December 18, 2003


Dean defends opposition to war (ROSS SNEYD, December 18, 2003, Associated Press)

Presidential hopeful Howard Dean on Thursday defended his claim that the United States is no safer with Saddam Hussein in custody, contending that the "capture of one bad man" doesn't allow President Bush or Democrats to declare victory in the war on terrorism.

Dean, whose foreign policy statement Monday earned criticism from Democratic rivals for the party's nomination, said those in his party who supported the war "backed away from what was right."

"I think the Democratic Party has to offer a clear alternative to the American people. The capture of one bad man doesn't mean the president and Washington Democrats can declare victory in the war on terrorism," he said. "The question is what is right, not what is popular."

As Joe Lieberman said, and Mr. Dean apparently agrees, the capture of Saddam does illuminate the alternatives--if Howard Dean were president, Saddam would still be oppressing Iraq.

Where the public's mood is shifting (The Associated Press, December 18, 2003)

COUNTRY'S DIRECTION: The discussion about Saddam's capture apparently does alter public perception of the country's overall direction. When people were asked at the start of the AP-Ipsos poll if the country was headed in the right direction or was off on the wrong track, they were about evenly divided. But those asked that question after a discussion of Iraq, terrorism and the capture of Saddam were more likely to say the country was headed in the right direction. Among that group, two-thirds said the country was headed in the right direction.

SIGNIFICANT SHIFT: One group in particular -- a group crucial for Democrats, women with less education, said they feel better about how Bush is handling foreign policy in the wake of Saddam's capture and they also feel better about Bush's handling of the economy. They are more likely to support his re-election than they were a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 6:16 PM
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