Saturday, February 24, 2007

One Week

There will be many fundraising appeals in the next year. This is the first time the Presidential campaign is asking for money, and it's up against KEXP and KCTS asking for cash. But anyway, here's Bill from an email a couple of days ago:

Am I enthusiastic about my wife's campaign for president? You bet I am. I know her better than anybody on earth, and she's got the best combination of mind and heart of everybody I've ever known.

All across the country, Hillary is campaigning with the signature wisdom, grace, and humor that make her a great candidate. I know that if we all work hard enough, those same traits will make her an even better president.

You and I know something about waging and winning presidential campaigns.

Winning the White House takes persistence, energy and effort -- not just from the candidate, but from a massive network of grassroots supporters.

Hillary's campaign is off to a great start. And this week, we're going to help take it to another level. Our goal: to demonstrate the range and breadth of Hillary's support by raising one million dollars in grassroots donations in a week's time.

Will you help me get our "One Week, One Million" campaign off to a powerful start?

Click to donate:

Look, with Republicans using everything in their arsenal to stop her campaign, Hillary is going to need every one of us to do everything that we can for her.

During eight years in the White House, Hillary and I faced a constant barrage of attacks from Washington Republicans. No insult was off-limits. No tactic was too low. They threw everything they could at us -- but we beat them time and time again.

The attacks on Hillary haven't stopped, and she hasn't stopped winning. You know how they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Well, Hillary is as strong as they come.

Let's make this a week when we demonstrate that her campaign is strong, too. Strong enough to sustain Hillary's run for the presidency through thick and thin. Strong enough to win.

Click to donate:

I can't wait to join Hillary on the campaign trail and talk to people about what a great president she's going to be. She is a tireless fighter and a brilliant born leader, and I have no doubt the American people will make her our first woman president.

Over the next week, you'll hear from some other friends and admirers of Hillary. I hope you'll join them in making our One Week, One Million campaign a success. But, most importantly, I hope you'll act right now to get this dramatic display of grassroots support off the ground with a big outpouring for Hillary on the first day.

Click to donate:

Thank you so much for your support. Hillary and I couldn't do it without you.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Western Issues

I'm not sure what the issues we have here are, but it's good to see Hillary come West to address them.

The biggest single issue for our way of life is probably global warming. What with our dependence on the snow pack and keeping those tropical diseases confined to the tropics. Here she is addressing that pretty well:

Monday, February 19, 2007

Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act

From an email today:

Right now, there isn't one of us who isn't thinking about Iraq. That's why I went there recently: to meet with the commanders on the ground, to talk with Iraqi leaders, and to speak to the men and women who are fighting this war so heroically.

I came back even more determined to stop the president's escalation of troops into Iraq and to start the redeployment of troops out of Iraq. So I outlined a plan, and on Friday, I introduced it to Congress as the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act.

My plan accomplishes a number of goals. It stops the president's escalation. It protects our troops by making sure they aren't sent to Iraq without all of the equipment and training they need. It puts an end to the blank check for the Iraqi government. It calls for an international conference to bring other countries together to help forge a stable future for Iraq. Finally, my plan would begin a phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq. I've been pushing for this for almost two years.

For more details about my plan, please watch Friday's HillCast, the first of what I hope will be a regular series of web broadcasts:

The Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act is a roadmap out of Iraq. I hope the president takes this road. If he does, he should be able to end the war before he leaves office. But let's not kid ourselves. From everything we've seen, this president is going down a very different path. He's fighting to escalate the war, not to end it.

I know we're at the start of a presidential campaign, but I think all Democrats should be focused on working together to push the president to change course. We have to end this war in a smart way, not a Republican or a Democratic way, but a way that makes us safer and gets our troops home as soon as possible. That's what I'll be fighting for.

But let me be clear, if George Bush doesn't end this war before he leaves office, when I'm president, I will.

Please watch the HillCast for more details of my plan:

Friday, February 16, 2007

How is this Even Possible?

Why on earth could this possibly have been left undone by the last Congress? Maybe it just slipped their mind what with all the honoring MVP's, re-naming post offices, and supporting National Passport Month.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that she will propose legislation to help single parents who are killed in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere to establish a guardian as recipient of their death benefit. Under her legislation, single parents will have greater flexibility to provide the death benefit to the person who will be the guardian of their minor child in the tragic case of their death. The legislation would allow single parents to designate the custodial guardian of the minor child to receive those benefits.

