I’ve said that the Democrats’ attacks on President Bush over the Niger uranium “issue” are dumb, but it’s beyond me to tell whether they’re good politics. Bill Clinton, for one, apparently believes they’re not, as his sort-of defense of President Bush on the Larry King show is being taken as a warning to Democratic Presidential candidates not to stray too far to the left. A number of Congressional Democrats have seconded Clinton’s warning.
In particular, Clinton seemed on target when he said that “We should be pulling for America on this. We should be pulling for the people of Iraq.” This is a pretty blunt warning that candidates who are seen as anti-American, or as hoping for things to go wrong, are doomed.
The fact is, of course, that the Democratic candidates are hoping for things to go wrong in Iraq. This isn’t just a perception, as Charles Stenholm of Texas says–“I don’t think anyone is rooting against America, but that could be the perception”–it’s a reality. And Clinton is no doubt right is warning that if that’s how the candidates feel, they’d better keep it to themselves.
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