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On Iraq, Sen. Clinton Goes on Offense

As the Senate begins debate on President Bush's Iraq surge proposal, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has posted a video on her Web site touting her plan for a way forward in Iraq.

In the three-minute video, she outlines her "Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act" that among other things seeks to cap troop levels, calls for a diplomatic conference in the region and establishes identifiable benchmarks that must be met by the Iraq security forces.

"This bill is a roadmap out of Iraq," she says.

And, in an appearance this morning in New Hampshire, Clinton had a strong response for those who say she must apologize for her 2002 vote on the use of force resolution against Iraq. "Obviously I would not vote that way again if we knew then what we now know," she said. "But I have to say that if the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake then there are others to chose from. But to me the most important thing now is trying to end this war."

Earlier this week Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) sparred over whether Clinton has advocated for a phased redeployment. Obama has also called on Clinton to clarify her views on the future of American involvement in Iraq. In the video, Clinton emphasizes her support for a phased redeployment of American troops from Iraq and said that if the redeployment doesn't begin within 90 days Congress should revoke authorization for the war.

She also takes a subtle jab at her rivals who are critical of her stance on the war. "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," Clinton says in the video. "We have to end this war in a smart way, not a Republican or a Democratic way."

The Fix heads to South Carolina with Sen. Clinton on Sunday night. Make sure to check back regularly for updates on her trip.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 17, 2007; 12:42 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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