The 2003 Iraq war is arguably the most transformative event in US history of the past decade second only to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since that time, the war vote has been a point the political left uses to rail against presidential candidates. Now, the Iraq War is resurfacing as a presidential issue. This is because former Florida Governor Jeb Bush acknowledged tapping into his brother George W. Bush for advice on Middle East affairs. Rather than allow the left to use that acknowledgement to define him unfavorably, Jeb Bush is proactively defending the Iraq War. In an interview set to air on Monday night, Bush explained that given the intelligence the United States possessed in 2003, he too would have asked for an authorization of war against Iraq.
In fact, Bush went on to say that even Hillary Clinton would have done the same thing if she were president in 2003. His remark is bolstered by the fact that she voted for the Iraq War resolution. At the time, Clinton was the junior senator from New York, and she presented a hawkish view of national defense. Bush’s words were crafted to put Clinton on the spot. If she will defends her 2003 Iraq War vote, she risks alienating the Warren-wing she desperately needs. Alternatively, she may flip-flop on the vote to pander to the liberal base, but alienate herself to moderates and undecided voters.
Thanks to Bernardo Chua for showing me Bush’s remarks.