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

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.

Comments () | Archives (3)

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I think it is important to note, though, that Chafee had very high approval rates, so he probably did not lose to Whitehouse people were unsatisfied with his views. During the 2006 election the campaigning for voting for Whitehouse over Chafee that I saw was primarily on getting Democratic control of the Congress, and not an anti-Chafee campaign.

Mark Silva, you are an idiot. First of all, Chafee wasn't offering "advice." Second of all, it's not like the guy who beat him voted for the war (or could have). In fact, Whitehouse also opposed the invasion.

Wow! Lincoln Chaffee. I forgot, he REALLY was a Republican? I yes, the Republican party spent millions of dollars trying to save this sychophant's senate seat. Yes, there is a Democrat in that seat. But, can the people of Rhode Island tell the difference? Sorry, but until Team Obama can come up with a real Republican, this is just one sorry excuse to foist upon the public. And offering advice to Sen. Clinton? What a loser!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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