Salena Zito has a really interesting article published this week over at the Trib-Review, Jockeying around the war. According to Ms. Zito Howard Dean is “positioning around the war so he can become the Democrats’ presidential nominee.”

Dean staked out that role four years ago. And while the bulk of the electorate was not ready for his anti-war message then, it was even less ready for the way he delivered it.

Who could have predicted then that Dean was at the forefront of a movement that would become the litmus test for those who would seek to be the Democrats’ nominee four years later?

Ms. Zito says that “Barack Obama has been against the war from the very beginning, so he has nothing from which to back-pedal. He was an Illinois state senator at the time of the U.S. Senate authorization vote. “I am not opposed to all wars,” he said in an October 2002 speech. “I’m opposed to dumb wars.””

John Edwards is another one of the illustrious Democratic hopefuls, or maybe not:

Edwards also is suffering from a lack of traction and dubious judgment: He positioned himself as the anti-poverty candidate, then built a mansion. He spent time as a cheerleader for the anti-Wal-Mart crowd, yet owned Wal-Mart stock while serving in the U.S. Senate. He was for his potty-mouthed bloggers before he was against them. The only thing he has not flubbed yet is his latest stance on the war.

Hillary Clinton as we all know is a completely different story all together:

While the left is chipping away at her for not getting down on bended knee and begging its forgiveness for her vote for the war, she continues to play coy.

Taking an apologetic position on the war now to appease the left in exchange for its primary vote would be detrimental to projecting an image of strength in a general election. Hillary is trying to walk away from her vote for the war without really repudiating it, apologizing for it or calling it a mistake. She’s using every little linguistic trick imaginable to get there without saying it — triangulating her way to some yet-to-be-determined position.

And back to Dean:

Four years ago, Howard Dean created the anti-war space everyone is now trying to occupy. Had he gone back to Vermont after the 2004 presidential election and done a few serious policy speeches, he would have re-emerged as the guy who was against the war at the beginning.

This just proves how the Democrats do not have a plan, not only when it comes to Iraq, other than to cut and run. It also shows that the Democrats are lousy political strategists. But we already knew that!

Crossposted from The HILL Chronicles

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