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September 21, 2007
25 Senate Democrats Support Moveon Smear of Petraeus
GOP Senators gave their collegaues across the aisle the opportunity to denounce the Moveon.org smear ad of General Petraeus that appeared last week in the New York Times and 25 Democrats refused the offer:
The Senate approved a resolution on Thursday denouncing the liberal antiwar group MoveOn.org over an advertisement that questioned the credibility of Gen. David H. Petraeus, the American commander in Iraq. The left has been all over Senator Barack Obama for not voting on the measure. His explanation?
MoveOn.org, with 3.2 million members, has become a powerful force in Democratic politics and the advertisement it paid for, which appeared in The New York Times, has come under sharp attack from Congressional Republicans and others as unpatriotic and impugning the integrity of General Petraeus.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, both Democratic candidates for president, voted against the resolution, which passed 72 to 25.
"The notion that we’re wasting time debating about a newspaper ad makes no sense. So I just, I didn’t even vote on that vote," said Obama. "This is the kind of game playing that the American people are tired of."ABC's Jonathan Greenberger illuminates Obama's dilemma:
But it’s also true that the bill put Obama in a tough spot: oppose it, and he risked looking like he doesn’t support the military; support it, and he would put himself at odds with a key liberal constituency. By skipping the vote, Obama didn’t have to choose sides. AT's Ed Lasky adds:
As if Congress does not vote on a lot of measures that strike some as silly diversions; and, in this case, it was to support a military hero and to support our efforts to bring peace in Iraq. A president is a Commander-in-Chief and , in this role, should support our military. He fails the prime test.Indeed he does.
Rosslyn Smith adds:
Obama displayed that he hasn't progressed much past his days as bit player in the Illinois legislature. When the final outcome was not in doubt, machine Democrats from Chicago might ask to be allowed to vote "present' or to miss the vote entirely when faced with legislation in which a "no" vote would anger many of their constituents while an "for" vote would displease their political bosses and big money donors in the labor unions and special interest groups. Tell me again about those politics of hope.