Clinton Offers Tepid Support For Senator Lieberman

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The New York Sun

Senator Clinton yesterday offered her last-minute support for Senator Lieberman, who is facing a close race against an anti-war candidate in today’s Democratic primary in Connecticut.

“Obviously, I hope he wins tomorrow,” Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat of New York, said. But her low-key backing, extracted from her in answer to a reporter’s question, came with a pledge, rather less reassuring to Mr. Lieberman, that she would stand behind whoever became the Democratic Party’s nominee.

“The people of Connecticut … are in charge,” she said. Mr. Lieberman has let it be known that he would seriously consider running as an independent if the Democratic Party failed to renominate him.

Mrs. Clinton also is running against an anti-war candidate in the Senate race in New York, Jonathan Tasini, but she said he was of little concern to her. “I’m running my race,” she said. She declined to speculate how the result in Connecticut would affect her own race.

Mrs. Clinton, who like Mr. Lieberman has consistently supported the Iraq war, has faced criticism from the anti-war faction in her party for her centrist stance on the war. The issue is certain to resurface if she makes a 2008 presidential run.

Speaking at an event at the Harlem branch of the Community Healthcare Network — where she advocated the over-the-counter availability of Plan B, commonly known as the “morning after pill” — Mrs. Clinton urged President Bush not to appoint Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration during the summer recess. If Mr. Bush doesn’t appoint him, the FDA will be obliged to provide a scientific explanation for not offering Plan B over the counter before the Senate confirms Dr. von Eschenbach, she said.

“What we have seen over the last … three years is a deliberate effort by the Bush administration to politicize the FDA,” she said. “Make a decision, but make it justifiable, based on science and research.”

The New York Sun

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