"I have long championed increased resources for grandparents, many of them retired, who are faced with unnecessary financial hardships while raising their children's children without access to financial assistance", said Senator Clinton. "This bill reflects the realities that the toll of this war is taking on American military families. Single parents are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ability for grandparents or other designated guardians to care for surviving children is limited and creating unnecessary hardships."

The legislation will also require mandatory counseling during pre-deployment activities specifically tailored to provide information about wills, trusts, and life insurance options so they are fully informed about the financial decisions they are making on behalf of their families.

Currently, nearly two and half million grandparents are raising their grandchildren nationwide. Senator Clinton, along with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), has introduced the The Kinship Caregiver Support Act to support such families. Today, they are reintroducing their legislation for the 110th Congress.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Senator Clinton's speech on Iran today:

Mr. President, at this moment of challenge for our nation, the vantage point of this august chamber, we look onto a world filled with danger, deeply complex threats against our troops and our national interests abroad, and genuine risks to our security here at home. Keeping our nation strong and our people safe requires that we employ the best and smartest strategies available.

In confronting enemies and threats, we are fortunate to possess a great many assets, all of which we must wisely deploy, including our military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural assets. Our strongest asset remains the democracy that we are privileged to take part in as members of the Senate and as representatives of our constituents. Our democratic institutions, under our Constitution, balance one another and check against excesses and concentrations of power that help us wrestle with difficult challenges in an open and forthright way. This constitutional framework is not an obstacle to pursuing our national security, but the example that we should project to the world. Our democracy, with its tradition of accountable power and open debate, is America at its best. And that's what we need, America at our best, as we deliberately and resolutely confront the threat posed by the Iranian regime.

Now, make no mistake, Iran poses a threat to our allies and our interests in the region and beyond, including the United States. The Iranian president has held a conference denying the Holocaust and has issued bellicose statement after bellicose statement calling for Israel and the United States to be wiped off the map. His statements are even more disturbing and urgent when viewed in the context of the regime's quest to acquire nuclear weapons. The regime also uses its influence and resources in the region to support terrorist elements that attack Israel. Hezbollah's attack on Israel this summer, using Iranian weapons, clearly demonstrates Iran's malevolent influence even beyond its borders. We also have evidence, although it is by no means conclusive, of attacks using Iranian-supplied or manufactured weaponry against our own American soldiers. As I have long said and will continue to say, U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I've also said for a long time, no option can be taken off the table.

But America must proceed deliberately and wisely, and we must proceed as a unified nation. The smartest and strongest policy will be one forged through the institutions of our democracy. That is the genius of our American system and our constitutional duty. We have witnessed these past six years-- until the most recent election of a new Congress by the American people-- the cost of congressional dereliction of its oversight duty, a vital role entrusted to Congress by our constituents, enshrined in, and even required by our Constitution. So we are here today because the price that has been paid in blood and treasure; through the rush to war in Iraq and the incompetence of its execution and managing the aftermath; in the excesses of military contracting abuses and the inadequate supply of body armor and armored vehicles on the ground have led to a loss of confidence among our allies and the American people in this Administration. Therefore, Mr. President, we cannot and we must not allow recent history to repeat itself.

We continue to experience the consequences of unchecked Presidential action. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, but this President was allowed, for too long, to commit blunder after blunder under cover of darkness provided by an allied Republican Congress.

In dealing with the threats posed by the Iranian regime, which has gained its expanding influence in Iraq and the region as a result of the Administration's policies, President Bush must not be allowed to act without the authority and oversight of Congress. It would be a mistake of historical proportion if the Administration thought that the 2002 resolution authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check for the use of force against Iran without further Congressional authorization. Nor should the President think that the 2001 resolution authorizing force after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in any way, authorizes force against Iran. If the Administration believes that any, any use of force against Iran is necessary, the President must come to Congress to seek that authority.

I am deeply concerned by the recent statements coming out of the Bush Administration. The Administration has asserted evidence of the Iranian regime's complicity, at the highest levels, for attacks within Iraq. Yet at the same time, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, questions these as assertions, in particular, the capability and intentions of the Iranian government. In this delicate situation, while making disturbing comments, [there are reports that the Administration] is sending a third aircraft carrier to the Gulf.

