Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced at the debut of her presidential bid that she wanted a "conversation" with voters. On Saturday she posted her first web "Hillcast," which is supposed to be a weekly feature. The highlight--a Clinton plan to start a phased redeployment in Iraq in 90 days. It's a bid to shift the conversation from her vote to authorize the Iraq war on to getting troops home. And it denies Sen. Barack Obama the ability to raise questions about Clinton's support for a redeployment.
For the story and the back story on this, click below.
Last week, Obama in New Hampshire said Clinton was not in favor of a phased redeplyment.
Clinton introduced a get-out-of-Iraq bill on Friday with several elements she has already discussed, such as putting a cap on troop levels based on the Jan. 1 numbers and ending sending a "blank check" to non-performing Iraqi officials.
Here's the surprise: the call for a pullout starting in three months. Obama, Clinton and several other senators now have Iraq bills pending. No presidential candidate is going to get a signature bill out of the chamber.
Clinton, in her "Hillcast: said, "We need a phased redeployment. I've been pushing for this for almost two years."
(blogger Sweet note..that line is aimed at the Obama camp.)
"Now its time to say the redeployment should start in 90 days or the Congress should revoke authorization for this war."
this from my Feb. 14 column....
Hillary Clinton's campaign jabbed chief 2008 White House rival Barack Obama on Tuesday, accusing him of misstating her position favoring a phased redeployment of U.S. troops in Iraq.
"We are not going to allow Sen. Clinton's positions to be misrepresented," said Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson as the campaign produced a memo providing seven public statements or votes the New York senator has made in favor of phasing in plans to draw down troop levels.
The Obama campaign did not back down.
The Democratic primary campaign is starting early and heating up as Obama and Clinton seek to define themselves and quickly push back. Obama said at a Sunday press conference in Iowa that he will have his campaign "know" the records of his rivals "so we can compare and contrast.
At issue is Clinton's strong retort to a statement Obama made to reporters while he was campaigning on Monday in New Hampshire.
Iraq is the defining issue at this opening stage of the 2008 presidential campaign and Clinton has had to defend the vote she made authorizing the war. Five of the eight senators running for president are proposing measures to use the authority of Congress to curb President Bush's ability to send more soldiers to Iraq.
Obama was asked if there was a "substantial difference" between his current approach to Iraq and Clinton's current approach on Iraq.
"I think the difference is -- and now again, I don't want to speak for her or her bill -- my understanding is that she calls for a cap on troop levels but does not begin a phased redeployment," Obama said.