President Barack Obama marked the end of the Iraq War last week, but he left it to Hillary Rodham Clinton — whose support for the unpopular war in 2003 ultimately helped lift Obama to the White House — to answer tough post-withdrawal questions Sunday.
The Secretary of the State, who voted ‘yes’ on the Iraq invasion in Oct. 2003, appeared on four Sunday morning talk shows to defend the looming American withdrawal as a victory for the Iraqi sovereignty that troops had fought so hard to achieve.
She repeatedly stressed that United States is still committed to buttressing the country’s shaky democracy with a “robust” diplomatic presence, despite pulling out all ground troops by year’s end after negotiations to leave a greater force collapsed over the issue of immunity from prosecution for the remaining soldiers.
“Iraq is a sovereign, independent nation with whom we have very good relations, and we expect to have a continuing strong security relationship with many years to come,” Clinton said on “Fox News Sunday.”
And while she shied away from engaging directly with the criticisms lobbed at Obama by his GOP presidential rivals, her emergence as Obama’s fiercest foreign policy defender continued.