Robert Novak

The response to Davis came one day later from another Washington lawyer: Gregory Craig, Davis's comrade defending President Bill Clinton and now Obama's foreign policy adviser. E-mailing supporters, Craig did not address S. 970 but indicated the Kyl-Lieberman resolution went beyond a terrorist designation. Calling co-sponsors Kyl and Lieberman "two of the most hawkish members of the Senate on Iran," Craig suggested their resolution "can be used to justify a U.S. attack on Iran."

This dispute was not raised by Obama in Las Vegas as part of his many-sided attack on Clinton. Not until the floor was opened to "undecided" voters did an Iraq war veteran's mother ask about Iran. Sen. Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said of Kyl-Lieberman: "It's a serious, serious mistake. . . . [I]t convinced the rest of the Muslim world this is really a war against Islam. . . . If he [Bush] takes the country to war in Iraq [he meant Iran] without a vote of Congress . . . then he should be impeached."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer, the moderator, immediately turned to Clinton as "the only one on the stage who did vote for that resolution." Biden, perhaps remembering Bill Clinton's complaint that "the boys" were ganging up on his wife, interjected: "I wasn't attacking Sen. Clinton." Obama next called the resolution "a mistake," but he said of Clinton only this: "I agree with Hillary that we've got to initiate bold diplomacy." Clinton said not a word about Iran and kept away from Obama's past desire to brand the Revolutionary Guards.

So, Iran got few minutes at Las Vegas, with important questions unanswered. Could Clinton or Obama co-exist with a nuclear Iran? Do they forswear the military option in Iran? Would they join Biden in impeaching Bush if he attacks Iran? They cannot want to face those difficult queries.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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