Sen. Hillary Clinton faced criticism from a leading Democratic rival today and a leading Republican. Battered by the left about her status as a change agent, battered by the right about the war.
Sen. John Edwards, in a campaign theme speech about the culture of Washington, became the first Democrat to refer to the correlation between major Democratic fundraisers circa 1995 and their subsequent overnight stays in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House.
The choice for our party could not be more clear. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.
The American people deserve to know that their Presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.
It’s time to end the game. It’s time to tell the big corporations and the lobbyists who have been running things for too long that their time is over. It’s time to challenge politicians to put the American people’s interests ahead of their own calculated political interests, to look the lobbyists in the eye and just say no.
Note: Rick Lazio used a version of this critique -- it didn't work. Democrats do not believe that Hillary Clinton is corrupt.
Sen. John McCain today accuses Clinton of changing her opinion about the success of the "surge" in Iraq.
"On Monday, Senator Clinton told an audience at the Veterans of Foreign Wars that the surge of troops in Iraq was 'working.' Now, after taking heat from anti-war activists and her primary opponents, Senator Clinton says the surge 'has failed' and that we should 'begin the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.'
"The fact that the New York senator can reverse her position on an issue of grave importance to our national security in a few days sends the wrong signal to our enemies in Iraq and our own troops on the ground. We must continue to support General Petraeus and the new counterinsurgency campaign to give us the best chance to succeed. Following the path to begin an 'immediate withdrawal' would be a grave mistake."
Not to defend Clinton here, but there doesn't seem to be a conflict. The goal of the surge, as widely stated by the Bush Administration, was to produce a climate where political reconcilliation was more feasible. Clinton believes that the military has done its job marvelously and has rendered safe many neighborhoods where violence used to be a constant presence. But it's perfectly legitimate to simultaneously look at the political situation in Iraq and conclude that the surge isn't working.
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