Hillary Clinton's advisors think that last week may 'œbe remembered as a turning point in the race,' said Patrick Healy in The New York Times. They may well be right—but will it mark the day she proved to Democrats that she should be their nominee for president or sent them searching for an alternative? For months, Clinton had been under intense pressure from the party's liberal activists to follow the lead of former Sen. John Edwards and 'œrepudiate her 2002 vote authorizing military action in Iraq.' Last week, she 'œrolled out a new response to those demanding contrition.' Clinton told a crowd in New Hampshire that 'œif 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 choose from.' If that gamble works, voters will see Clinton as principled and consistent—unlike, say, flip-flopping 2004 nominee John Kerry. But if Democrats prefer a more adamant anti-war candidate … well, there are others to choose from.
Good for Hillary, said James Klurfeld in Newsday. Her position on the war has been consistent since Day One—in fact, since before Day One. Don't forget it was her husband, President Bill Clinton, who first called for regime change in Iraq. When President Bush took up the cry, Hillary duly supported him, though all the while stressing the danger of the U.S.'s acting without U.N. approval. When you look back at Clinton's position on Iraq, said David Brooks in The New York Times, you see a senator who was hoping to force Saddam to disarm, but who properly deferred to the commander in chief on the decision to use force. To apologize now would be to utterly 'œforfeit her integrity.'
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