From NBC's Lauren Appelbaum
At a fundraiser today in Philadelphia, Hillary Clinton weighed in on the Iraq war and its four-year anniversary. Repeating a line she's given in the past -- one that plays up her anti-war creds -- Clinton said, "I think we all hope and pray that George Bush ends this war. But make no mistake about it -- if he doesn't, as President, I will."
She added: "One of the reasons why I believe I am best prepared, most qualified, and ready to serve on day one, is because I think I can extract us from Iraq in the right way. This is one of those issues that really has to go beyond politics. This cannot be a political football. Too much is at stake, too many brave Americans and innocent Iraqis have died. I am going to continue talking about this even though it's politically controversial because when I am president, the country is going to have to be prepared to do what is necessary to get us out of Iraq."
Her chief rival (so far) for the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama, spoke in Oklahoma City today. And unlike Clinton, who put Iraq up front -- altering form her usual stump speech -- Obama didn't mention it until several minutes into his remarks. He called it a war "that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged"; a war "that has cost us half a trillion dollars, a war that cost us almost 3200 of our bravest young men and women; and a war that "made us less safe and diminished our standing in the world."