The President owes an on-going consultation to this Congress and owes straight talk to the country. We have to get this right. The Congress should debate our current course, including the current silent-treatment policy toward our adversaries. I believe we can better understand how to deal with an adversary such as Iran if we have some direct contact with them. I think that can give us valuable information and better leverage to hold over the Iranian regime. And if we ever must, with Congressional agreement, take drastic action, we should make clear to the world that we have exhausted every other possibility.

I welcome the agreement announced yesterday between the United States and North Korea. It demonstrates the central value of using every tool in our arsenal to achieve our objectives. I only wish the Administration had pursued this course six years ago when an agreement with North Korea was within reach. The wasted time has allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons in the interim. Failure to use diplomacy has damaged our national security interests. The important step forward our country has made with North Korea raises the obvious question: Why will the President refuse to have any kind of process involving Iran as I and others have urged? The United States engaged in talks with North Korea within a multilateral process, but also had ongoing bilateral discussions. We should have such a process of direct engagement with Iran, as recommended by many, including the Iraq Study Group. We need friends and allies to stand with us in this long war against terrorism and extremism, and to contain and alter the regimes that harbor and support those who would harm us. During the cold war, we spoke to the Soviet Union while thousands of missiles were pointed at our cities, while its leaders threatened to bury us, while the regime sewed discord and military uprisings and actions against us and our allies. That was a smart strategy used by Republican and Democratic Presidents alike, even though it was often a difficult one.

As we discuss potential evidence of Iranian complicity in supplying arms to insurgents, along with the refusal to suspend their nuclear ambitions, we need to deliver a strong message to Iran that we will not stand by and tolerate this behavior. However, we need to deliver that message forcefully through direct talks. The lives of American soldiers are at risk and we should not outsource our discussions with the Iranians on this and other issues. When I say no option should be taken off the table, I include diplomacy.

Currently, our intelligence on Iran is of uncertain quality. We need to examine the facts closely and carefully. No action can or should be taken without explicit Congressional authorization. And knowing what we know now, this body needs a steady stream of real, verifiable intelligence. We, in the Congress, cannot do our part in deciding what needs to be done if we do not know what is happening. And it does not appear that the administration has any real grasp on the facts on the ground, even after all these years. The public unclassified sections of the NIE report recently issued, made it very clear in their conclusions that sectarian violence would still exist in Iraq absent Iran.

So we have a lot to sort out here. We have all learned lessons from the conflict in Iraq, and we have to apply those lessons to any allegations that are being raised about Iran. Because, Mr. President, what we are hearing has too familiar a ring and we must be on guard that we never again make decisions on the basis of intelligence that turns out to be faulty. If we find evidence of potential Iranian complicity, we will take appropriate action, but that requires a partnership to defend and protect America's national security interests between the Congress and the President.

Oversight will also lead to a consensus approach that brings together the best judgments and strategies of our nation and will examine the consequences of action, the reality of any perceived or alleged threat, and the consequences of taking action. I sometimes fear that the word "consequence" has been taken out of the vocabulary of this Administration. We have to look over the horizon. We have to make hard choices among difficult options.

So, Mr. President, there are no easy answers to the complex situations we confront in the world today, but if we do face threats, then Congressional consultation and authorization will bring the American people into the debate. Whatever steps, if any, may be required should be taken by our nation, not just by our President. We must act as Americans, not as members of one party or another. Our nation has been divided by a failed policy and the relentless pursuit of it. We are facing that again with the escalation policy that the President is pursuing today.

Mr. President, if we face up to our constitutional responsibilities as the Congress, if we conduct the oversight that is required, if we exercise our checks and balances, then we are likely to reach a better conclusion than we have thus far. We must be tough and smart, deliberative and wise, and we must look at all of our assets, not just the brave men and women who wear the uniform of our country to implement the best policy. We should start by employing our best values, the democratic values that give strength to our nation and our cause, and that serve as an example and beacon to people who wish to live in peace and freedom and prosperity around the world.
If I hadn't done one yesterday, and if I didn't have other things to do, I'd make this an action item, but if you want, it's always a good idea to write a letter to the editor.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Action Item #3 Write your Representative

A recent article in The Hill is talking about who has endorsed what candidates (.pdf) (H/T). While Senator Clinton has the most of any Democrats, it's pretty early, and most people who will endorse haven't. So I'm asking you to write your Representative and ask them to endorse Hillary Clinton(people in the 8th district and Eastern Washingtonians, fear not, there will be action items for you). Find them here. Here's my letter:

I'm writing you to encourage you to support Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Presidency. While we have a strong field of candidates, and we can be proud to nominate any of them, Hillary Clinton is a cut above the rest:

She has been a leader on issues from choice, to health care, to workers' rights. She will bring that same energy and passion to both a grueling campaign and to the White House. She will, in the end make an excellent candidate and an excellent president.

