Monday, December 03, 2007

NIE and the Race

In what amounted to a bombshell to most everyone today, the National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003-4, and the White House had tried to block its release for nearly a year to get them to change their assessment.

Things like this make Ron Paul's constant state of incredulity perfectly understandable to me. But others will write on such things.

How will the revelations affect the presidential race? Do things like this even shock Americans anymore? Getting to 30 percent approval may be about as low as a president can get already, and Republicans aren't exactly trying to identify themselves with the administration.

Hillary Clinton got a lot of heat starting in October for her vote to mark the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Whether it is or not likely hasn't changed. But John Edwards loves to point out that in imposing the resulting sanctions on Iran, President Bush listed as a reason that the country is a "proliferater of weapons of mass destruction."

The NIE may give more ammunition to use against Clinton, although the issue is admittedly a bit arcane. But as they say, as close as Iowa is, any edge may turn out to be important.

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