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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

More Iraq Fallout?

Though it was no real surprise, the Senate vote yesterday to give the administration new, unconditional funding for the Iraq War was another landmark, especially given the vows of Democratic congressional leaders that the bucks would stop this time around. There’s another shoe left to drop, since the House omitted Iraq funds in its version of the appropriations bill, but it’s unlikely that position will prevail when the Senate version is voted on in the House. 20 Democrats (plus Joe Lieberman) joined with all the Republicans to give Bush a portion of his Iraq request.
While many precincts in the progressive blogosphere are already treating this news with angry denunciations of Democratic caving and cowardice, it’s not clear if or how it will affect the presidential campaign. Biden, Clinton, Dodd and Obama all missed the vote, though all but Biden voted “no” in a similar circumstance last spring. Recent polling has shown Iraq gradually declining as the central issue in the presidential race, but those candidates (notably Edwards and Obama) who are implicitly or explicitly running against “politics as usual” in Washington can be expected to make some hay over the vote–particularly Edwards, who doesn’t have to explain why he missed it.

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