Also, her plan for capping the number of troops in Iraq and for cutting off funds to the Iraqis if they don't live up to their expectations is a very important step to take to ending the war. Please support it in any way possible.

Thank you for your time,

Stephen Phillips
Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton

Monday, February 12, 2007

Slow Week

Hillary Clinton is still drawing crowds in New Hampshire. Blah blah blah. But I did like the Hillary parts of this article by Garrison Keillor.

Senator Clinton is speaking in that voice and her poise and intelligence stand out in the field of candidates. She’s had so much experience in the limelight that she’s no longer enchanted by it. All of the articles about Whether America Is Ready To Elect A Woman have been written, and now we can move on and look at real issues. We need to figure out how to accommodate the millions of good folks who are here illegally and have become a part of our social fabric. Medicare should be extended to cover everybody. Our infrastructure and industrial base need rebuilding.

One of Hillary Clinton’s visible assets is the army of enemies she has accumulated, the carpet-chewers of AM radio and the right-wing trolls who go berserk in their webby caverns whenever madame comes trotting over the bridge. One could not hope for better enemies. It is like playing softball against drunks. They illustrate everything about Republican dominion that the country has come to loathe, the blithering arrogance, the cynicism and corruption, and this wretched war that drags on and on.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This And That

* Hillary is drawing record crowds in New Hampshire.

* Clinton introduces the "Student Borrower Bill of Rights"

"There are too many students in New York State and across the country that are overly burdened with loan payments or treated unfairly as they repay student loans. This bill makes it easier for students to repay their loans by putting in place a basic set of rights, including the right to borrow without exploitation and the right to real loan choices," said Senator Clinton.

Students are borrowing now more than ever to pay for higher education. Today two-thirds of college graduates face loan repayments. At the same time, college costs continue to grow and need-based grant aid remains idle. Over the past decade, the average debt burden for college graduates has increased 58 percent, after accounting for inflation. And today, the average borrower graduating from a public four- year institution owes $15,500, while one in ten students owe $33,000 or more. The Student Borrower Bill of Rights will make it easier for students to repay loans by giving borrowers rights that are enforceable. Often, too many students see their costs go up after they think they've already budgeted for what they can pay. The bill provides borrowers the right to fair, monthly payments that do not exceed a certain percentage of their incomes as well as fair interest rates and fees.

When student loans are burdensome, borrowers may avoid important but low-paying professions, such as public health workers, social workers, and teachers. The burden of student loans also prevents college graduates from pursuing a higher degree. According to studies by the Nellie Mae Corporation, 40 percent of college graduates who do not go to graduate school, blame student loan debt. The prospect that student loans will be a great burden may also prevent successful high school students from going to college. Twenty percent of low-income high school graduates qualified for college, do not go to college. Senator Clinton has worked tirelessly to provide accessible and affordable education to all students. During the 109th Congress, two provisions from the Student Borrower Bill of Rights were enacted into law. These provisions enable borrowers to choose lenders with acceptable income-sensitive repayment terms when consolidating student loans.

* Hillary on Big Eddie Schultz's show.

* A great floor speech Iraq. It's pretty long, but it's important.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

This And That

* Erica C. Barnett has a great post up on the "schizophrenic" coverage of women in politics, especially Clinton. Barnett is an Edwards supporter, but less so in the last few days. And worth reading anyway (although from the date stamp you can see she is not a daily read for me, except on Slog).

* I think this story overplays the differences in styles between Obama and Clinton. After all, Obama hit back pretty well with the Islamic school nonsense. But I do want someone who's willing to give back as hard as the Republicans are going to throw and then some:

“When you’re attacked, you have to deck your opponents,” she said to cheers from Iowa Democrats. “I want to run a positive, issue-oriented, visionary campaign. But you can count on me to stand my ground and fight back.”

