Obama, Clinton and the Vote for Funding
by Jerome Armstrong, Wed May 23, 2007 at 08:31:31 PM EDT
The biggest question is whether Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama vote for or against the supplemental funding of the war. I would bet that, in the end, both of them vote against it. Neither of them can afford to let John Edwards (or Chris Dodd for that matter) be the candidates that would end the war now. But especially Obama, as that's a big part of his brand, his credibility and his campaign.
To date, Obama and Clinton have voted identically on supporting the war. Just last month, Obama framed the debate over cutting off funding as one over the troops and "night vision goggles and armored Humvees and other equipment they need," including the mistaken claim that "the vast majority of Democrats" are not interested in cutting funding.
A week later, poll numbers came out showing the exact opposite of what Obama stated. That, in fact, a vast majority of Democrats want to cut funding for the war, the Independents are split on the issue, and even 20% of the Republicans want to end funding of the war.
Notwithstanding Obama's defending his past votes in favor of Iraq funding in March, and even Clinton and Obama's vote in favor of Republican Senator Gregg's Iraq resolution, which argues that Congress has a constitutional duty to fully fund troops during wartime; even with that, if Obama doesn't vote against the funding I'll be shocked, Clinton too.
I really like the Obama of 2003:
I don't really like the Obama of March, 2007:
Obama will change his position, and in fact, he has an easy out. Bush veto'd the congressional decision, and that changed the whole equation. If Bush is going to say 'no compromise' then the war is no longer going to be funded.
Remember in 2003, when the Senate members, running against Dean while his campaign gained momentum, voted against the funding resolutions? Edwards was the first then, even ahead of Dean, in saying no more funding. It was in large part what equalized the Iraq issue in Iowa for Kerry and Edwards--Dean no longer had the high ground.
There's even less support for the war now in the Democratic Party. Obama wants to win the Democratic nomination and is not going to let Edwards or Dodd grab the ball and be the voice/vote ending the war. Maybe, in voting against any further funding, Obama will get his 2002-03 voice back too-- that would be a good thing.