Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Iraq War Policy: How Will Coleman Vote?

Bookmark and Share

Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman's position on Iraq policy could be crucial not only to the fate of Democratic-sponsored proposals in the Senate to set a firm timeline for troop withdrawal, but also in determining how much of a favorite he is to win reelection in 2008.

Coleman has been one of the more critical GOP voices in the Senate on Bush's Iraq War strategy, but mostly within the past half year; he has also not yet joined the ranks of Gordon Smith (R-OR) or Chuck Hagel (R-NE) who have called for a radical change to Bush's policy.

Two days ago Coleman released a statement hinting that he may indeed defect from the GOP leadership in the near future:

"Congress mandated a report from the President by July 15th on the course of the Iraq War and the Iraqi government's progress in meeting specific benchmarks and I intend to review it carefully. While understanding the urgent need to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq, I remain deeply concerned about the President's strategy and for American troops caught in sectarian violence. Looking to the future, I believe we need a mission in Iraq that puts Iraqis in the forefront and focuses U.S. military involvement in a supportive role. To that end, I will continue to work with a bipartisan group of my colleagues as we consider Iraq policy this week in the Senate."

Coleman has previously departed from Republican leadership on the Iraq war issue. In January 2007, Coleman opposed the President's troop surge in Iraq: "I disagree with the President's decision to provide a troop surge in Baghdad. My concern about a troop surge is compounded by the impact it will have on Minnesota National Guard troops in Iraq and their families here at home. I am extremely disappointed by the news that our National Guard soldiers in Iraq will have their tour of duty extended."

In February 2007 Coleman was one of two Republicans who attempted to bust a filibuster and bring a nonbinding resolution on the Iraq war to a full debate on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The resolution would have stated the Senate's disagreement with President Bush's plan to increase the troop level in Iraq by 21,500.

However, in mid-March 2007, Coleman opposed the Democratic-led joint resolution calling for phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq within 4 months and a goal of complete redeployment by the end of March 2008.

As the Iraq war becomes more and more unpopular with Americans each month, pressures on Republican Senators—especially in battleground states like Minnesota—will mount, particularly so for those, like Coleman, who is up for reelection next year. Coleman's support of a troop withdrawl deadline, however, is crucial for the Democrats to reach the 60-vote majority they need to prevent a Republican filibuster.

Previous post: US Senate 2008 Forecast: GOP In Trouble
Next post: Upper Midwest House Members Vote Along Party Lines On Iraq Withdrawal

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

Which States Have the Longest and Shortest Election Day Voting Hours?

Residents in some North Dakota towns have less than half as many hours to cast their ballots as those in New York State.

Political Crumbs

Does My Key Still Work?

Much has been made about Charlie Crist's political transformation from Republican to independent to Democrat en route to winning the Florida GOP and Democratic gubernatorial nominations over a span of eight years. Party-switching aside, Crist is also vying to become just the second Florida governor to serve two interrupted terms. Democrat William Bloxham was the first - serving four year terms from 1881 to 1885 and then 1897 to 1901. Florida did not permit governors serving consecutive terms for most of its 123 years prior to changes made in its 1968 constitution. Since then four have done so: Democrats Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush.


No 100-Year Curse for Roberts

Defeating his Tea Party primary challenger Milton Wolf with just 48.1 percent of the vote, Pat Roberts narrowly escaped becoming the first elected U.S. Senator from Kansas to lose a renomination bid in 100 years. The last - and so far only - elected U.S. Senator to lose a Kansas primary was one-term Republican Joseph Bristow in 1914. Bristow was defeated by former U.S. Senator Charles Curtis who went on to win three terms before becoming Herbert Hoover's running mate in 1928. Only one other U.S. Senator from the Sunflower State has lost a primary since the passage of the 17th Amendment: Sheila Frahm in 1996. Frahm was appointed to fill Bob Dole's seat earlier that year and finished 13.2 points behind Sam Brownback in the three-candidate primary field. Overall, incumbent senators from Kansas have won 29 times against two defeats in the direct vote era. (Curtis also lost a primary in 1912 to Walter Stubbs, one year before the nation moved to direct elections).


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting