September 7, 2006

Sheldon Whitehouse Changes his Mind on Iraq Deadline for Fear of Potential "Reporter Questions"

Marc Comtois

Apparently, Sheldon Whitehouse doesn't want to be bothered by the press questioning him too closely on such substantive issues as the War in Iraq. So much so, that he's decided to drop his call for a deadline to withdraw the troops "because a reporter would question him about it if such a date passed without a troop withdrawal." What?

To summarize the story in today's ProJo, Sheldon Whitehouse opposes the Iraq War and opposed "firm deadlines for troop withdrawal" last November but then changed his mind (when it looked like then-Dem primary opponent Matt Brown was gaining traction) and declared "that all the U.S. troops should withdraw by the end of this year" in the Spring of 2006. This put him on the radical left-wing side of the argument, setting him "apart from Chafee and the majority of Senate Democrats -- including [Senator Jack] Reed." In mid-June, Whitehouse said he would have supported Sen. John Kerry's proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq by mid-2007, but he still preferred the December 2006 deadline. He also said he would have supported Senator Reed's "nonbinding resolution" calling for a timetable to withdraw some troops by years end, though he preferred Kerry's (by then) defeated proposal. And now:

Whitehouse has since moved back toward the political center on the war issue, dropping his call for a specific deadline for pulling out the troops. In television and newspaper interviews over the last two weeks, Whitehouse has said military leaders should set the pace for a pullout, with "troop safety" as the key factor in their decision.

Whitehouse said in an interview last week that he held the same position before and after Brown's departure from the race: a call for a "rapid and responsible" withdrawal that would open the door to diplomatic solutions to the conflict.

It was "the march of time" that changed his December pullout deadline, according to Whitehouse. Whitehouse said he does not now seek a new, later deadline, because a reporter would question him about it if such a date passed without a troop withdrawal.

That's a good reason to change your a reporter won't ask you about it. That's leadership.

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Gee, and the Dems wonder why they can't be trusted with National Security?

It's this kind of 'finger in the wind' politics that gave us John Kerry and Linc Chafee.

Posted by: Greg at September 7, 2006 10:41 AM

Precisely the kind of awkwardness that proves why, 27-point lead on Laffey notwithstanding, this race is far from over.

Posted by: Rhody at September 7, 2006 11:17 AM

See . . . Sheldon DID support a timetable for troop withdrawal . . . before he came out against it.

John Kerry would be proud. . .

Posted by: brassband at September 7, 2006 7:39 PM

The Dems can't be trusted? Yeah, sort of like the way Bush was against the DHS until he was for it.

Sorry, that is a non-sequitur.

However, it is a weasel move by Mr Whitehouse. Looks like Chafee is the man of principle on this issue.

Posted by: klaus at September 7, 2006 7:51 PM

Someone tell Savion Glover he has a protege in Rhode Island. The general election isn't even underway and Casablanca is already tap-dancing.

Posted by: SusanD at September 7, 2006 9:18 PM

"Sheldon Windsock" ...

or was it "Sheldon Whitebread"?

Perhaps it's "Sheldon Windsock Whitebread III"?

Posted by: Tom W at September 9, 2006 12:23 PM

Either way, Tom W, he was bred to lead.

Posted by: SusanD at September 9, 2006 8:47 PM

susan w...just ask the family of jennifer rivera what a great leader he is...that is sooo typical of whitehouse...he uses people and forgets about them...couldnt beat mike york...and laffey will rip him to shreds.

Posted by: johnpaycheck at September 10, 2006 8:39 AM


I also remember his hands off approach to the $39m of public revenue stolen ... er, unaccounted for by his hack friends in Traffic Court.

And people with better memories than both of us are eagerly standing by to help Tuesday's victor with opposition research.

Casablanca's shoes are going to be a lot less blanca come November.

Posted by: SusanD at September 10, 2006 11:44 AM