Hil­lary’s stance

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Sen. Hil­lary Clin­ton, New York Demo­crat, said Dec. 18 she would not sup­port a short-term in­crease in U.S. troop pres­ence in Iraq un­less it was part of a more com­pre­hen­sive plan to sta­bi­lize the coun­try.

Mrs. Clin­ton also of­fered the broad­est in­di­ca­tion yet that she was close to a de­ci­sion on whether to en­ter the 2008 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial field, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

“I want to make sure the de­ci­sion is right for me, my fam­ily, my party and my coun­try,” Mrs. Clin­ton said dur­ing an in­ter­view on NBC’s “To­day” pro­gram. She ap­peared on the show to pro­mote the rere­lease of her best-sell­ing book on child rear­ing, “It Takes a Vil­lage.”

The for­mer first lady said she knew more than any other po­ten­tial can­di­date how hard it was to be pres­i­dent. “I saw it in an up close and per­sonal way for eight years,” she said. She re­it­er­ated that she would dis­close her de­ci­sion some­time af­ter the first of the year.

Mrs. Clin­ton also of­fered praise for Sen. Barack Obama, Illi­nois Demo­crat, who has also in­di­cated he may en­ter the race. Mr. Obama drew huge crowds on a visit to New Hamp­shire ear­lier this month.

“He’s ter­rific. He’s a friend and a col­league. I have very high re­gard for him,” she said, while sidestep­ping a ques­tion about whether Mr. Obama would make a good pres­i­dent.

“I think he is a re­ally ex­cit­ing per­son­al­ity and some­one who has a lot to con­trib­ute to the na­tional di­a­logue,” Mrs. Clin­ton said.

Mrs. Clin­ton, a mem­ber of the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, said she was not in fa­vor of a pro­posed “surge” of some 20,000 to 40,000 U.S. troops into Bagh­dad to quell the sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence there. Pres­i­dent Bush is re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing such a move as one of many op­tions to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion in Iraq.

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