A story in today’s New York Times points out that Bill Clinton had been privately telling political donors and supporters of his wife that Hillary shares the same position on the Iraq war as her chief rival for the 2008 Democratic nomination Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Bill Clinton told supporters in March that, “This dichotomy that’s been set up to allow him to become the raging hero of the antiwar crowd on the Internet is just factually inaccurate.” The former president made his statements based on looking at the voting records on the war for both his wife and the Illinois Senator since 2005. What “Bubba” doesn’t mention was that his wife voted to authorize the war in 2002 and Obama has been opposed to the war from the very beginning.

While appearing on MSNBC yesterday Obama said, “Well, I suppose that’s true if you leave out the fact that she authorized it and supported it, and I said it was a bad idea. You know, that’s a fairly major difference.” After pointing out that he thinks very highly of the Clintons, Obama said, “But I think that it is fair to say that we had a fundamentally different opinion on the wisdom of this war. And I don’t think we can revise history when it comes to that.” Especially this week, both of these candidates have been doing more than their share of pandering to Democratic anti-war crowd. The difference is that Obama has much more credibility because he has been consistently opposed to the war in Iraq.

Except for health care, Hillary Clinton’s positions tend to go wherever the public opinion winds take her. It is a disingenuous distortion of the record for Bill Clinton to be out there telling donors and supporters that his wife and Obama hold the same positions on the war. That might be true today, but his wife has been far from consistent when it comes to Iraq.In this instance, I am talking about the Democrats, but the Republicans have this same problem in the form of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney.

 I wonder, what does this say about the entire 2008 field when 3 of the top 6 contenders in both parties either won’t clearly state their positions, or regularly change them? Maybe it is a symptom that the campaign started too early, or it could be the 2008 field is loaded with candidates who are long on style and short on substance. The one thought that enters my mind is, with choices like these, we really could use a third party.

Full NY Times Story

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at


Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse
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