No stranger to bare-knuckle politics, Clinton knows how to win, and her style would perpetuate the kind of politics the country has enjoyed - or endured - for more than a decade.

* I'm not sure exactly what to make of this article, but I am happy with how it ended:

Still, in all fairness to Hillary, her voting record on traditionally Democratic issues like civil rights and public education is undoubtedly liberal - it's on 'Republican' issues like foreign policy that she's more centrist. And though I may not like it, it's a politically realistic way to deal with a major challenge of being a female candidate for President - how to appear tough enough to be Commander in Chief without sacrificing one's womanliness. It's not easy, especially in today's machismo-driven political climate.

And Hillary of all people knows the power of presentation; after all the time she spent on irreproachably worthy causes, her highest approval ratings resulted not from her years of work at the Children's Defense Fund but from the sympathy that accrued in the wake of her husband's affair. For much of her term as first lady, the oft-changing hair covering her head got more attention than the unfaltering brain inside it. The impact of the years of personal scrutiny is reflected in her campaign website, which features pictures of baby Hillary and Mom Hillary alongside articles entitled 'Senator Soothing: Hillary Clinton can be Warm, Casual.'

When a 21-year-old Hillary Rodham made her commencement address to the Wellesley Class of '69, she said 'we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap.' I may not be thrilled about some of her more blatant political maneuvering, but I do believe that the idealistic Hillary - the Hillary who did her thesis on children's rights and criticized the Taliban's treatment of Afghani women before anyone else cared about Afghanistan - is still alive and kicking. She's just got to prove it to the rest of the country.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

House Keeping

This blog is now Washingtonians for Hillary because there is a Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton. And even though this one was first, and it makes sense with the URL. The King County party has Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton and I'm already the first link on Google for "Washingtonians for Hillary" in quotes. So that's something. Also, if the electing Hillary Clinton as president thing fails, I can be for Edmund Hillary.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Remember when Clinton hadn't visited Iowa in more than 3 years and Edwards had practically taken up residence there and he was slightly ahead in the polls? Well, it's funny how things can change isn't it? Lots of things can happen in the next year, God knows. Still, it's nice to see her on top.

Mrs Clinton commands the support of 35% of voters who say they are likely to attend the Iowa caucuses, according to a poll conducted by the American Research Group. Former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards, who had been in pole position on other early polls, was second with just 18%.

Previous polls in Iowa had put the former First Lady in fourth place, behind Mr Edwards, Senator Barack Obama and Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.

In New Hampshire, which holds the first primary next year, Mrs Clinton leads Mr Obama 39%-19%.

Both surveys were conducted after Mrs Clinton made high-profile visits to Iowa and New Hampshire to kick-off her campaign. Though it is nearly a year before the first real votes will be cast, these early polls are important for Mrs Clinton's ability to present herself as the candidate whose eventual triumph is "inevitable".
I don't think anything is inevitable with a year of campaigning but it's good to see. It's another reminder that the more people see Hillary Clinton the more they like her.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The People Who Know Them Best

It's interesting to see people so surprised that Hillary Clinton is "trouncing Rudy" Giuliani in a head to head in New York. In 2000, she was ready to beat him in a head to head Senate race until he got cancer, and dropped out. Since then, the people of New York have had a chance to see what a good Senator she's been. And one or two things has come out about Giuliani.

What people have seen is a good solid liberal. Someone who works for the interest of up and down state New York. Someone who's comfortable in the minutia of farm subsidies and of the Federal response to 9/11. They've seen someone who has genuinely made their lives better.

New Yorkers (and the rest of the country) are sick of divisive Republicans who can't or won't do anything for ordinary people. They know both candidates quite well, and when the rest of the country gets a look, I suspect we'll see similar numbers everywhere.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

This And That

* James Wolcott has an interesting post on how the media are treating women involved in this presidential race (Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards). This part of a superbly long paragraph about Dowd is wonderful:

What's strange about the anti-Hillary hostility is how it glosses over the fact that Mrs. Clinton has not only been elected Senator of NY, she's been reelected handsomely; MoDo stills writes about her as if she were a presumptuous, calculating upstart who just popped out of her husband's shadow rather than a politician who's proven herself a powerful vote-getter twice (and a capable officeholder). She writes as if Hillary's omnipresence were a personal affront. As Tom Watson notes, Chris Matthews's antagonism towards Hillary is even worse--it's evolved into a separate branch of pathology. I know it's rough on Chris and MoDo and Mike Barnicle and Imus and the rest, but the sad truth is that we're not going back to the prefeminist suburban paradiso when Daddy was the sole breadwinner and Julie London made sultry music on the hi-fi and a pot roast was forever being warmed in the oven by a wife waiting all day for her Galahad to pull into the driveway--what Matthews half-jestingly considers the good old days.

