Dodd to vote NO on new Iraq supplemental

Ed. Note: Cross-posted Political Forecast.

In a day of big news on the 2008 trail (new Dodd ad, memo about Clinton campaign pondering skipping Iowa, Edwards giving a big foreign policy speech, etc), here is something worth recognizing as a standout point: Sen. Christopher Dodd is going to vote against the new Iraq supplemental funding bill, the one without a timeline for withdrawal. The video of his reasoning is below:

And here is the full release from the campaign is below:

“This war has gone on longer than World War II and there is no end in sight. Yet we are less secure and more isolated than before. We have lost 3,400 patriotic Americans and shattered our standing in the world. We are spending $2 billion a week – $8 billion a month – and are now caught in the middle of a civil war. Still, this President wants more of the same and this bill would give him his wish.

I cannot and will not simply give this President another blank check.

Half-measures and equivocations are not going to change our course in Iraq. If we are serious about ending the war, Congress must stand up to this President’s failed policy now – with clarity and conviction.

As the debate on the war continues, I will continue to fight for a firm deadline that is tied to funding which will allow for a responsible redeployment of U.S. combat troops in Iraq – because that’s the only way to responsibly bring this war to a conclusion.

I hope my colleagues would do the same.”

This comes after a new ad was released this morning by his campaign, where he called out Senators Clinton and Obama — the presumed front-runners — for finally coming to his position and voting in favor of the Feingold-Reid-Dodd Amendment in the Senate. It was a big time move, and I think a good way to gain traction here in Iowa.

Both Clinton and Obama are strong in Iowa, behind the powerhouse that is John Edwards. Right behind those three is Bill Richardson, who has gained traction with his message calling on Congress to de-authorize the war in Iraq and his new ads. In the latest Iowa Poll, Dodd wasn’t gaining traction. With the ads and the strong movement against the war in Iraq and the calls for troop withdrawals by March of 2008, Dodd is putting himself firmly in the anti-Iraq war camp with Richardson and Edwards. While Obama has consistently been against the war, he can’t put himself in this camp because he’s not coming out strong for withdrawal, deauthorization, or any other kind of leadership position on the issue. Clinton is Clinton on Iraq (I’m glad she’s calling on the Pentagon to do more to prepare for withdrawal scenarios, but toeing the line just doesn’t mesh with me).

Sen. Dodd is a strong voice to end this war, particularly in the Senate. Sens. Clinton and Obama have started following his lead, but beyond Sen. Russ Feingold, he’s the only other one pushing strongly in the Senate for an end to this debacle. And he deserves credit for bring that debate into the Senate, as well as bringing it to the race by forcing Clinton and Obama to clearly take a stand. And now, as the closing part of the release shows, he’s making an issue of how Clinton and Obama are going to vote on the supplemental. And they should vote against it. Make this a Republican bill — make them own it. They’re the ones continuing this mess.

I’m staying neutral for a while, but if a candidate wants to keep convincing me they’re worthy of being the next President, then they need to start leading the charge to put an end to the Iraq war. It is that simple.

  • I appreciate his leadership from within the Senate

    Some people have criticized John Edwards for taking a stand against giving Bush another blank check, saying that it’s easy for Edwards to talk now that he is out of the Senate.

    So thanks to Chris Dodd for showing that even sitting senators can take a strong stand on this issue.

    If his leadership presses Clinton, Biden and Obama toward a stronger position on the funding issue, then more power to him.

  • we are missing the point

    I believe this Iraq War posturing is somewhat ridiculous at this point of time.  On the D side, I feel the real responsibility for the current mess lies with the Senators who voted for the war, no matter how much they regret it now.  Do we not remember how it was openly discussed how the potential ’04 hopefuls were trying to make the right political call (at the time) regarding the war vote?


    With the current situation, we must remember that we did lose the ’04 presidential election.  W has veto power, he’s the commander in chief – no matter how much we hate it.  Obviously it is his war to a great extent. We only have one vote advantage (with a couple of independents, including Lieberman) in the Senate.  Looking for a politically realistic way to solve the Iraq mess is the only thing current senators can do.  The bottom line is, R senators are the key when it comes to changing course on the war.  We should refrain from blaming it on the current D senators.


    In a president, I’m not looking for a political opportunist.  And yes, I’m mainly talking about Edwards, whom I supported in ’04.  His pandering and political opportunism has really disappointed me.

    • why couldn't they keep sending the same bill back?

      How is it pandering to propose that Congress just keep passing the same bill Bush vetoed, the one that included the timelines?

      That way Democrats are providing the funding, with strings attached that would force Bush to start withdrawing troops. If Bush vetoes again, he is the one depriving the troops of funds.

      If we are serious about opposing the war, we shouldn’t just wait until January 2009 to do something about it.

      • with our slim majority, R's are the key

        Like it or not, W has the upper hand in this.  As long as there aren’t enough votes to override the veto, passing the same bill over and over will just seem petty and not constructive.  I can’t imagine D’s could turn that situation into their advantage.  To me, this all comes down to the original vote to authorize the war in 2002.  If Edwards now feel this strongly about the war, he really should end his campaign because of the gravity of his mistake in voting for the war due to political expediency at the time.  Someone with that kind of judgment should not be our president. – I know I’m being harsh on Edwards.  But the more he screams about this, the more po’d I get.

        • I prefer someone who admits a mistake

          and pushes for changes to help solve the problem. The war will not end as long as Congress keeps giving Bush everything he wants. He is just kicking the can down the road, and how many more will die between now and January 2009? Actually, it will probably be the end of 2009 before the next president can actually get all our troops out of there. If we want the war to end in less than two and a half years from now, we need to use all our leverage to start withdrawing some troops ASAP.

          • You have a point

            but I do think Obama is right, once again, in pointing out the obvious fact that R’s are the key if Congress is to force W to reverse course.  Attacking even indirectly your fellow D’s about this is pointless.  For Edwards to do it is extremely hypocritical.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.