WASHINGTON -- At two forums on Tuesday -- sponsored by AFSCME and the progressive Campaign for America's Future -- Democratic White House rivals drew distinctions between their anti-Iraq war positions.
In a slap at Senate rivals, who just voted on a war funding bill, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said, "Too often we're looking at funding resolutions. Too often we're looking at timetables. What I would urge the Congress to do is press ahead with a major initiative to deauthorize the war."
Also at the forums:
• Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) avoided answering whether former vice presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby should be pardoned. Former President Bill Clinton was criticized for last-minute pardons he gave.
• At the union gathering, Clinton distanced herself from a signature accomplishment of President Clinton's first term, the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. "I think that like anything, NAFTA had some positive, but unfortunately, it had a lot of down side, and we know that."
• Sen. Barack Obama, essentially asked if he was a centrist or more in the tradition of liberal Hubert Humphrey, said, "I love Hubert Humphrey, but he didn't win the presidency, so I'm not going to be like that.''
• Civil rights leader Roger Wilkins -- whose wife is an Obama staffer --said while introducing Obama at the progressive event, "This man is black enough, I guarantee you."