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Republican-Bashing on Iraq

On an issue -- Iraq -- that was expected to be one of the flash points of this Democratic race, Obama and Clinton largely gave each other a pass on their differences, choosing instead to hit Republicans.

Clinton went first -- condemning the President's approach in Iraq as a "irresponsible abdication of what should be a presidential commitment to end what he started."

Obama picked up where Clinton left off, taking a shot at John McCain for his "profound lack of understanding that we have a whole host of global threats out there."

Obama did take a subtle shot at Clinton's original vote for the use of force resolution against Iraq in 2002 and received an extended applause for a favorite stump line: "We will be as a careful getting out as we were careless getting in."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer gave Clinton a chance to respond, calling Obama's comments a "clear swipe" at the New York Senator. She made a joke of the matter, again turning her rhetorical fire to Bush and McCain.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 31, 2008; 9:28 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Clinton, Obama Spar On Electability


Wolf Blitzer truly is the worst moderator I have ever seen. He's so disingenuous with his questions, just itching to get one to fight with the other. It's not going to work, Wolf.

Posted by: mutanttoasterfiend | January 31, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Most of the comments on are just expressions of opinions no one else cares about. "Clinton's decision to back a war that was unjustified would undermine her ability to argue for a war that is justified" is the most incisive point I remember seeing around here -- it's better than any analysis in the paper itself. Kudos,

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 31, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

k1omal writes
"but i think that her judgment would be more sound as president than as a minority party senator."

Would it? Her husband was accused of 'wagging the dog' for conducting air strikes while the Starr investigations were going on. Some say he crumbled in the face of such political attacks, pulling back rather than following through, in order to reduce the political heat. If Sen Clinton wins in 2008, Odds are high the GOP will retake Congress in 2010. Would she be able to stand up to a GOP Congress that's out for blood & political revenge? Her 2002 vote implies she would not.

Posted by: bsimon | January 31, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

i think there were mitigating circumstances with the vote. for one, bush had successfully created an atmosphere where going against bush or the war was anti-patriotic. sept. 11 was used as a fear buzz word that frankly had many democrats silenced.

i didn't agree with the vote at the time nor do i think it was a just vote. but i think that her judgment would be more sound as president than as a minority party senator.

Posted by: k1omal | January 31, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

One of the points that needs to be stated clearly -- in black and white, rather than implicitly -- is that Clinton's decision to back a war that was unjustified would undermine her ability to argue for a war that is justified. We need a commander-in-chief that can command respect when trust is needed.

Posted by: | January 31, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama got in some great swipes at Hillary on Iraq. Will it become a major issue again?

Debate liveblog -

Posted by: parkerfl | January 31, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Liar, liar, pantsuits afire!

Posted by: sawargos | January 31, 2008 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Nothing focuses attention like incoming.

Seeing McC clearly as the opponent has them doing their D thing in tandem. This week the D debate looks like a lovefest.

I guess they are looking to score points with the Edwards' voters and the softly committed but I do not know what either of them said that would make a difference.

They are smooth and good natured tonight.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 31, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

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