Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she would not have attacked Iraq if she were president in 2002 and would end the war if elected, as she tried to blunt rivals like John Edwards who are stoking anti-war passions in the Democratic Party. Clinton, raising her voice at one point to be heard above anti-war hecklers, suggested that calls from Edwards and others to cut off funding for President Bush's troop increase are unlikely to win approval in a narrowly divided Senate.
"Believe me, I understand the frustration and the outrage," Clinton said in a speech to the Democratic National Committee meeting that brought the party's nine White House hopefuls together for the first time. "You have to have 60 votes to cap troops, to limit funding to do anything. If we in Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will."The New York senator's comments were her strongest against the war and signal an effort to confront one of the biggest threats to her front-runner status. As the conflict nears the four-year mark, she has been on the opposite side of the most outspoken anti-war activists who are a force in the Democratic primaries.... Edwards voted with Clinton in 2002 to authorize Bush's war against Iraq, a vote he defended during his 2004 presidential race but has since said was a mistake. The former North Carolina senator has gone from being a war apologist to one of the most outspoken critics of the invasion in this campaign.