UPDATE II: HILLARY is on. Scorching.
Update III: Politico’s take on the hearing:
Hillary took a sober, but incredulous, tone with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker during her chance to question them just after 6 p.m. this evening, describing the men as she began as “the de facto spokespeople for what many of us believe to be a failed policy.”
While she echoed her fellow Democrats in praising Petraeus and Crocker, she praised them largely for their ability to spin, saying that despite “your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, the report that you provided for us really requires a willing suspension fo disbelief.”
Where Obama had complained of the timing of the 9/11 hearing, Clinton turned used it, referring to her appearance at a memorial event this morning in New York, and questioning the U.S. inability to catch Osama bin Laden and suppress the Taliban.
Clinton never veered as sharply into confrontation, though, as many of her Democratic rivals for President, and seemed deliberately to be making a bi-partisan case, citing first a question by the committee’s senior Republican, John Warner, and then citing “a very important question” from Republican Susan Collins of Maine to bring out what she said had been a “contradiction” in Petraeus’s discussion of what happens if bloodshed remains at current levels in a year.
Overall, the exchange was cool, rather than heated, despite one hint at that bumper sticker about how regime change begins at home:
“It’s not only the Iraq government that, in my view, has faied to puruse a coherent strategy,” she said. “I think it’s ours that has as well.”
Hillary Clinton, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will soon be questioning General Petraeus (soon after 3:00 p.m. (EST)) on Iraq issues.
We are holding off on Part II of Barack Obama’s Mob until after Hillary questions General Petraeus.
We will have a discussion of Hillary’s questioning of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker after she has her turn in the question round on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Committee hearing can be seen on-line HERE.
UPDATE: Politico has another example of an Obama lack-of-good-staff-research running off at the mouth blunder. We thought Obama’s morning question on the Foreign Relations hearing was a good one – why was Petraeus testifying on September 11? – a date which seems to draw a correlation between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks. Apparently Obama (OK, blame the staff) did not ask why the hearings have been scheduled for today. Politico explains the showboating:
“Obama this morning raised what seemed like a relevant point: Was the Petraeus hearing scheduled today by the White House to draw some sort of tacit link between 9/11 and Iraq?
The answer, according to a Senate Democratic leadership aide who spoke on the condition on anonymity, is an emphatic “no.”
The legislation requiring a report from the White House on the status of the war sets a September 15 deadline. “It made sense,” the staffer said, to bring Petraeus to the Hill the week the report was due. And Rosh Hashannah begins Wednesday night.
“It had to be that Monday or that Tuesday, or the Tuesday and the Wednesday, because of the Jewish holiday,” the staffer said.
So either way, 9/11. And the decision was made by Senate Democrats, not the White House.
Maybe that’s why Biden was short with Obama.”