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NY Times: Democrats complaining about Senator Kerry's 'stubbornness' on Iraq

Published: Tuesday June 20, 2006

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Democrats are complaining about Senator John Kerry's "stubbornness" on Iraq, according to an article set for the front page of Wednesday's New York Times, RAW STORY has learned.

"When John Kerry was their presidential nominee in 2004, Democrats fervently wished he would express himself firmly about the Iraq war," writes Kate Zernike.

"Mr. Kerry has found his resolve," Zernike continues. "But it has not made his fellow Democrats any happier. They fear the latest evolution of Mr. Kerry's views on Iraq may now complicate their hopes of taking back a majority in Congress in 2006."

"As the Senate prepared for what promises to be a sharp debate starting on Wednesday about whether to begin pulling troops from Iraq, the Democratic leadership wants its members to rally behind a proposal that calls for some troops to move out by the end of this year but does not set a fixed date for complete withdrawal," Zernike writes.

However, Zernike reports, "Kerry has insisted on setting a date."

Excerpts from the Times article:


Senate Democrats have been loath to express their opinions publicly, determined to emphasize a united front. But interviews suggest a frustration with Mr. Kerry, never popular among the caucus, and still unpopular among many Democrats for failing to defeat a president they considered vulnerable. Privately, some of his Democratic peers complain that he is too focused on the next presidential campaign.


The Democrats' exasperation has increased in the last week, as they postponed a vote on Mr. Kerry's amendment to try to fashion a broader consensus among themselves. Democrats up for re-election asked him not to propose a fixed date. But Mr. Kerry, several Democrats said, was unwilling to budge from that idea, even though his co-sponsor, Senator Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin, seemed willing to compromise for the sake of consensus. In the end, Mr. Kerry agreed only to extend his deadline, from Dec. 31 of this year to July 2007.



(NOTE: An earlier version of the Times article received by RAW STORY included 'stubbornness' to describe Senator Kerry's current position on the Iraq war)