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George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was a good idea and the war hawks who supported it have been vindicated, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of President-elect Joe Biden’s prospective cabinet nominees.
Conventional wisdom holds that supporting the Iraq war was a bad thing to do. And yet, the politicians who supported it continue to find success. This is especially true of Democrats who backed the war effort during the Bush administration.
Biden, for example, won the Democratic nomination despite being the only candidate who voted (as a senator in 2002) for the resolution authorizing the Iraq war. Hillary Clinton did the same in 2016. Biden went on to (allegedly) defeat President Donald J. Trump, who isn’t a fan of the Iraq war. Coincidence? Almost certainly not.
Biden wasn’t merely a senator in 2002. He chaired the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and worked closely with the committee’s staff director, Antony Blinken, who ultimately advised him to support the Iraq war. Last week, Biden announced Blinken as his nominee for secretary of state.
If confirmed, Blinken would become the third consecutive Iraq war supporter to serve as secretary of state in a Democratic administration. Clinton and John Kerry, both of whom served in the role under Barack Obama, also voted for the Senate resolution to authorize the war.
Blinken isn’t the only Iraq war hawk to be tapped for a senior role in the incoming Biden administration. Neera Tanden, the longtime Clinton aide and president of the Center for American Progress, will be nominated to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Tanden has vigorously defended the decision to invade Iraq. As an adviser to Clinton’s failed presidential campaign in 2008, she reportedly punched and cussed out a ThinkProgress editor for daring to ask Clinton about her support for the Iraq war.
The ongoing success of Iraq war proponents is one of the most interesting storylines in Democratic Party politics. Another is the party’s stubborn insistence on elevating white candidates at the expense of qualified black candidates.