have called another effort to appeal to primary voters, who cannot see past what’s become one the soft spots of her candidacy–her refusal to admit her 2002 vote to authorize force in Iraq was wrong.
According to the New York Times,
“Mrs. Clinton’s proposal brings her full circle on Iraq — she supported the war measure five years ago — and it sharpens her own political positioning at a time when Democrats are vying to confront the White House….
Mostly, Mrs. Clinton appeared to be trying to claim a new leadership position among the Democratic presidential candidates against the war in Iraq. She supported the war early on, but she has turned into a staunch critic of the administration’s performance on Iraq. She has been saying that she granted Mr. Bush the authority to go to war based on intelligence reports at the time, but that the reports have since proved wrong.
Now, her advisers say, a vote to withdraw authorization would make plain to antiwar and liberal Democrats that she was repudiating her 2002 vote. The hope among her aides was that demands by antiwar voters for her to apologize for her vote would be rendered moot.
Mrs. Clinton’s vote for the original authorization has been a persistent problem in her presidential bid when contrasted with the positions of other Democratic contenders.
Former Senator John Edwards has repudiated his vote for the war. After Mr. Byrd and Mrs. Clinton announced their plan, Mr. Edwards quickly put out a statement urging Congress to focus on withdrawing troops and not revoking the 2002 authorization.
“Congress should stand its ground and not back down to him,” Mr. Edwards said. “They should send him the same bill he just vetoed, one that supports our troops, ends the war and brings them home.”
Mrs. Clinton pointedly noted that she voted in 2002 to put a one-year limit on Mr. Bush’s war authority, an effort led by Mr. Byrd that failed. Mr. Edwards had opposed that limit.
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, who was not in Congress at the time of the vote, cites his consistent opposition to the war. Mr. Obama issued a statement on Thursday evening indicating that he would support the effort by Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Byrd.
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, beating Mrs. Clinton to the punch, called on Congress on Tuesday to withdraw authorization and develop a schedule for the rapid withdrawal of troops.
In February, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, another presidential contender, also raised the prospect of rewriting the authorization to give American forces a much more limited role in Iraq, but that approach ran into resistance from Democrats who said it could be perceived as giving new authority for the war….”