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Obama Challenges Clinton on the War

Obama, as promised, just went on the offense against Clinton over the war.

After Clinton referenced a letter sent by a Pentagon official that castigated her for asking questions about a withdrawal plan, Obama used an unrelated question to take on Clinton.

Sen. Barack Obama
Sen. Barack Obama (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

"It's terrific that she is asking for plans from the Pentagon," said Obama. "The time for us to ask how we are going to get out of Iraq is before we went in....That is something too many of us failed to do."

This is the first time Obama has directly taken on Clinton over the war. Let's see if she finds a way to hit back.

-- Chris Cillizza

By Eric Pianin  |  July 23, 2007; 8:00 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Comments

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Posted by: 5cgx9d8ns1 | September 2, 2007 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Tom | August 20, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: e3gi22jv9s | August 4, 2007 11:28 PM | Report abuse

During the recent debate, I was impressed with Senator Obama and not Senator Clinton. I agree with him that her vote to go to war with Iraq demonstrated her lack of expertise and naivete far more than his statement he'd speak with all world leaders. I feel Senator Clinton showed her "nasty" side by "name calling"! Naturally Senator Obama would not open sensitive discussions without full cooperation and a proper diplomatic foundation in place. She demonstrated she's another "politics of mean" type jumping on a "sound bite"!
We need a new beginning and paradigm shift. We need someone with a broad perspective and a magnanimous nature. We don't need another retread.... Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton??? I don't think so! I think the dynasties should be over so we can reclaim our democracy!
Barbara

Posted by: Dr. Bruns | July 26, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I think Obama came through look great. I mean, you should have seen the look on Hillary's face when Obama told her that she was asking the question of how to exit Iraq too late, it should have been before she voted to go in!!! Hillary looked as white as a ghost; much like a deer caught in headlights. Hillary as madam President? Give me a break. Good job Obama.

Posted by: Peter M | July 24, 2007 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Everyone complains about Fox and MSM but we act just like them with the name calling. Every candidate made some valid points, and I disagreed with every candidate on one or two of their comments. doesn't mean they are the anti-Christ, just means we have a difference of opinion.

People who are looking for perfect candidates are probably the same people who at 40 are still whining about how their mother treated them when they were 10.

Posted by: Jerry | July 24, 2007 8:00 AM | Report abuse

I guess Chris is looking for an Obama bun fight with Hillary just so that his cohorts can chortle and enjoy themselves. This is the kind of piddling critique that gives politics a bad name. Calling one's oppnent on issues is not a slam, or a bam or anything else. Thats what politics is about, and debates are for. It is the stupid hyping by Chris and his fellow MSM hacks that reduce everything to fights, quarrels, attacks. Is it any wonder that people are turned off? Obama is doing fine, he will get better and the primary voters will have some choices. I don't want the MSM to take my role.

Posted by: Alan | July 24, 2007 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Hill or Obama? We are already down to those two! I think if you have limited your choices to those two, you shouldn't complain about Hillary's lack of inquiry pre-war.

Posted by: TomS | July 24, 2007 6:21 AM | Report abuse

HILLARY CLINTON IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED.
LET US NOT FORGET THAT SHE VOTED FOR THE WAR AND NEVER APOLOGIZED.. SHE DID NOT READ THE INTELLIGENCE REPORTS STATING THAT THERE WERE NO WMD. SHE FLOWS WITH THE WIND AND BEARS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS MESS THAT WE ARE NOW IN. NOW (TOO LATE) SHE'S AGAINST IT!! A DREAM TICKET WOULD BE GORE FOR PRESIDENT AND OBAMA VP!

Posted by: MYSAY | July 24, 2007 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama is shallow and inexperienced, it shows. I also think he would do better to focus on ideas and solutions to fix what has happened rather than harp on the past. But, of course, thats what he doesn't have - experience and solutions - and it shows.

