Most of the presidential candidates have been shamelessly capitalizing on Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, but Barack Obama moves beyond the realm of shameless self-promotion and into the category of despicable. This, from Time (H/T: TalkLeft):
Bhutto’s death will “call into issue the judgment: who’s made the right judgments,” [Obama advisor] Axelrod said. “Obviously, one of the reasons that Pakistan is in the distress that it’s in is because al-Qaeda is resurgent, has become more powerful within that country and that’s a consequence of us taking the eye off the ball and making the wrong judgment in going into Iraq. That’s a serious difference between these candidates and I’m sure that people will take that into consideration.”
I’m first in line to criticize Hillary Clinton for a) voting to authorize the war; and b) refusing to admit that her vote was a mistake, as John Edwards has. But to imply that Clinton is somehow indirectly responsible for Bhutto’s assassination, which is what the Obama campaign is doing here, is the worst kind of despicable politics. Does anyone remember when Barack Obama was promising a new politics of hope? I wonder what happened to that?
Yeah, Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War, and whether she’ll admit it or not, she was wrong. So were a lot of other senators and representatives. So was most of the country. To his credit, Barack Obama was against the Iraq War from the beginning. But there’s a huge difference between being against the war in principle as an Illinois state senator and actually having to decide how to vote in the U.S. Senate. I’m not at all sure that, had Barack Obama been in the Senate at the time, he wouldn’t have voted exactly as Sen. Clinton and Sen. Edwards did.