When Hillary Clinton confronted Army General David H. Petraeus at yesterday’s Senate hearing, it was hard to separate the roles: a junior senator pursuing her oversight authority over a Pentagon official, a leading Democratic presidential candidate staring down the public face of an unpopular Republican policy, and a would-be commander in chief criticizing a four-star general for an inadequate plan. “The reports you provided to us require the willing suspension of disbelief,” Clinton said, calling Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker “the de facto spokesmen of what many of us consider to be a failed policy.” For the Democratic candidates in particular, the appearance of Petraeus and Crocker offered a chance to engage the war’s architects directly. “Our general thought is that being in the Senate is something of a liability [to presidential candidates]. It’s not too often you see the upside,” said Daron Shaw, an associate professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Boston Globe
In Senatorial Role, a Chance to Take Spotlight on War