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Barack Obama, War Supporter?

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"Barack Obama, War Supporter?"

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Bill Clinton, apparently, is all upset that the media is giving Barack Obama a free pass on some allegedly pro-war comments he once made. If you read Obama’s actual July 2004 comments, however, he makes the following points:

  • Based on what he knew as of October 2002, he believed voting for the resolution was a bad idea (and he said so at the time).
  • Not having been in the Senate at the time, he couldn’t say what kind of additional information Senators had access to, and wouldn’t rule out the possibility that had he had different information at his disposal, he might have had a different opinion.
  • But, he thought at the time that members of congress were doing an insufficiently good job of scrutinizing the Bush administration’s intelligence claims.

Note that this came in the context of a reporter apparently trying to goad Obama into criticizing John Kerry and John Edwards who, at the time, were running for president against George W. Bush. This sounds to me a lot like an anti-war Senate candidate trying to avoid starting some beef with his party’s presidential ticket and not at all like Barack Obama expressing support for the war. Frankly, I think the Clinton camp needs to make up its mind about which argument it’s trying to make about the war. I feel like a little while back they were trying to convince me that we shouldn’t like Obama more on Iraq because Clinton, too, was against the war. Now they want me to believe that I shouldn’t like Obama because he, too, was for the war. But the record is pretty clear — she was for it; he was against it.

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