Some of the same Democratic senators who refused to join in a 2007 vote of confidence for Gen. David Petraeus switched gears on Tuesday and voted to confirm him as President Obama’s choice to lead the Afghanistan war effort.
Senators Jack Reed (D.-R.I.), Daniel Akaka (D.- Hawaii) and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) voted to confirm Petraeus and were among the 25 senators who voted against a resolution to support Petraeus in 2007.
The resolution came in response to an ad by the left-wing MoveOn.org, that appeared in The New York Times with the headline “General Betray-us.”
The ad came as Petraeus was submitting his "Report to Congress on the Situation in Iraq" to the Senate Armed Services Committee, claiming the military surge that President Bush began the previous January was starting to have a positive impact. Opponents of the Iraq war claimed at the time that the general was “cooking the books” to politically benefit the White House.
In addition to attacks by the anti-war left, Petraeus faced skeptical Democrats on the Senate panel when he presented his report in 2007. Reed stated in 2007 that he didn’t believe Petraeus could be objective about the situation in Iraq. “I can’t see him coming in here and differing from the President. So, I don’t think he’ll be objective. I think what he’ll be is careful to argue that the surge has been a success," said Reed. On NBC’s “Nightly News,” Reed stated: “In many respects, I think Petraeus is playing a political role for the President. He is a splendid officer, a good soldier."
Reed’s questioning of Petraeus Tuesday mentioned nothing about having a lack of confidence in Petraeus’ honesty, nor did Akaka’s or Levin’s. When asked by HUMAN EVENTS why he and his Democrat colleagues now supported Petraeus, Levin said he “[didn’t] have time” to comment. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.) said Democrats are supporting Petraeus now because “he has proven himself in their eyes since the Bush experience.”
“Those were the guys who were saying that the surge was not going to work in Iraq. Those are the guys who agreed with Harry Reid when he said that we had lost the war. Those are the guys that didn’t think that he would be successful, and then when he was successful, they had to support him,” said Inhofe.
MoveOn.org has even scrubbed their website of any mention of the infamous “General Betray-Us” ad.
“This is a big, big deal. I think in everyone’s mind, he is the best one to do it. He is the only one I can think of right now that I know can pull this thing off,” said Inhofe.
Those voting against the resolution supporting Petraeus in 2007 were then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), Bingaman (D-N.M.), Boxer (D.-Calif.), Brown (D-Ohio), Byrd (D-W.Va.), Dodd (D-Conn.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Feingold (D-Wis.), Harkin (D-Iowa), Inouye (D-Hawaii), Kennedy (D-Mass.), Kerry (D-Mass.), Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Murray (D-Wash.), Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Wyden (D-Ore.)