Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Obama Backs Resolution Saying No To Troop Increase

By Mike Flannery for CBS2 Chicago

(CBS) CHICAGO A storm is building on Capitol Hill. Some senators announced Wednesday a resolution to oppose the president's plan to send more troops to Iraq.

CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports Barack Obama, for one, is ready to sign on.

Obama presided over the U.S. Senate on the day after he said he might soon leave that body for the White House.

He also endorsed a non-binding resolution proposed by Democrats and Republicans that would put the Senate on record opposing the president’s plan to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq.

Earlier, he joined other members of the Foreign Relations Committee questioning experts on the Middle East, an occasion for Obama to restate his early opposition to invading Iraq.

"Obviously we're at a critical juncture in Iraq," Obama said. "I've expressed very strong skepticism at the president's approach."

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.), widely regarded as frontrunner among Democrats seeking the White House, appeared on the CBS Early Show. Declining to respond directly to questions about Obama, Clinton nonetheless acknowledged that she faces a much different contest than she expected just a few months ago.

“It's terrific that we're gonna have a very vigorous primary on both sides. The country needs a national conversation about where we're headed and how we're gonna get there so I’m looking forward to a spirited and substantive debate about issues about goals, about aspirations and experience, and the kind of things that voters will be interested in,” Clinton said.

The first face-to-face debate is proposed for April in South Carolina. No word yet on whether Obama or Clinton will participate.

And Obama's turn taking the presiding officer's chair in that committee meeting Wednesday was a coincidence and had nothing to do with his preparing to run for the White House.

He was still, however, basking in the glow of the intense media coverage following his announcement Tuesday on his Web site that he is forming an exploratory committee. The news was on front pages of newspapers coast to coast, and made headlines all around the world.
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