Beltway Happenings
January 14, 2007--Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-I) (via satellite) appeared on NBC News' "Meet the Press" several days after President Bush announced plans to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.    
Speaking on the program, Dodd, who announced his candidacy on Thursday (January 11), described the president's plan as "more of the same."  "We need to move to a different strategy," he told host Tim Russert.  "The emphasis needs to be on robust, muscular diplomacy, deal with regional leaders, insist upon the kind of political leadership inside the country, and then ask our military people to do the border kind of security, the training that can be done, the counterterrorism activities, but get them out of these major urban areas...," Dodd stated. 
Hagel, who has been particularly outspoken in his opposition to the war in Iraq and the proposal to send in additional troops, pointed to the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Commission and told Russert that "some kind of effort [must] be made—and I didn’t hear much about this on Wednesday night in the president's speech—to try to focus our efforts on a political accommodation, resulting in a political resolution, resulting in a political settlement."  Hagel is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, but he has not taken any noticeable steps to pursue that objective.
Kyl, who does not have presidential aspirations, spoke in support of the Bush plan.

Copyright © 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action