Posted by: Tony | July 24, 2007 3:49 AM | Report abuse

Hillary also happily and proudly voted for the Patriot Act, another craven dismantling of our civil rights. She's more about political expediency than actually standing up for what is right.

If the Democrats are foolish enough to nominate her, our nation will be foolish enough to elect another Republican to the White House.

Posted by: Deston | July 24, 2007 2:22 AM | Report abuse

Hillary also happily and proudly voted for the Patriot Act, another craven dismantling of our civil rights. She's more about political expediency than actually standing up for what is right.

If the Democrats are foolish enough to nominate her, our nation will be foolish enough to elect another Republican to the White House.

Posted by: Deston nokes | July 24, 2007 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is not a Clinton. She's a Rodham, and she happens to use her husband's last name.

"I must say I'm getting really tired of Obama's vague, and usually haltingly expressed, overgeneralizations.."

I completely agree with this.

Posted by: Jeb | July 24, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | July 24, 2007 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama and his campaign are a bit desperate. That's why they're going after Hilary with all the disingeniuos war athorization nonsense, as if Barack "No Backbone" Obama would have had the political courage to "stand up" and vote no in a GOP-controlled Congress back then. Yeah, sure.

The guy's answers are completely pandering and exude a shallow grasp of the issues. Clinton, otoh, has been actively involved in domestic and foreign policy matters for 15 years + and her answers prove as much. Biden also blows Obama out of the park. Good guy, Obama, just not ready for the big time.

Posted by: David Frank | July 24, 2007 12:40 AM | Report abuse

All of this live, instantaneous commenting, reacting, judging, attacking, defending, parsing, sniping and analyzing is what is wrong with public and political discourse in these times. Thoughtful, considered opinions are the rarity. How about we all listen carefully to the candidates, watch their speeches, read their positions, study their backgrounds, consider their policies, understand their motivations, recognize their attributes and THEN offer our supporting or opposing judgments?

Posted by: David Guilbault | July 23, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I listened to the entire thing and I didn't get the impression at all that Obama was attacking Hilary. I heard him say, "we". I think sometimes you guys are looking for headlines instead of listening to what is being sad.

Posted by: tchristin | July 23, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Finally Sen. Obama you take on Clinton for her vote. He needs to address her and Edwards more often, he'll definitely win over the moderates, undecided and independent voters. Keep up the good work Obama.

Posted by: Eric | July 23, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

people! you're missing the point again. i don't want hillary as a friend i want someone to lead this country. she never has to be my friend!

Posted by: mzzmo | July 23, 2007 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Down with the monarchy. No more Bushes and Clintons.

Posted by: Will | July 23, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Heh, Jackson there is definitely watching a different debate unless Joe L. has announced he is running too and I missed it?

Posted by: roo | July 23, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes! There is something about Hillary. I think I would like her as a friend. She is charming with talk-host shows. But there is something about her smile. Her smirk. Her...what is it about her...a sense of entitlement because she was once so close to the reigns of power. Yes! That's it. You can almost sense it. It's in her face and in her voice and in the false manerisms that come from being coached by all of those professional hacks. And the corporate stuffing of her pockets and....the sense that she just isn't real...like all of the others...while Obama seems fresh?????

Posted by: Dave C. Beemon | July 23, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes! There is something about Hillary. I think I would like her as a friend. She is charming with talk-host shows. But there is something about her smile. Her smirk. Her...what is it about her...a sense of entitlement because she was once so close to the reigns of power. Yes! That's it. You can almost sense it. It's in her face and in her voice and in the false manerisms that come from being coached by all of those professional hacks. And the corporate stuffing of her pockets and....the sense that she just isn't real...like all of the others...while Obama seems fresh?????

Posted by: Dave C. Beemon | July 23, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes! There is something about Hillary. I think I would like her as a friend. She is charming with talk-host shows. But there is something about her smile. Her smirk. Her...what is it about her...a sense of entitlement because she was once so close to the reigns of power. Yes! That's it. You can almost sense it. It's in her face and in her voice and in the false manerisms that come from being coached by all of those professional hacks. And the corporate stuffing of her pockets and....the sense that she just isn't real...like all of the others...while Obama seems fresh?????

