Promises, Promises

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In this morning’s Clinton conference call, perennial HRC antagonist Andrea Mitchell pressed the campaign’s spokespeople about Hillary’s firm promise to withdraw from Iraq even if, as Gibson put it, “the military commanders in Iraq came to you on day one and said this kind of withdrawal would destabilize Iraq, it would set back all of the gains that we have made, no matter what, you’re going to order those troops to come home?”

For someone who for so long tacked so very carefully to the gray area when it came to the war, her pledge is shockingly black and white. It’s also a kind of mirror image of her vote to get into Iraq with no real plan or post-game scenario. Military leaders were critical of that ill-thought-out decision, too.

In any case, her spokesman doubled-down on the pledge, and used it to dredge up the Samantha Power “best case scenario” quote, saying he was “not sure what the point of a campaign would be if candidates offered plans that they did not intend on following through on.” Here’s a thought: the point of a campaign could also be to judge the ability of a leader to respond to events that disrupt his or her plans! Because, you know, not withdrawing from a Iraq because it would be a humanitarian catastrophe is a little different than, oh… let’s just say promising to implement universal health care then totally bailing because the insurance companies made it hard. (Though to be fair, health care reform also failed because — on noes! — the political and economic circumstances changed and the original plan didn’t evolve along with them…)

UPDATE: Audio clip of the full answer here.