The breakdown of presidential candidates’ votes on the motion:
To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.
Biden (D-DE), Not Voting
Brownback (R-KS), Yea
Clinton (D-NY), Nay
Dodd (D-CT), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Obama (D-IL), Not Voting
Maybe Hillary feels that with a Clark endorsement in her pocket she doesn’t need to cast a symbolically pro-military vote. Maybe she genuinely agrees with the ad. But I think Obama and Biden probably had the smartest votes here, if only because Dodd was exactly right in calling the motion itself a waste of time. (And also another excuse for MoveOn to continue raising money off the controversy.) Clinton, on the other hand, did herself little good by voting alongside Dodd and other passionate anti-war types, because plenty of them also voted to condemn the ad, including: Hagel (R-NE), Tester (D-MT), and Webb (D-VA). You can be against the war and still find MoveOn’s ad kinda tacky. I think that is basically Elizabeth Edwards’ position.