Bill Clinton made a political blunder of monumental proportions when he claimed that he "opposed the war in Iraq 'from the beginning,'" A statement even the New York Times found "is more absolute than his comments before the invasion in March 2003."
Is More Absolute?
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" - President Clinton
At Time, Mark Halperin reminds us that Mr. Clinton said he supported the War in 2003. On April 14, 2003, Clinton praised President Bush:
“In his first speech in Minnesota since leaving office, former President Bill Clinton on Sunday praised President Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq. But he criticized Bush’s domestic priorities and urged the administration to offer North Korea aid and a pledge of nonaggression in exchange for an end to that country’s missile and nuclear weapons programs." [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 4/14/03]On May 19, 2003, the Associated Press reported Clinton said he supported President Bush:
"Former President Bill Clinton accused President Bush of spending more time fighting the war on terrorism than on domestic issues during a commencement speech at Tougaloo College. 'I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but we can’t be forever strong abroad if we don’t keep getting better at home,' Clinton said Sunday to a crowd of about 8,000. […] The Bush administration, Clinton said, 'is still focused on defeating terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, and that’s good, but not good enough. The power of our example is just as important as our military might.'"Clinton may have questioned the timing of the invasion, but Clinton didn't oppose it "from the beginning."
On June 23, 2004, CNN reported Clinton revealed that he continues to support President Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq:
"I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over," Clinton said in a Time magazine interview that will hit newsstands Monday, a day before the publication of his book "My Life."
Clinton, who was interviewed Thursday, said he did not believe that Bush went to war in Iraq over oil or for imperialist reasons but out of a genuine belief that large quantities of weapons of mass destruction remained unaccounted for.
Noting that Bush had to be "reeling" in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush's first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining "chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material."
"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for," Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.
"So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.' You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks," Clinton said.
The former president's blunder could not have come at a worse time for Hillary's race for the presidency. Her campaign has stalled. In Iowa Obama has tied Hillary in the most recent polling, some are predicting Obama will beat her in Iowa, and Hillary is bracing for defeat.
As Hillary campaign teeters on defeat and needs to rely upon the political prowesses of the infamous "comeback kid," he stumbles. Clinton reminds everyone, as Hillary's Democratic opponents continue to repeat - the Clinton's have trouble giving straight answers - Clinton admitted that answers he gave about Ms. Lewinsky during a 1998 deposition were false and that he "knowingly gave misleading and evasive answers."
For the extremist Liberal/Progressive
Also Posted at RedState and Examining Presidential Politics.
UPDATE: More at Captain's Quarters, Hot Air, and Outside the Beltway