Obama's Antiwar Stance: That Was Then, This Is Now
2002 state vote not enough to hang a campaign on
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2008 2:30 PM CDT
Barack Obama, left, and top U.S. military commander in Iraq, David Petraeus.   (AP Photo/Ssg. Lorie Jewell, HO)
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(Newser) – There's no reason to assume that Barack Obama would have voted against the war if he’d been in the Senate in 2002, James Kirchick writes for Politico. As a state senator, Obama was aligned with his liberal constituency in opposing the Iraq invasion; as a thoroughly briefed US senator with access to high-level intel, he might very well have been on the winning end of the 77-23 vote that approved the invasion.

Furthermore, Kirchik contends, "John McCain’s judgment vastly exceeds that of Barack Obama." That particularly applies in analyzing the run-up to the troop surge: "Had we listened to Obama back in January 2007, the effects of the surge would never have materialized, and we would not be in the place we are today."