In 2005, just as it is in 2013, Hillary Clinton was the Democratic Party’s presumed presidential nominee. Clinton, who had voted for the Iraq War, faced a weak field of opponents for that nomination. While it was certain that the stubbornly irresolvable Iraq War would be a campaign issue, it was far from clear at the time that the war would become the central issue dominating the Democratic primary process. In spite of his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, no pollster was even testing Barack Obama’s name by this point in the 2008 election cycle. By his own admission, he was too young, too inexperienced, to run for the highest office in the land.
All that changed in 2006-2007. As the situation on the ground in Iraq grew worse, the organic surge in support for anti-war movements grew stronger. The Democratic Party courted these voters to successfully manufacture a takeover of both chambers of Congress in the 2006 midterms. The narrow coalition of Democrats which backed Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s insurgent presidential candidacy in 2004 had grown into the nucleus of a national coalition.
But even with this much writing on the wall, few pundits worth their stripes would have predicted in November, 2006, that Clinton’s support for the Iraq War in 2003 would cost her the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2008. The anti-war movement Democrat had found its redeemer in Obama.