It was the first of three votes scheduled today, with John Warner’s benchmark proposal being the only bill that stands a chance of passing. This one, predictably offered by Russ Feingold, crashed and burned at 29-67. But the fact that it failed is less significant than who voted in favor.
Biden, Dodd, Obama, and naturally the Glacier herself, always eager for a new opportunity to pander to the nutroots and further atone for her sin of having voted for war in 2002. Of course, the left being the left, they can’t embrace their own bold strokes for fear of alienating centrists. So even this vote comes with qualifiers:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential front-runner, previously opposed setting a deadline on the war. But she said she agreed to back the measure “because we, as a united party, must work together with clarity of purpose and mission to begin bringing our troops home and end this war.”
Sen. Barack Obama, another leading 2008 prospect, said he would prefer a plan that offers more flexibility but wanted “to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the president and my Republican colleagues that it’s long past time to change course.”…
“I’m not crazy about the language in the Feingold amendment, but I am crazy about the idea that we have to keep the pressure on,” said Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., who also wants the Democratic presidential nomination.
FYI, the four non-senators in the race are Edwards, Kucinich, Gravel, and Richardson. Except for Busy Hands Bill, there’s no doubt how any of them would have voted on this, either.
Update: 0 for 3. The Warner amendment fails too, ironically because Warner ended up having to soften it to attract Republicans and in the process alienated Democrats.
The Senate also rejected a proposal, introduced by Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) and backed by Republican moderates, that would have tied billions of dollars in U.S. reconstruction funding for Iraq to progress by the Iraqi government in implementing political and security reforms aimed at stabilizing the country. In a last-minute change, however, Warner added a provision allowing the president to waive the restrictions on U.S. funding.
The waiver authority was intended overcome opposition from the White House, but some Democrats complained that it left the proposal too weak to draw their support. The procedural vote on the measure was 52-44, falling eight votes short of the 60 it needed to move ahead.