* Clinton on CHIP funding:

It is unconscionable that the President’s answer to our health care crisis is to cut the already strained health care safety net for our most vulnerable. The President’s plan to cut funding to states for the Children’s Health Insurance program and slash tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid is more evidence of the President’s misplaced priorities. These cuts would take us backward and only magnify our health care challenge. We need to move forward and make health care more affordable and accessible for seniors, families struggling to make ends meet and the millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans. We face a real challenge on health care that we must confront head on. This is exactly the wrong approach. I will work to stop this short-sighted scheme and instead put us on the path to making quality, affordable health care accessible to all Americans

* And on the recent U.N. report on climate change.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

This 'n' That

* Mitt Romney doesn't think Hillary Clinton would go to war with Iran, and that that's a bad thing. That makes Hillary sane and Mitt a jerk.

* The video of the Winter Meeting of the DNC.

* Speaking of the Winter Meeting, my sister was there and although she isn't supporting Hillary, she said that she liked the speech. And she may have a full report up here (even though she's also not a Washingtonian).

* An interesting article in Newsweek on Clinton's faith if you can ignore the stupid in the first couple paragraphs.

Friday, February 2, 2007

I Would Hope So

Hillary Clinton said that she would end the war if she was president. This is obviously something that can and should be said about any Democrat running for president. And frankly, it probably isn't enough just to say this far out. I'd hope that all of the candidates have more specifics about how to get out in the coming year, and anybody who doesn't isn't getting past the primaries.

I'm not sure who "core Democrats" are that the article mentions. There are plenty of people in the party who don't support her because of her vote on the war or some other thing. And that's fine, we're having a great debate in this country, and people will chose their candidate based on a verity of things.

Still there are people like me who disagreed with the vote, but still support her in part because we think that she'd do a good job of getting us out, as well as the fact that she's been a great Senator on most things that Democrats care about, and lead on import issues like choice and labor issues, and on the war more recently. There are also plenty of "core Democrats" who supported the war, or at least the resolution, and who like Clinton have changed their minds since then because of Bush's lying and the execution of the war itself.

I also think that the difference between the authorization and being pro-war are important. I don't want to let her off the hook for a vote that I don't think she should have made, but here's what she was saying about it at the time:

I also greatly respect the differing opinions within this body. The debate they engender will aid our search for a wise, effective policy. Therefore, on no account should dissent be discouraged or disparaged. It is central to our freedom and to our progress, for on more than one occasion, history has proven our great dissenters to be right. [...]

Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform.

This view has appeal to some, because it would assure disarmament; because it would right old wrongs after our abandonment of the Shiites and Kurds in 1991, and our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980's when he was using chemical weapons and terrorizing his people; and because it would give the Iraqi people a chance to build a future in freedom.

However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?

So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option. [...]

President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction.

Again, I disagree with the vote she took, and she probably shouldn't have trusted President Bush to do the right thing. None the less, getting into this war in the first place wasn't her idea.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Hair and Clothes

See if you can spot the silly in these two paragraphs:

“There will be more stories about my clothes and hair than some of the people running against me,” she said.

“I’m going to be asking people to vote for me based on my entire life and experience,” said Mrs. Clinton, who walked around a stage surrounded by people, with a microphone affixed to the lapel of her pantsuit. “The fact that I’m a woman, the fact that I’m a mom, is part of who I am.”

The article is from last Sunday and I was going to ignore it (and I should say that overall the tenor was better than, "she says we'll focus on her cloths, and she's wearing a pantsuit"), but as far as I can tell the New York Times has decided not to cover her plan for improving the condition of the middle class.

Now perhaps her plan isn't fleshed out enough. And there is certainly time ahead to talk about all of the Democrats' plans for various things foreign and domestic. But maybe Hillary Clinton talking about how to stop wage stagnation in the middle class might be more "fit to print" than the fact that she wears a pantsuit.