OPINION: Obama observers find his voice

Who’s afraid of Barack Obama?

Just 24 hours after Hillary Clinton mowed down a skeptical Katie Couric with her certitude that she would win the Democratic nomination — “It will be me!” — her husband showed exactly how she could lose it.

By telling an Iowa audience on Tuesday night that he had opposed the Iraq war “from the beginning,” Bill Clinton committed a double pratfall. Not only did he refocus attention on his wife’s most hazardous issue, Iraq, just as it was receding as the nation’s Topic A, but he also revived unhappy memories of the truth-dodging nadirs of the Clinton White House.

Whatever his caveats, Mr. Clinton did not explicitly oppose the Iraq war from the beginning. But Al Gore did unequivocally and loudly in a public speech before the beginning, as did an obscure Illinois state senator named Barack Obama. What if Mrs. Clinton had led an insurrection against the war authorization in the Senate? Might she have helped impede America’s rush into one of the greatest fiascos in our history? [complete article]

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