In a move that just might chafe Hillary’s sizeable campaign apparatus, Politico reports that former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee, who became a Democrat in 2013, has formed a presidential exploratory committee and promptly “became the first member of the Democratic field to criticize Hillary Clinton directly.”
In other words, it’s on!
Said Chafee, “I would argue that anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not be president, and certainly anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not lead the Democratic Party into an election.”
Chafee went on to criticize Hillary’s “top-down American muscular approach” to foreign policy and there may well be a substantial part of the Democrat base that would agree with Chafee’s critique. Until now, if there has been any pressure on Hillary, it’s come from the economic views of the populist Left more instep with Elizabeth Warren. This may open up an entirely new front for discussion in any coming democrat primary.
Other candidates have taken indirect swipes at Clinton, considered the front-runner in the early Democratic field, and at her husband. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley decried the politics of “triangulation” associated with the Clintons and said the presidency “is not some crown to be passed between two families.” In Chicago on Wednesday night, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said the U.S. has lacked strategic direction since 1993, condemned the invasion of Iraq and criticized the U.S.-led 2011 intervention in Libya, but also did not single out the Clintons by name.