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Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton Stick Out Like Sore Thumbs.

The print edition of today's New York Times has a very interesting chart summarizing each of the 13 Presidential candidates' positions on 8 top issues. National at 14-15. When comparing their positions on Iraq, it struck me that if Hillary Clinton and Ron Paul were to switch parties there would be almost complete consensus within, and apposition between, the two parties concerning Iraq.

As summarized by the Times, Clinton's position is-- 

Start phased withdrawal within 60 days of taking office, with the goal to have most troops out by the end of 2013. Leave a residual force in Iraq to fight terrorist groups, deter Iranian aggression, protect the Kurds and possibly support the Iraqi military.

She seems more committed to Mr. Bush's War than Mr. Bush is. Bush has announced a troop drawdown starting in March 2008, but Clinton is talking about March 2009, and she won't complete the redeployment until after her presumed re-election in 2012. Clinton's position seems indistinguishable from all the GOP candidates except Ron Paul. No wonder she won't back away from her vote to authorize the invasion.

In sharp contrast, it appears all the other Democrats and Ron Paul have a near consensus about what should be done: The bulk of our troops should be out of Iraq sometime between "immediately" (Paul) and the end of 2009 (Richardson), and some residual forces for training, security, and other non-combat missions should be left in Iraq or stationed in neighboring countries.

Unfortunately, the chart is not available on the NYT website because, I assume, it's just too big for a computer screen. Other issues charted are health care, taxes, detainees, interrogation, immigration, energy, and climate.

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