She's been using that old line of "if we had known then what we know now there wouldn't have even been a vote" for three years now. It was all part of a painfully transparent ploy to suck up to the middle and the Right and give the impression that she's "strong on defense" and such. While others among the Dems who made that vote have since recanted and made the simple admission that it was a ghastly mistake, Hillary just couldn't manage it until now. And those eight words added on to her normal disclaimer certainly don't buy much trust from me. As Will points out, look how John Edwards handled it well over a year ago.
Sen. Hillary Clinton has changed her tune on Iraq.
But just slightly.
And to our ears, she's still way off-key.As you probably know, the New York senator was one of 27 Democratic senators who voted in 2002 to give President Bush the authority to invade Iraq. At the time, the Queen of Triangulation was eager to drift rightward and show her cojones on all things military.
But what she wouldn't do is what some of her Democratic White House rivals have done: Admit that her vote was a mistake, and admit it in the clearest language possible.
And now the 2008 race, and a partly hostile, anti-war Democratic primary electorate, is at hand. But now, this is what we finally got:This morning on NBC's "Today" show, Sen. Clinton was asked about her 2002 vote and offered a slightly evolved answer. "Obviously, if we knew then what we know now, there wouldn't have been a vote," she said in her usual refrain before adding, "and I certainly wouldn't have voted that way."....
Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and what many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.Ok. So you screwed up. You got sold a bill of goods and made a stupid vote, and now that you know better you're sorry you did. Was that so hard? Good job, John. You are willing to admit to human failures and, far more importantly, demonstrate that you're living somewhere in reality and are able to learn from your mistakes and move forward. That buys a lot of credibility in my book, and if you do happen to wind up running for President in '08, I will once again give you a serious look and promise you my earnest consideration as a potential candidate.
It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.
I only wish that Hillary could demonstrate that kind of straight shooting plain talk. But, as Will said, it's probably too little and far too late.