I support Senator Clinton's White House bid because I believe she is
the one candidate with the strength and experience to actually end the
war in Iraq.
I thought Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time and have been
fighting to get the Administration to stop its failed policy and bring
our troops home.
In 2005, I was the first member of Congress to introduce legislation
calling for an immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.
Senator Obama has been trying to use his early opposition to the 2002
authorization to use military force as a way to bring attention to his
campaign. And that's fine -- that's politics.
I have great respect and admiration for Senator Obama. But he should
be more careful, because his record doesn't always line up with his
That became clear when Sen. Obama appeared on Meet the Press last
Sunday, Tim Russert reminded him of comments he made about Iraq during
the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Talking about how he would have voted on the '02 authorization, Mr.
Russert flashed a quote from then-State Senator Obama on the screen
that said: "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports. What would
I have done? I don't know." In response, Senator Obama said it was
probably the wrong time for him to speak out on the war.
I simply disagree. I don't believe there has ever been a wrong time
to oppose this war.
Mr. Russert also reminded Senator Obama about this comment he made in
July of 2004: "There's not much of a difference between my position
on Iraq and George Bush's position at this stage."
Sen. Obama now likes to say that people shouldn't act like George Bush
on national security. It's one thing to keep quiet about the war
during a convention, it's quite another to say you support what George
Bush is doing.
All the Democratic candidates for president say they are for ending
the war in Iraq. That is a welcome development. But, as LBJ said,
it's easy to get into a war, but hard as hell to get out of one.
I'm not interested in who was "first" to oppose this awful war. I'm
more interested in what's next.
When it comes to ending the war, the question needs to be: Which
candidate has the experience, maturity, skill and ability to safely
get our troops out of Iraq and bring this sad chapter in our history
to an end?
I believe Hillary Clinton not only wants to end the war, she can end
the war. If I didn't believe that, there is no way I would be
We could argue until we're blue in the face about the past, but our
focus must be on how can better shape the future.
Follow Rep. Jim McGovern on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RepMcGovern