Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I keep reading that previously private discussions show that Barack Obama has been keeping his fingers crossed behind his back whenever he's criticized NAFTA. This is getting a tremendous amount of attention (the clown who calls himself Instapundit is now referring to this controversy as Naftaquiddick).

But the Clinton campaign has its own bit of tough campaign talk that, according to today's New York Sun, is just political posturing, according to someone recounting private discussions -- yet I'm not hearing much of anything about the story. So is this true?

If Senator Clinton can best Senator Obama in today's round of primaries and caucuses and go on to capture the White House, a co-author of the surge strategy in Iraq says he is convinced she would hold off on authorizing a large-scale immediate withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq.

In a weekend interview, a retired four-star general, Jack Keane, said that when he briefed Mrs. Clinton in late 2006 and January 2007 on the counteroffensive strategy known as the surge, she "generally supported the surge strategy in the sense she wanted it to succeed but she was skeptical about its chances."

...Mr. Keane is in a position to know Mrs. Clinton, having worked informally with her since 2001, when he was vice chief of staff for the Army. Early last year, the Clinton team even asked the retired general to become a formal adviser to the campaign on military issues, a request Mr. Keane declined, as he has done when asked by other candidates.

Mr. Keane nevertheless said he holds the former first lady in high esteem.

"Senator Clinton is very knowledgeable about national security and is probably going to be strong on defense," he said. "I have no doubts whatsoever that if she were president in January '09 she would not act irresponsibly and issue orders to conduct an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, regardless of the consequences, and squander the gains that have been made." ...

The Clinton campaign disputes what Keane says. Three other war fans (Frederick Kagan, Kenneth Pollack, and Michael O'Hanlon) are also quoted in the story, and they agree with Keane's assessment, but O'Hanlon and Pollack do so based on conversation they had with Clinton some time ago, and Kagan mentions no discussions with her at all.

Is this disinformation? Well, you tell me. I don't see many people on the right hoping to run against Obama rather than Clinton, nor, if it is disinformation, do I understand the timing (a week ago would have been a bit more helpful -- or, if it's an attempt to damp down her antiwar vote in the general election, a few months from now would be better timing).

Clinton campaign, Clintonites, please -- give me a good reason to discount this. Otherwise, if the contest really is headed to Pennsylvania, this needs to be talked about a lot.

No comments: