For some time, I've been thinking that Hillary's presidential candidacy might be open to a challenger from the Left, particularly on the war. Hillary has been a staunch hawk, but that's not where most Democratic primary voters are (or most voters now, period). But none of the other likely Democratic candidates has embraced the anti-war mantle. Mark Warner and Evan Bayh are portraying themselves as electable moderates. John Edwards is focusing on domestic policy. Like Hillary, Joe Biden has actually called for more troops. Ted Kennedy wants a timetable for pulling out, but he's surely not running for president. While John Kerry has criticized this administration harshly on many topics, he has shied away from calling for withdrawal. So where's the dove?
Here he is: Russell Feingold wants all American troops out of Iraq by the end of '06. I'm not sure what this means for the Democrats -- will there be a rush to the "Out Now" or at least the "Out Soon" position? And by whom? Perhaps Wesley Clark? One danger of the Cindy Sheehan spectacle for Democrats is that, by so activating the anti-war movement, it may force some Democratic pols to embrace an "Out Now" position (which is still a minority sentiment), or else risk alienating their base. But, then again, even Republicans seem to have decided that Iraq is bad politics. As Grover Norquist says, 'If Iraq is in the rearview mirror in the '06 election, the Republicans will do fine. But if it's still in the windshield, there are problems."