Monday :: Sep 10, 2007

Tomorrow May Be "Make Or Break" For Hillary

by Steve

Sometimes a congressional hearing can have large consequences on a presidential race.

As I said in the previous post, the action moves to the Senate Armed Services Committee tomorrow. Petraeus’ testimony will already have been picked apart and fact-checked for 24 hours before he utters his first words or puts up his first chart full of misleading and inaccurate statistics. Will the Democratic senators on the committee go to school on his testimony today and come ready to challenge Petraeus, especially his claim that the military objectives behind the surge are in large part being met?

Take a close look at the committee membership, and see who has the most to lose by going silent tomorrow. Take a look at who might be willing to take a risk and go after Petraeus, and withstand the usual bromides from McCain, Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham, as well as the other knuckle-draggers on the committee. Will Hillary seize a chance to go toe-to-toe with Petraeus, as well as take on McCain, Lieberman, and Graham? And if she doesn’t, doesn’t that cripple her?

What about Jim Webb? He can afford to challenge Petraeus and make him answer tough questions because he and John Warner are bullet-proof electorally. Will Evan Bayh step up tomorrow? Can one of them ask Petraeus why he spent so much time in August flacking for the surge instead of doing his military job?

And with a 2008 race staring her in the face, can Susan Collins afford to give Petraeus a pass tomorrow?

I only wish that Chris Dodd were on the committee, because it's clear he would know what to do.

Every time a Republican senator talks about how great things are getting in Iraq, a Democratic senator should immediately apply the “vacation in Baghdad” standard: “Senator Graham (insert “Lieberman” or any other lapdog in here), if things are so much better in Iraq now as you claim, would you take your family on a week-long vacation there outside of the Green Zone without security?”

Steve :: 1:52 PM :: Comments (45) :: Digg It!