Opinion: Lincoln Chafee, Senate loser and Obama backer, has advice for Clinton


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Lincoln Chafee is a former Republican and a former senator from Rhode Island, and the only Republican who voted against the authorization of military force in Iraq. He’s an independent now but is still supporting Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He’s now calling Hillary Clinton one of the ‘Democratic Bush enablers’’ for her vote in 2002 to authorize the war. Obama was not a member of the Senate in 2002 but spoke out against the war then.

‘Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill,’ Chafee writes in a new book, ‘Against The Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President.’


‘They argue that the president duped them into war, but getting duped does not exactly recommend their leadership,’ Chafee writes. ‘Helping a rogue president start an unnecessary war should be a career-ending lapse of judgment, in my view.’

Chafee’s advice, however, may be somewhat suspect. He lost his own attempt for reelection in 2006 to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

-- Mark Silva

Mark Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau. The Associated Press contributed to this report.