Posted by: Dave C. Beemon | July 23, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

He SAID "us". Unless I am missing something, like this was pulled out of context, I don't get the "swipe" at Clinton. I've watched him and that's not his style. I don't believe your take at this point.
Let us NOT stir up divisional messages wehere there are none.
siri@legitgov.org

Posted by: siri | July 23, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

He SAID "us". Unless I am missing something, like this was pulled out of context, I don't get the "swipe" at Clinton. I've watched him and that's not his style. I don't believe your take at this point.
Let us NOT stir up divisional messages wehere there are none.
siri@legitgov.org

Posted by: siri | July 23, 2007 10:26 PM | Report abuse

I'm so glad Obama called Hillary on it. Hillary tried to use that made up dispute with the Pentagon to score points and Obama snatched it from her mouth.

The time to ask for plans was before she cast her vote. To act like she's doing something so high and mighty now is a disgrace.

After 3600 +/- troops are dead (and countless thousands of Iraqis killed), Hillary suddenly gets the idea to ask the Pentagon about planning? Please.

Posted by: ItsTimeToTurnThePage | July 23, 2007 10:01 PM | Report abuse

This from a guy who supported Lieberman and
voted to fund this debacle.
Yuch!

It was also pandering central when he twice invoked Ronald Reagan as a shining example of something or other.
Yick!

Posted by: Jackson Brower | July 23, 2007 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I am very pleased by Senator Obama's performance this evening and in particular that he has been specific, and forceful in taking on Hillary. It's about time the hypocracy of being for the war when it was popular and against it now that it is no longer popular was challenged. Frankly, this has been the best debate so far.

and Brendan, thank you for the Clinton quotes. They all need to start challenging her on these things.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 23, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Clinton has no mileage on the war. She saw the same intel and did not question Bush/Cheney.

As SNL has paraphrased Clinton's stance:

"If I had known how unpopular the war would become, I never would have pretended to support it in the first place."

Posted by: Clinton is a Republican Dream | July 23, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Remind or enlighten yourself of a few things.
www.zeitgeistmovie.com

Posted by: jesse | July 23, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I must say I'm getting really tired of Obama's vague, and usually haltingly expressed, overgeneralizations and little in the way of concrete plans. His best bet will be as Clinton's VP nominee, so he should be a bit more careful. I'm not keen on Clinton either but that would be a darn sight better than the horrors we have now.

Posted by: anieb | July 23, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"I do not think it is a smart policy ... to set a date certain [for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq]." - Sen. Clinton, June 15, 2006

"If we in Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will." - Sen. Clinton, February 5, 2007

All it took for her to see the light was declare her candidacy for president. She can't be trusted with the security of the nation, exactly because the politics of a decision is more important to her than the policy.

Posted by: Brendan | July 23, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

No body likes an "I told you so" candidate. Obama has still voted in lock step with all the others since he's been in the senate.

Posted by: mountain man | July 23, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Obama in that I wish Hilary had had the courage to question the war before it began in 2003. Yet, politically, at the time, that was not really a serious option for her. To date, the war has cost over $340 billion dollars--money which could have been spent much more wisely and with better end results. It is estimated, for example, that the expenditure of a mere $19 billion would eliminate starvation and malnutrition worldwide. In a time when the current defense budget is $522 billion, the goal of eradicating world hunger is clearly well within reach. Thus, it is clear that the occupation of Iraq needs to end, and it needs to end now without regard to what this will do to United States interest in Iraq's oil. There are simply much more important issues that need to be addressed, and by avoiding these issues and adhering to his doomed quest for victory, Bush and those who support him will only continue to fall in popularity polls.

Posted by: Jessica | July 23, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

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