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Clinton, Obama Press On Withdrawal At Hearings

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Democratic Presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shelved their ongoing campaigns and participated in this morning's committee hearings with General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Neither ended up contributing much in the way of fireworks, but both, in general, demonstrated an authoritative grasp of the issues at hand, even as they presented their inquiries in different manners. Clinton was measured, yet firm, taking a headlong shot at the two men, while Obama opted to pursue an indirect line of questioning in order to catch Petraeus and Crocker up in their own statements. Both of the candidates proved themselves able to get their heads off the race for the nomination and onto the task at hand, dialing back any election year grandstanding.

And both kept the idea of troop withdrawal at the center of their inquiries. "I think it's time to begin an orderly process of withdrawing our troops," Clinton stated. She went on to ask, "What conditions would have to exist for you to recommend to the President that the current strategy is not working?" Obama concluded: "I continue to believe that the decision to go into Iraq was a massive strategic blunder." He went on to assert the need for a timetable for withdrawal: "I'm trying to get to an end point. If the definition for success is so high...that portends the possibility of us staying twenty or thirty years."

AP has additional details on what each candidate said.


Read HuffPost's full coverage of the Petraeus hearing.