Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Did Hillary Move To The Left On Iraq?

Last night just after the debate ended Chris Matthews gushed that Hillary had clearly won. He claimed that she had moved both Obama and Edwards to her position on Iraq. I listened to that line and realized that I must not have been following the same Hillary Clinton as Chris. As I recall Hillary had the more hawkish view on Iraq. Obama and Edwards were for moving the troops out within a year.

I have to agree that all three candidates are now pretty much on the same page. All three want the troops to be substantially out within a year. They all agree that they will stop combat operations and move combat troops out quickly leaving only a residual force to handle security for the embassy and to hunt down al Qaeda operatives making mischief. Hillary might leave a few more troops than Obama. Edwards would base the quick reaction force in Kuwait. Nobody wants permanent bases (billions already squandered.) If what I heard is accurate Hillary is the person who has shifted her position and she has moved to the left. That move might have defused a real contrast between her and the others, but even though she did it with a flourish she is the one who has given way.

The following is from TPM. Apparently one of Josh's readers see things the same way Chris Matthews sees them.

TPM Reader HR says ... "Josh, TPM has been my first and most frequent stop for years, but I think you missed what happened last night. Clinton completely outflanked Obama on Iraq, moving the issue from one of past judgment to one of current leadership. She was also in general much more commanding and crisp. A clear win. See Arianna’s analysis, and she is no Clinton booster."
Like me Josh thought all three candidates did well but scored the debate a narrow win for Obama.

What do you think?